Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Finally, there's some good news regarding the health status of Chris Harris (ankle).
The nickel corner returned to practice yesterday, albeit in a limited fashion; Mike Klis thinks Tony Carter is likely to see more action again on Sunday. Quinton Carter was also limited (knee). Von Miller, Joel Dreessen, Tracy Porter, and Brandon Stokley were all on yesterday's injury report, but all were full participants.
Because the defense started Monday night's game on their own one-yard line, Champ Bailey's string of having started all of his NFL games was broken.
The league fined Falcons DE Ray Edwards $8K for a late hit, but still nothing for contacting an official, which should have gotten him ejected from the game after Knowshon Moreno's fumble. Let's see, it should have been Denver ball at the Atlanta 32 with the score 10-0, and Edwards tossed. Instead, It was Atlanta ball at the 17, and Edwards got to stick around. Of course, the statistics will show that the refs called a penalty, so everything is okay, right?
Obviously, Del Rio is more than happy with Elvis Dumervil's performance to date; Smith reminds us that he showed up to work everyday fearing that his locker would be gone, that he's still miffed about not being drafted, and he says he is close with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Brandon Stokley. He says he gave Thomas and Decker a pep talk during the stretch of last season where neither of them was targeted much by the old QB.
As for the two receivers, here's hoping their self-dubbed nickname of "Salt and Pepper" doesn't stick. The author says this is a "politically correct world" in which we "dance around" racial differences, but the reality is that it's a juvenile and lazy practice to identify people solely by the color of their skin, especially among people who are familiar with each other. These guys lived together, so they obviously know each other well enough to come up with something more creative than "That's the white guy, this is the black guy."
Andy Benoit presents a detailed look at Kubes/Dennison/Gibbs/Shanny's artful blocking schemes; he thinks Wade Phillips will copy Mike Nolan and emphasize disguising coverages against Peyton.
Mike Tanier says any Peyton-induced panic is overdone, and he's picking the Broncos this week; Jeff Darlington holds Chad Pennington (yipes) up as an example as to why people shouldn't worry too much about Manning's arm strength; PFF's Kevin Grauel wonders how well PM will do going forward with the seam routes and bombs he's struggled with so far; five attempts is apparently enough for John Clayton to declare that Peyton can't throw deep.
Jeff Legwold praises Peyton for his accountability in the face of his three-interception game, and Omar Bolden for his special teams work; Mark Kiszla sees a pissed-off Manning, and he thinks that's a good thing for the Broncos.
Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be in the booth for Sunday's game.
Poor Mike Klis. Guy writes two books about the 2011 season, and the main character gets summarily traded away.
If you feel like getting all worked up over your Josh McDaniels hatred, this should do the trick.
RT Derek Newton, a 2011 seventh-rounder and first-time starter, will face quite the test Sunday in the form of one Von Miller.
Jason Cole revisits Peyton's past successes against Houston but reminds us that with Wade Phillips running things, it's an unfamiliar Texans defense for Manning.
The NFL and NFLRA apparently met for two days this week but aren't much closer to a new deal to save us from the disastrous officiating. Meanwhile, the league is trying to distract us from the shitty job those guys are doing, by warning coaches and players to be nicer to the scabs. Said NFL VP of football operations Ray Anderson:
We contacted [the teams] to remind them that everyone has a responsibility to respect the game. We expect it to be adhered to this weekend and forevermore.
Respect the game? It's the coaches and players who are disrespecting the game? GFY, Ray Anderson. GFY, Roger Goodell.
The impact on the game is so real that in Vegas, one high-profile bookmaker thinks home teams should be given an extra half-point in all games, and he says,
"It's starting to concern us a bit," Colbert said. "(Officials) should have no influence on the total or the side.
Ravens safety Bernard Pollard says the scabs are "in a position they can't handle" and are "starstruck."
From Deadspin, a video compilation of the most obvious blown calls from Week 2; Knowshon's fumble isn't there, because presumably, it's tough to capture the essence of that eight-minute debacle in a few seconds of video.
Drew Magary explains why those who are supporting the replacements because of their own political views are without any sound logical reasoning.
Despite having several starters out due to injury, the Giants pummeled the Panthers 36-7, with onetime Broncos RB Andre Brown providing 130 yards from scrimmage and two rushing scores.
Washington RB Alfred Morris is one down-to-Earth dude, as evidenced by his 1991 Mazda. He probably just wisely knows that Shanny will cut him after his next fumble, sending fantasy owners everywhere scrambling.
In his review of Oakland/Miami, Andy Benoit sees a Raiders team with an overpowered offensive line and a lazy defense.
Pete Prisco can't come up with a justification for what Greg Schiano had his Bucs players do on Sunday, and neither could the NFL folks Prisco spoke to.
This is pretty awesome: 32 NFL quarterbacks, and their Muppet lookalikes.
Tony Sparano finally admitted that the problem for him with using Teebs (since he's masquerading as a quarterback) is that doing so adds another game plan and several more hours of prep time to the team's workload.
As for the (ineffective) punt protector (Thanks, MD), shirtless photos of him are making the rounds for the
third fourth time this year. What's it now? A breathless profile in Vogue where he's referred to as Superman, of course. Funny, last time the protests were that the GQ spread used old photos that someone else Timmy had posed for, and he wasn't actually seeking more attention currently, because he never does that! However, these new pics were done recently by Annie Leibovitz, as this dreamy behind-the-scenes video shows. Naturally, Deadspin offers a fine reaction to the Vogue spread.
Oh, but this is a football site, you protest? Okay, we've got that too. Urban Meyer says his current QB is more talented than his most famous pupil.
Because he's just less of a jerk, Aaron Rodgers revisited himself at yelling at his own receiver on national TV a bit differently than did Jay Cutler.
For this week's Sex/FF mailbag, Captain Caveman provides a fitting and epic takedown of some douchebag FOX News contributor zealot.