Good Morning, Broncos fans! It was rather apparent that last night's loss was about mistakes, turnovers, and field position.
Strangely, Denver only gets charged with three turnovers (for the second straight week), even though they really lost three fumbles (Trindon Holliday, Peyton Manning, Ronnie Hillman) and threw an interception.
The quirk here is that Manning's sack/fumble/safety goes down as a change of possession and scoring play, but not a turnover. Had Robert Mathis recovered the ball in the end zone, or anywhere else, rather than been ruled out of bounds, the play would have counted as a lost fumble and a turnover.
So, in real terms, that's four turnovers on the night, and five for Manning over the past two games.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter how these plays are accounted, but it's still a strange point worth noting.
Champ Bailey's foot injury will be reevaluated today, but don't expect him to play Sunday against Washington.
Following the game, Kevin Vickerson wasn't ready to accept any blame for his trio of 15-yard penalties.
As noted by Woody Paige, 8 of Denver's 12 penalties came during the third quarter.
Paul Klee thinks it's actually a positive that the Broncos' foibles led to their loss, and perhaps he's right.
Les Carpenter says Peyton Manning was obviously drained by his return to Indy, and surprised by the loss.
At least one Broncos fan put it correctly last night.
Joan Niesen blames the defense for last night's loss, but six three-and-outs, an interception, a fumble, and a safety loomed larger, resulting in average starting field positions of the 25-yard line for Denver, and the 36-yard line for Indianapolis.
Mark Kiszla says the Broncos are too reliant upon Peyton Manning, which suggests the construction of the team is at fault. What, if the team doesn't beat one of the league's best teams without Ryan Clady, Orlando Franklin, Wesley Woodyard, and Champ Bailey, it's John Elway's fault?
It is beyond comprehension that Dave Krieger criticizes the decision to go for two points, but totally ignores the fact that Demaryius Thomas should have caught the ball.
It's believed that Reggie Wayne's freak knee injury is of the worst variety - a season-ending ACL tear.
One has to be wondering why Pat McAfee wasn't flagged for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Trindon Holliday; even Ndamukong Suh is. To McAfee's credit, he claims his eyes were closed as he delivered the hit, which is kind of believable.
True to his bro-tastic caricature/character, Jim Irsay sent out some bizarre tweets last night; ESPN blogger Mike Wells apparently still feels the need to kiss Irsay's ass despite now working for the Worldwide Leader.
Indy is now 6-0 as a home dog since last season, and Don Banks says that's all about Andrew Luck.
Luck & Co. have now defeated each of the league's preseason overdogs - the Broncos, Niners, and Seahawks.
Matt Bowen breaks down Luck's touchdown pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Kansas City (7-0) remains undefeated after holding off the reeling Texans (2-5) in a surprisingly close 17-16 game. It was a painful loss for Houston, as Arian Foster reaggravated his hamstring injury, while Brian Cushing suffered a broken leg and torn ACL to the same knee he blew out last season, again on a controversial low block.
San Diego (4-3) kept Jacksonville (0-7) winless with a 24-6 beatdown, as Philip Rivers continued his resurgence with a 22/26 performance.
Cincinnati (5-2) won their second straight nailbiter, this time a 27-24 decision over Detroit, sealed by a 54-yard game-winning kick at the gun by Mike Nugent. Andy Dalton and Matthew Stafford each threw for three touchdowns in the shootout; the Bengals lost corner Leon Hall to a torn Achilles for the second time in three seasons.
The Jets (4-3) dominated the TOP by 46:13 to 23:40 and stunned New England (5-2) by coming back from a 21-10 halftime deficit for a 30-27 overtime win. New Jersey's final drive included a controversial penalty against the Patriots on a failed Jets FG attempt; Rob Gronkowski caught eight passes for 114 yards in his season debut.
Buffalo (3-4) pulled off a narrow 23-21 road win at Miami (3-3) on a last-minute field goal set up by a sack/forced fumble by Mario Williams. Brian Burke says the Dolphins would have given themselves a better shot at responding to the field goal if they had simply allowed the Bills to score a touchdown.
Pittsburgh (2-4) edged Baltimore (3-4) 19-16 on a last-second field goal by Shaun Suisham.
Green Bay (4-2) cruised past Cleveland (3-4) by a 31-13 score, powered by three touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers. Packers TE Jermichael Finley was taken off the field on a stretcher with a neck injury serious enough to put him in ICU.
San Francisco (5-2) won its fourth straight game, getting two rushing touchdowns from Frank Gore and another from Colin Kaepernick, in a 31-17 victory over Tennessee (3-4) that wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates.
Washington (2-4) topped Chicago (4-3) in a wild 45-41 shootout which featured three rushing touchdowns each from Roy Helu and Matt Forte; Jay Cutler left with a groin injury in the second quarter and will undergo an MRI today.
Dallas (4-3) is alone atop the NFCE after they stifled Philly (3-4) in a 17-3 road win. Eagles QB Nick Foles suffered a concussion at the end of the third quarter; his replacement, Matt Barkley, tossed three fourth-quarter picks in his first NFL action.
Carolina (3-3) has won three of its last four, as Cam Newton (15/17 passing, 136.3 QB rating) was again hyper-efficient in a 30-15 victory over St. Louis (2-4). Sam Bradford departed late with a torn ACL; the Rams will work out several QBs on Monday and reportedly considered bringing in Tim Tebow.
Tampa Bay (0-6) remains winless after falling 31-23 at Atlanta (2-4); Matt Ryan threw three touchdown passes to Mike Glennon's two. Following the game, the Falcons had a cleanup crew scour the visiting locker room, to disinfect any possible traces of MRSA and/or Greg Schiano.
San Francisco reportedly expects WR Michael Crabtree to return from his torn Achilles somewhere between late November and the playoffs.
Circling back to confirmed asshole Greg Schiano, he apparently tried to have Bucs SB hero Dexter Jackson kicked off the team's practice field sideline, and even went so far as to keep Jackson from bringing elementary school children to Bucs practices.
Advanced metrics from Sunday's game via Brian Burke.
Mike Tanier reminds Bill Belichick about a few more obscure rules he may not be aware of.
Richard Deitsch loved how NBC handled the Colts' pregame tribute to Peyton Manning last night.