Good Morning, Broncos fans! Obviously, Denver awakes today well-rested and atop the AFCW.
They're joined there by the Chiefs, who opened with a 28-2 road beatdown of the Jaguars. Alex Smith delivered one of his typically solid, if unspectacular performances (15th in ANY/A), but for Kansas City, solid/unspectacular at quarterback is a huge upgrade.
Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert entered the game with a fractured thumb on his throwing hand, but he left in worse shape, as a cut on that same hand required 15 stitches to close.
Next Sunday, the Chiefs will host the Cowboys, who defeated Denver's Week 2 opponent last night. More on that in a bit...
Oakland came thisclose to shocking the Colts in Indy, but ultimately fell 21-17. Terrelle Pryor threw for 217 yards and ran for another 112, but his one touchdown pass was balanced by two huge interceptions. The Raiders will host the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.
San Diego hosts Houston tonight in the late, late game (10:20pm ET kickoff), which will mark Chris Berman's painful annual appearance in the broadcast booth. Ed Reed is not expected to suit up for the Texans.
The NFLPA will reportedly argue on Von Miller's behalf regarding his signing bonus money, but they have little, if anything, on which to stand. Jeff Legwold wants to overdramatize the issue and liken it to Denver's dispute with Ashley Lelie, but there was no decision on the part of the Broncos. Miller's bone to pick is with the NFL and the CBA, not with the Broncos.
All-World nickel corner Chris Harris says he added some speed and put on an extra seven pounds' worth of muscle this offseason.
Denver was thrilled with the debut of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and we have to wonder if DRC is the guy who steps in whenever the Broncos and Champ Bailey part ways, however that happens.
Zane Beadles held his annual pancake breakfast to benefit pediatric cancer patients in the area.
Yahoo! trolled the Ravens (and FF owners of the Ravens defense) while apologizing for mobile app problems.
Manning Bowl 3
The Giants committed six turnovers (two fumbles by David Wilson and three interceptions by Eli, including a late pick-six caused by miscommunication between Manning and Da'Rel Scott, Wilson's backup) in a 36-31 loss at Dallas last night. Wilson's rough evening could cost him his starting gig, but for the G-Men having serious depth issues at running back.
To address those problems, the Giants are expected to work out old friend Willis McGahee, Brandon Jacobs, and Joe McKnight tomorrow.
New Jersey's defense suffered two key injuries, to LB Dan Connor (burner) and CB Prince Amukamara (concussion). The G-Men are already in trouble against PMFM & Co. even if these guys play, so losing them could be a death knell.
Their only hope against Denver's fast-break offense may be to fake injuries, which Jerrah Jones accused the Giants of doing last night.
Tickets for Sunday's showdown at the Meadowlands are going for as high as $4,400 and an average price approaching $500.
Rest of the AFC
New England escaped Buffalo with a 23-21 victory after Tom Brady (not dead yet) led a late game-winning drive which was capped off by a last-second FG by Stephen Gostkowski. Naturally, Danny Amendola had 10 catches for 104 yards while reprising the role of Wes Welker. Mind you, this is a quarterback and offense that had people thinking Julian Edelman was a good NFL player, so Amendola's performance shouldn't surprise anyone.
Cincinnati fell 24-21 at Chicago, who came back from a 21-10 third-quarter deficit on the strength of a Matt Forte score and Jay Cutler-to-Brandon Marshall touchdown pass.
Sunday was an unmitigated disaster for Pittsburgh, who fell 16-9 to Tennessee and lost C Maurkice Pouncey, LB Larry Scott, and RB La-Rod Stephens-Howling to season-ending injuries; they have reportedly re-signed RB Jonathan Dwyer to replace Stephens-Howling.
Miami picked off Brandon Weeden three times (remember, he may have been Denver's QB last year, had they not signed PMFM) in their 23-10 win over Cleveland. Hilariously, sixty-million-dollar man Mike Wallace is already upset about his involvement in the Dolphins offense, even though his team won.
Geno Smith led the Jets to an improbable last-second 18-17 victory, aided by a derptastic personal foul by Bucs linebacker Lavonte David, who rightfully looked like he was crying on the sideline afterward; long-suffering Jets fan Chase Stuart recaps the win. The Jets will reportedly re-sign Brady Quinn today, while Buttfumble is said to have a dislocated throwing shoulder and partially torn labrum.
Colin Kaepernick dropped 412 passing yards and three touchdowns on the Packers in a 34-28 Niners victory apparently aided by a huge officiating mistake. But the NFL says it was actually the Packers who benefitted, so perhaps it's all a moot point. Tragically, a fan died at Candlestick after falling from a pedestrian walkway just after kickoff. Anquan Boldin caught 13 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown, and do you think the Ravens might wish they still had him around?
Seattle edged Carolina 12-7 thanks to a 43-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse (who lit up the Broncos in their preseason matchup).
New Orleans eked out a 23-17 victory over the visiting Falcons, who gained a first-and-goal from the Saints' 7-yard-line in the closing minutes, only to have Matt Ryan throw an interception on fourth down from the three. However, Atlanta may have never had that late opportunity, had Sean Payton been more aggressive in his return to the sideline.
St. Louis rallied for 14 fourth-quarter points to beat the visiting Cardinals 27-24; TE Jared Cook caught seven passes for 141 yards and two scores.
Andy Benoit, Mike Tanier, Peter King, Bill Barnwell, Will Brinson, Chris Strauss, Chris Burke, John Clayton, Don Banks, Jay Busbee, Frank Schwab, Tom Pelissero, Grantland, and the Football Outsiders wrap up Sunday's games.
Peter King's MMQB column: Denver is atop his Fine Fifteen, Peyton Manning and Shaun Phillips are among his players of the week, he checks in with the newest Bronco, the well-traveled linebacker Adrian Robinson, and some love for Duke Ihenacho.
Deadspin recaps the day in GIFtastic fashion.