2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Five things to know from Rams-Broncos

By PAT GRAHAM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-25 02:56

DENVER (AP) - Ever the perfectionist, Peyton Manning momentarily stepped back on the field long after his night was concluded just so he could lob a few more passes in a steady drizzle.

The Denver Broncos' quarterback made his reappearance during a break in the action to hone his ``wet-ball mechanics,'' coach John Fox joked after a 27-26 preseason win over the St. Louis Rams on Saturday night.

Utilizing an up-tempo offense, Manning & Co. were virtually unstoppable against the Rams' starting defense.

That is, until the Broncos stopped themselves by turning the ball over four times, including a fumble from Ronnie Hillman which rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree scooped up and returned for a TD.

``It's disappointing when you don't take care of the ball,'' said Manning, who finished 25 of 34 for 234 yards, a TD and an interception. ``Four turnovers in a game is not what you want to do.''

Here are five things we learned from a game in which the Broncos (2-1) and Rams (0-3) played a bulk of their starters in the first half:

1. GROUND PROBLEMS: Just when it looked like Hillman had the starting job all but locked up, he fumbled. Again.

For the second straight game, Hillman's turnover was returned for a TD. The week before in Seattle, Hillman's miscue at the goal line was taken 106 yards for a score.

This time, Ogletree ripped the ball out of Hillman's hands and trotted 13 yards for a score.

``I still have great confidence,'' Fox said of Hillman.

Meanwhile, rookie Montee Ball had a productive game, rushing for 43 yards and a score. Knowshon Moreno was solid, too, finishing with 33 yards rushing. He added another 42 on three catches.

2. ELECTRIC AUSTIN: Rookie Tavon Austin showed his explosiveness, fielding a punt in the first quarter and racing 81 yards. Had his blockers been able to actually block punter Britton Colquitt, Austin could've scored. No worries, though, Sam Bradford threw a short TD pass on the next play.

Austin returned two punts for 104 yards. He also had one catch for 12 yards.

``I felt good for the most part,'' Austin said.

3. STILL MILLER'S TIME: Even though he's staring at a six-game suspension, defensive end/linebacker Von Miller played a majority of the first half with the first-team unit. The Pro Bowler finished two tackles.

After the game, Miller declined to talk about his performance.

With Miller soon to be sidelined for violating the NFL's drug-abuse policy, Shaun Phillips will be counted on to step up.

``I didn't come here to be a cheerleader,'' Phillips said.

4. ELITE COMPANY: The youthful St. Louis secondary is receiving quite an early test. Last week, the Rams went up against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. On Saturday, it was Manning.

``He's a heck of a player and it's good to see him in the preseason,'' defensive end Chris Long said.

It doesn't get any easier on Thursday when the Rams face Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens.

``We have a young secondary, so I think it gives our guys a chance to play against the best,'' linebacker James Laurinaitis said.

5. NOT SO SPECIAL TEAMS: The Broncos surrendered a long return, had a field goal attempted blocked and muffed a punt. Not exactly a stellar night for the special teams.

However, Lerentee McCray did get a hand on a Brett Baer punt late in the game that set up what would be the Broncos' winning TD.

``It's all disconcerting,'' Fox said. ``It's something we will look at.''

---

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org/poll

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

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Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

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Julius ThomasNov 26 01:23p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Phil LoadholtNov 26 12:33p

Minnesota Vikings OT Phil Loadholt (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Geno SmithNov 26 12:23p

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Timothy WrightNov 26 10:43a

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Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Colt McCoyNov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

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