2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Column: Broncos have no reason to apologize

    2013-10-13 20:44

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By TIM DAHLBERG
AP Sports Columnist

Jacksonville was never going to be too much of a problem, except for those who love favorites and bet on the Denver Broncos against the biggest underdog in NFL history.

The bookies in Vegas were always a bit uncomfortable about the 27-point spread, though even they wouldn't have given odds that the Broncos would be reduced to pulling off a fake punt in the third quarter to get separation from a team that was supposed to have been blown off the field by halftime.

The problem with expectations is that they sometimes get too high to meet, even if you're Peyton Manning and seemingly can do no wrong. On Sunday, he did a lot wrong, fumbling twice and throwing a pick-6 that helped the winless Jaguars remain competitive even if they were never in any danger of actually winning.

The end result was a 35-19 victory that satisfied neither Denver's fans nor the bettors who have profited so far this year on the Broncos' bandwagon. It should also give pause to those so caught up in Manning's big start that they were beginning to look deep into the schedule to see what teams might be in the way of an undefeated season.

They don't need to look far. The Broncos travel to Indianapolis next weekend to face Manning's old team in a game that will tell us a lot more about Denver than anything that happened Sunday in Denver.

``People tell me it looks easy. There's nothing about it that's easy,'' Denver coach John Fox said. ``There is resistance out there. It's called the other team.''

The bookies still expect Denver to win, making the Broncos a 5 1/2-point favorite against the Colts. They should also be favored in all their remaining games, especially with Von Miller, the key to their defense, coming back off suspension against Indy.

But the odds are they're not going to run the table. There will be times when they struggle, even if their fans have such high expectations that some actually booed the Broncos as they left the field with a 14-12 halftime lead.

``We've got high expectations, too,'' receiver Wes Welker said about the boos. ``We understand it. We almost appreciate it. We've got to get into gear.''

Indeed, the Broncos are victims somewhat of a remarkable start in which they averaged 46 points a game and topped 50 points their last two games before Sunday. The fact that they had to apologize for beating a fellow NFL team by more than two touchdowns was almost laughable, though apologize they did.

``It was good enough today but it's not good enough to win games down the road,'' said Knowshon Moreno, who had three second-half touchdown runs.

It won't be good enough to win at Indianapolis, that's for sure. Manning's return to the city he once owned will be the story line, but the Colts are a surprisingly good team with wins over the Seahawks and 49ers this season.

But while the Broncos were far from impressive against the Jags, it's hard to fault a team for scoring 35 points and winning by 16. They may have set the bar too high, but coming off a tremendous shootout against Dallas last week and with Indianapolis up next, this was a game where they didn't have to be razor sharp.

Don't forget, too, that while the Broncos are favored to win the Super Bowl, this was the Super Bowl for Jacksonville.

Yes, they may have been a tad overconfident against the hapless Jags. But it's a good bet they won't make the same mistake when it really counts.

``Three turnovers was tough and then had some things that just didn't execute as well,'' Manning said. ``But some good things as well that we can learn from.''

Manning called the win a good one over a team that isn't as bad as everyone thought. He said all the talk about the huge point spread motivated Jacksonville, and that he and his teammates didn't execute well most of the game.

The Broncos have gone an entire year without losing a regular-season game, dating to Oct. 7, 2012. That the streak could end at any time is something Manning understands better than most.

``It's not that easy to win football games,'' he said. ``I learned early to never take winning for granted.''

Not in the NFL. Not even against Jacksonville.

A win is a win, and Manning and the Broncos have nothing to apologize about.

----

Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

DeMarco MurrayOct 25 08:28p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray worked out with TE Jason Witten before the team's official offseason program, and he credits the veteran tight end with his increased stamina and [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 25 06:42p

Washington Redskins DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry Riley (knee) and OT Trent Williams (knee) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week 8. [ More ]

Edwin BakerOct 25 06:22p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25. RB Edwin Baker was promoted to the 53-man roster in his place.

Tom CrabtreeOct 25 06:12p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25.

Jerel WorthyOct 25 06:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed DE Jerel Worthy to the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 25.

LaMarr WoodleyOct 25 05:02p

Oakland Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) were placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. CB D.J. Hayden (foot) was activated from the Physically Unable to [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 25 04:32p

Seattle Seahawks FS Derrick Coleman (foot) was placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. The team signed WR Phil Bates to the 53-man roster.

Damian WilliamsOct 25 04:32p

Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday, Oct. 25, after serving his suspension. WR Damian Williams was waived to make room for him.

Jack CrawfordOct 25 04:32p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (thigh), FS Jakar Hamilton (personal), OT Jermey Parnell (chest) and DE Anthony Spencer (knee, foot) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week [ More ]

Doug FreeOct 25 03:52p

Dallas Cowboys OG Doug Free (foot) could return next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Head coach Jason Garrett said he hopes Free will be able to practice net week.

Ryan TaylorOct 25 03:02p

The Baltimore Ravens waived TE Ryan Taylor and promoted TE Phillip Supernaw from their practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 25.

Chandler JonesOct 25 02:12p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) could be done for the season with a hip injury he suffered in Week 7. Jones will reportedly miss at least six weeks.

Chris CookOct 25 01:22p

The San Francisco 49ers placed CB Chris Cook (hamstring) and C Daniel Kilgore (leg) on Reserve/Injured and signed S Ray Ventrone to a one-year deal Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerell RobinsonOct 25 01:12p

The Cleveland Browns activated OL Nick McDonald and waived TE Gerell Robinson Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerald McCoyOct 25 01:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy has agreed to terms with the team on a seven-year contract extension worth close to $100 million.

Marcus EasleyOct 25 12:42p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) will work out before the team's Week 8 game to see if he will be able to play, according to head coach Doug [ More ]

Jason TrusnikOct 25 12:42p

Miami Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik could start at middle linebacker in Week 8 if LB Koa Misi (ankle) is not able to play.

Tavarres KingOct 25 12:22p

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed practice squad CB Peyton Thompson to their active roster Saturday, Oct. 25. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived WR Tavarres King.

Calais CampbellOct 25 12:22p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) likely will be a game-time decision for Week 8, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Campbell said his knee felt good during practice and hopes to play.

A.J. GreenOct 25 12:12p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is not expected to play in Week 8, because he has ligament damage under his toe. The team wants to be careful with [ More ]

Shonn GreeneOct 25 12:02p

Tennessee Titans RB Shonn Greene was arrested Friday, Oct. 24, and charged with a handicap parking violation, driving on a revoked/suspended license, reckless driving and resisting stop/halt/frisk.

Sean SpenceOct 25 11:32a

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Ryan Shazier (knee) should be able to play in Week 8, but it is not known if he will start at inside linebacker. Shazier and LB [ More ]

Aqib TalibOct 25 05:22a

Denver Broncos CB Tony Carter has drawn interest on the trade market prior to the Oct. 28 deadline. CBs Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby have taken away some playing [ More ]

Alan BranchOct 25 05:12a

Free-agent DL Alan Branch (Bills) was spotted in the New England Patriots' locker room but still has not signed his contract with the team. An additional report by Mike [ More ]

Jason KelceOct 25 12:42a

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) is listed as questionable for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals, but he is unlikely to play. He had sports hernia [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) is expected to miss at least a few weeks, so DEs Robert Ayers and Mathias Kiwanuka could be asked to play interior [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants LB Devon Kennard might see more playing time with LB Jon Beason (toe) injured and possibly sidelined a while.

Emmanuel AchoOct 25 12:32a

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) might be able to return for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals. If not, LBs Emmanuel Acho and Casey Matthews would [ More ]

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group