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

Jace AmaroNov 25 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (concussion) is in concussion protocol, according to head coach Rex Ryan, after suffering the concussion in Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

R. Griffin IIINov 25 04:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was named the starter for Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts Monday, Nov. 24, by head coach Jay Gruden, but he left open [ More ]

Michael BushNov 25 04:13p

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent RB Michael Bush (Bears) and cut RB Kerwynn Williams Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Brandon McManusNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos waived PK Brandon McManus Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Connor BarthNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos signed free-agent PK Connor Barth (Buccaneers) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Nov. 25, after waiving PK Brandon McManus, according to a source.

Reggie BushNov 25 03:13p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) said he'll be ready to play Thursday, Nov. 27, after missing Week 12 with an ankle injury.

Latavius MurrayNov 25 02:43p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) will undergo baseline testing for his concussion Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to a league source. He is feeling good, but he must go [ More ]

Brian HoyerNov 25 01:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer was never in danger of being benched in favor of QB Johnny Manziel in the team's Week 12 win over the Atlanta Falcons, according [ More ]

Blake BortlesNov 25 01:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles went 15-for-27 for just 146 yards and an interception in the team's Week 12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and he hasn't tossed a [ More ]

Matthew StaffordNov 25 01:23p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford had the worst completion percentage in his career in Week 12 against the New England Patriots at 39.1 percent), and the Lions haven't rushed [ More ]

Brodrick BunkleyNov 25 12:03p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (quadriceps) is believed to have torn his quadriceps in the team's Week 12 game Monday, Nov. 24, but he'll undergo an MRI exam [ More ]

Jordan CameronNov 25 11:53a

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) is expected to play in Week 13.

Michael VickNov 25 09:53a

New York Jets QB Michael Vick (calf) is expected to start in Week 13 if head coach Rex Ryan is still calling the shots and Vick's calf is healthy.

Andre SmithNov 25 09:23a

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (triceps) will miss the rest of the year with a torn triceps that will require surgery.

Justin ForsettNov 25 12:13a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett ran for 182 yards and two scores in a 34-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints Monday, Nov. 24.

Latavius MurrayNov 24 08:13p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) remains a question mark heading into Week 13 against the St. Louis Rams. Head coach Tony Sparano said Murray hasn't passed the league's [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 24 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is unsure when he will return from his knee injury, according to head coach Bruce Arians. We still don't know anything about Larry, [ More ]

Andre EllingtonNov 24 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington and WR Michael Floyd both saw the fewest offensive snaps of the season in the Week 12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Ellington played [ More ]

Jorvorskie LaneNov 24 06:43p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed FB Jorvorskie Lane (ankle) on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Nov. 24.

Chris JohnsonNov 24 05:53p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson will receive work on third downs, because RB Bilal Powell (illness) has been declared inactive for Week 12.

Fred JacksonNov 24 05:43p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin) is active for the team's Week 12 game.

Bilal PowellNov 24 05:43p

The New York Jets have declared RB Bilal Powell, OL Dakota Dozier, DE IK Enemkpali, CB Josh Thomas, QB Matt Simms, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 12.

Cyrus KouandjioNov 24 05:33p

The Buffalo Bills have declared DE Bryan Johnson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, FB Frank Summers, DL Jarius Wynn, TE MarQueis Gray, WR Marquise Goodwin, LB Randell Johnson inactive for Week 12.

Eric BerryNov 24 05:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs placed SS Eric Berry (illness) on the Non-Football Illness list Monday, Nov. 24, according to a source. Berry will miss the rest of the season.

Eric BerryNov 24 05:13p

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) underwent an MRI on his chest, which revealed a mass in his chest. The team believes he has lymphoma, but there is no definite diagnosis.

R. Griffin IIINov 24 03:33p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will start Sunday, Nov. 30, against the Indianapolis Colts, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Jay FeelyNov 24 03:33p

Free-agent PK Jay Feely (Cardinals) will visit the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Nov. 25, for a kicking audition, according to sources.

Vernon DavisNov 24 01:53p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had three catches for just 21 yards in the team's Week 12 win over the Washington Redskins, and that came after he had [ More ]

Ryan MallettNov 24 01:13p

Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett (pectoral) is expected to miss the rest of the season because of the pectoral injury he suffered in Week 12.

Tony RomoNov 24 12:43p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) went 18-for-26 for 275 yards and four touchdowns in Week 12 against the New York Giants, and he didn't show any signs of [ More ]

Shane VereenNov 24 12:33p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen had a team-high 62 snaps in the team's Week 12 win over the Detroit Lions, but RB LeGarrette Blount had 17 snaps and [ More ]

C.J. AndersonNov 24 12:23p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson rushed 27 times for 167 yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 12 win over the Miami Dolphins, and it was the most [ 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