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

Dez BryantFeb 26 09:03a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is likely to receive the franchise tag because the team is hesitant to sign him long term due to a lack of trust off [ More ]

Peyton ManningFeb 25 09:23p

The Denver Broncos and representatives for QB Peyton Manning are working on revising the veteran's contract, according to multiple league sources. He is scheduled to draw a $19 million [ More ]

Reggie BushFeb 25 05:33p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush has been cut Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A.J. HawkFeb 25 04:43p

Green Bay Packers LB A.J. Hawk was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move will save them $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Jacoby JonesFeb 25 12:33p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was released Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Peyton HillisFeb 25 10:43a

New York Giants RB Peyton Hillis was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move saves $945,000 on the 2015 salary cap.

Dez BryantFeb 24 10:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant's NFL career could be in jeopardy if a video he allegedly appears is as bad as it sounds. A source said the 'incriminating video [ More ]

Jake LongFeb 24 09:23p

The St. Louis Rams are likely to release OT Jake Long this offseason for savings against the salary cap, according to beat writer Nick Wagoner.

Mathias KiwanukaFeb 24 03:33p

New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka has been released Tuesday, Feb. 24.

DeAngelo WilliamsFeb 24 12:23p

Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) said he was not upset when the Carolina Panthers told him last week that he'd be released. Williams told Charlotte's WBTV that DE Greg [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's father denied a report that Peterson no longer wants to play for Minnesota. Peterson's father said Peterson is still open to a return to [ More ]

Ted Ginn Jr.Feb 23 04:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Ted Ginn Jr. was released Monday, Feb. 23.

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's situation with the team worsened during the NFL scouting combine as his agent and members of Minnesota's front office had a heated verbal altercation, [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 21 10:22a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) looks good as he continues to recover from a torn right pateller tendon in his knee, according to general manager Jerry Reese. [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 20 02:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will enter the 2015 season as the team's starting quarterback, and general manager Bruce Allen thinks Griffin's ceiling in the NFL remains high. [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 20 08:42a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fits well in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'My first impression: I can feel the quickness,' Quinn said [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 19 07:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) may commence running shortly, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz is recovering from a torn right patellar tendon in his right knee.

Andre EllingtonFeb 19 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) remains the focal point of the offense, according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Ellington split the injured tendon in his left foot, [ More ]

C.J. AndersonFeb 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson finished the year as the team's No. 1 running back and made the Pro Bowl, but new head coach Gary Kubiak said Anderson must [ More ]

James CaseyFeb 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles TE James Casey has been released.

Reggie WayneFeb 19 01:52p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne has not informed the Colts on if he wants to play again next season, according to general manager Ryan Grigson.

Marshawn LynchFeb 19 01:02p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch continues to ponder if he'll return for another season, and general manager John Schneider said he wouldn't be surprised if Lynch chose to retire. [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerFeb 19 03:13a

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger has the backing of the coaching staff, but they have not committed to him as the starter for 2015. General manager Ruston Webster said [ More ]

Jay CutlerFeb 18 02:53p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler did not receive a vote of confidence from head coach John Fox. Fox said the team is still evaluating the position. Fox said he [ More ]

Charles JohnsonFeb 18 02:53p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson is 'far and away our best receiver,' according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Johnson emerged as QB Teddy Bridgewater's No. 1 target in [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 18 01:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will go into the season as the team's starting starting quarterback, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Michael CrabtreeFeb 18 01:33a

San Francisco 49ers impending free-agent WR Michael Crabtree was frustrated with his role at the end of last season, and he recently removed any mention of the 49ers from [ More ]

Steve JohnsonFeb 18 01:33a

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson might be a clear starting candidate for the 2015 season if impending free-agents WR Anquan Boldin and/or WR Michael Crabtree are not brought [ More ]

Trent RichardsonFeb 17 10:53p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson missed the team's walkthrough and flight for the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. He was suspended two games without pay for [ More ]

Brennan WilliamsFeb 17 05:33p

Free-agent OT Brennan Williams (Texans) signed an undisclosed deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Tuesday, Feb. 17.

S. RichardsonFeb 17 03:03p

Free-agent CB Shaquille Richardson (Steelers) recently signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. JenkinsFeb 17 02:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs waived WR A.J. Jenkins Tuesday, Feb. 17.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group