2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to know after Broncos beat Titans 51-28

    2013-12-09 02:36

Broncos 51, Titans 28. With AP Photos.
By EDDIE PELLS
AP National Writer

DENVER (AP) - All season, Matt Prater has been an afterthought on a team that's rewriting the record books on the strength of Peyton Manning's passing arm.

Now, the Broncos kicker has his name next to one of the most hallowed NFL marks of all.

Prater booted a 64-yard field goal to highlight Denver's 51-28 victory over Tennessee on Sunday, brushing aside the mark of 63 yards that was first set by Tom Dempsey, the club-footed Saints kicker, all the way back in 1970.

''I knew I hit it pretty good, but I just wasn't sure with the cold and everything if it was going to make it,'' Prater said. ''But when I saw the refs' hands go up, I can't even explain how I felt after.''

Yes, it was cold - 18 degrees at kickoff. But on a day supposedly not well-suited for kicking or throwing, Manning joined Prater in merely laughing at the weather. Manning also sent a message in his own special way to the folks who've been questioning his ability to play when it's cold.

''I won't try to answer it because I didn't give it any validation in the first place,'' said the quarterback, who is 4-7 in games where the temperature is 32 or below at kickoff.

Manning completed a franchise-record 39 passes. His 59 attempts tied the Broncos mark. He finished with 397 yards and this marked his seventh four-touchdown game, most in NFL history in a season. By outscoring the Titans (5-8) 31-7 in the second half, the Broncos (11-2) wrapped up a playoff spot that was all but a foregone conclusion.

They still need wins to secure the AFC West and home-field advantage. But their last three opponents, starting Thursday with San Diego, have a combined record of 12-27. It will be an upset if the Broncos lose - or if Manning fails to break the single-season touchdowns record. He has 45 and needs six more.

Five things we learned from Denver's chilly victory over Tennessee:

IT'S NOT THE COLD: Manning is now 2-2 in cold games with the Broncos. The two victories came over Kansas City last year and Tennessee this year, teams with a combined .259 winning percentage. The two losses came to Baltimore, the eventual Super Bowl champions, in last season's playoffs and New England this year. The newest thought on Manning and the weather: It's more who he's going against than the conditions he's playing them in.

PLAYOFF CHATTER: The Titans are now playing to finish at .500. A playoff spot, however, is a very remote possibility. Though they got off to a wonderful start - a 57-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Justin Hunter on the game's fourth play set up an early touchdown - Tennessee couldn't sustain against a team with this much firepower. As a result, the Titans are closing in on their fifth straight season without a playoff appearance. ''I'm not worrying about that,'' coach Mike Munchak said. ''You're going to see us at our best the next three games.''

WES WORRIES: Wes Welker took a blow to the head in the second quarter and left with a concussion. It's his second concussion in four games. With a short turnaround, it would be a surprise if he's ready for the Chargers. It's quite a loss, of course. Though he played only a half, Manning targeted him 10 times and he caught five passes for 61 yards and a touchdown.

THE GOOD AND THE BAD: The Broncos defense was unimpressive early, allowing big plays and three touchdowns over the first 23 minutes. In the end, however, Tennessee converted only two of nine third downs and ran only 48 plays, compared to 91 for the Broncos offense. And the Titans gained only 254 yards, the lowest total the Broncos have allowed all season. Meanwhile, special teams gave up a 95-yard return. But a day in which the kicker sets an NFL record almost has to be viewed as a good one.

BRIGHT FUTURE: Hunter, the Titans rookie second-round draft pick, caught four passes for 115 yards and a score. He has now surpassed the 100-yard mark twice in the last three games. It's a bright sign for an offense in desperate need of some playmakers - a need made that much more glaring on a day when Chris Johnson gained only 46 yards and averaged 3.8 per carry.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow AP National Writer Eddie Pells on Twitter: http://twitter.com/epells

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

Robert GeathersFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals DE Robert Geathers was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Greg LittleFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Greg Little was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

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