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

A.J. McCarronMay 25 10:37p

Cincinnati Bengals QB AJ McCarron (shoulder) is healthy and hoping to push QB Andy Dalton in 2015. 'We wanted him in our building so bad and it happened and [ More ]

Ray McDonaldMay 25 04:42p

Updating previous reports, Chicago Bears DE Ray McDonald has been released Monday, May 25, just hours after being arrested for alleged domestic violence and child endangerment.

Adrian PetersonMay 25 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson still wants to be traded, according to a source. Peterson intends to skip all organized team activities, which would cause him to lose $250,000 in workout bonuses.

Adrian PetersonMay 24 09:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has informed head coach Mike Zimmer that he will not attend the optional practices that begin Tuesday, May 26, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Tom BradyMay 22 04:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will have the appeal of his four-game suspension heard by commissioner Roger Goodell after the NFL rejected a motion by the NFL Players [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 22 03:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension has not been scheduled at this time.

Ray RiceMay 22 11:42a

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) could be a consideration for the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, speculates The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota. He cites Cowboys owner and general [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 22 09:52a

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains in pursuit of being traded or receiving a new contract and remains away from the organization during voluntary workouts. [ More ]

William BeattyMay 21 12:02p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty (chest) underwent successful surgery Thursday, May 21, to repair a torn pectoral muscle. Beatty will need approximately five to six months of recovery time.

Derek CarrMay 20 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) will not need surgery on his injured finger and may be able to throw again before the end of offseason workouts, according to his agent.

Joseph RandleMay 20 09:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle is the most likely option to lead the team's running back by committee approach in 2015. Randle has the most experience in the system, [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:53p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty's (pectoral) torn pectoral will require surgery and Beatty's recovery time is expected to be around five months. Beatty suffered the [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) tore his pectoral while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source, and will undergo surgery. One [ More ]

Josh HillMay 20 03:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is slated as the starting tight end this season with TE Jimmy Graham now in Seattle. TE Benjamin Watson could give Hill a run for his money, however.

William BeattyMay 20 03:13p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) suffered a potentially serious shoulder injury while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source. Surgery is a possibility.

Geno SmithMay 20 03:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith is the starting quarterback and will not see competition in training camp, according to offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Tom BradyMay 20 03:03p

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal will not be affected by the team's decision to accept their sanctions. Commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants to [ More ]

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

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