2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos good at overcoming big early deficits

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-12-10 18:57

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - The Denver Broncos shrug off double-digit deficits like Peyton Manning dismisses his cold-weather critics: with a proverbial body slam.

Four times this season the Broncos (11-2) have dug themselves an early hole against a lesser opponent and four times they've climbed right out thanks mostly to a turbo-charged offense that's putting up points at a record pace.

They'd like to put the colossal comeback on hiatus, however.

''Certainly the more situations you can face early in the season to get you ready for games late in the season I think it's an advantage,'' Manning said Tuesday.

''I think we'd like not to, you know, be down by double digits, get off to a better start on both sides of the ball, special teams. It would be a good time to start that this week.''

The Broncos are never out of it with No. 18 on their side, something they first recognized last season when they overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit at San Diego, a comeback that propelled them on an 11-game winning streak.

They face the Chargers (6-7) again Thursday night in Denver intent on avoiding an early deficit like the kind they've had to overcome each of the past two weeks.

The fell behind 21-7 at Kansas City before winning 35-28 and then trailed Tennessee 21-10 Sunday before dismantling the Titans 51-28, becoming the first team since the 1970 merger to top 50 points in three games.

They also overcame two-TD deficits this season against Dallas and Washington.

''Teams are able to give us their best shot, but they're not able to keep up with us,'' cornerback Chris Harris said. ''I mean, they can't play 60 minutes with us when we play our best.''

The problem is the Broncos haven't been playing their best until they've found themselves trailing by two scores.

They're averaging an eye-popping 39.6 points a game, but they're allowing a disturbing 26.5, the worst among all division leaders.

No team has ever won a Super Bowl with that porous of a defense.

The only team to hoist Lombardi's Trophy after allowing 25 or more points a game in the regular season was the 2011 New York Giants, who surrendered 400 points that season before playing championship defense in the playoffs and holding each of their four opponents in the postseason well below that average: Atlanta (2), Green Bay (20), San Francisco (17) and New England (17).

The Broncos keep playing with fire and they know that one of these days they might not be able to make up for their early inadequacies no matter how much firepower they have on offense.

''I wish we could write it a little bit different,'' said linebacker Von Miller, who followed up a quiet first half Sunday by forcing two turnovers to help fuel the Broncos' 31-7 second-half flourish. ''I wish we caused six turnovers in the first quarter on defense and do all this amazing stuff and I think we are on our way doing that stuff.''

Part of the problem is injuries. The Broncos are without safety Rahim Moore, who hopes to return in the playoffs after surgery to fix a blood flow problem in his lower left leg, and lineman Derek Wolfe, who is working his way back from a seizure-like episode that has sidelined him for two weeks.

Also, tackle Kevin Vickerson is out for the season with a dislocated hip and middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard's play has been affected by a shoulder stinger he first sustained in Dallas in October and which has limited his play the past two weeks after aggravating the injury.

And converted cornerback Omar Bolden has gotten more snaps in place of strong safety Duke Ihenacho, who's been exposed in coverage over the past month.

The juggling on defense has had a ripple effect on special teams, which has allowed 108- and 95-yard kickoff returns the past two weeks.

''At the end of the day, it's not where you start, it's where you finish,'' coach John Fox said. ''And I think it kind of builds a little bit when guys don't blink and you can weather that problematic start.''

Notes: Wolfe, WR Wes Welker (concussion) and RB C.J. Anderson (illness) didn't practice Tuesday. ... Asked why he had a salty response on the radio for critics of his play in cold weather after throwing for nearly 400 yards and four TDs in icy Denver last weekend, Manning said, ''We've got a game Thursday, so that's old news.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

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 ]

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