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

Michael SamSep 1 08:02p

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League owns the rights to free-agent DE Michael Sam (Rams). The team has reached out to him, but there is no word [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

Clay HarborSep 1 02:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) said it's not looking good for him to play Sunday, Sept. 7.

Odell Beckham Jr.Sep 1 12:32p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is still not ready to play and may be around three weeks away from returning, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Wes WelkerSep 1 12:23p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) is on the practice field Monday, Sept. 1, but has not been cleared for contact or to play at this point.

Rob GronkowskiSep 1 12:23p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) said he will be able to play Week 1.

Brandon DixonSep 1 12:02p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent CB Brandon Dixon (Jets), SS Kimario McFadden (Falcons) and LB Carlos Fields (Raiders) to the practice squad.

Josh ScobeeSep 1 11:43a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (shoulder), PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) and OT Zane Beadles (undisclosed) are practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Dontay MochSep 1 11:43a

The Tennessee Titans re-signed CB Ri'Shard Anderson and signed TE Orson Charles (Bengals) and DE Dontay Moch (Bengals) to the practice squad.

Larry DonnellSep 1 11:43a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is the starting tight end on the team's unofficial depth chart. TE Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson are second- and third-string, respectively.

Clay HarborSep 1 11:32a

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf), RB Storm Johnson (ankle) and OT Austin Pasztor (hand) are not practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Cullen JenkinsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants DT Johnathan Hankins is the starting defensive tackle alongside DT Cullen Jenkins. DT Mike Patterson is the top backup.

Quintin DempsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants SS Quintin Demps is the lead kick returner, while WR Preston Parker is the lead punt returner.

Geoff SchwartzSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants OG Weston Richburg is the starting left guard in place of OG Geoff Schwartz (toe).

Ben TateSep 1 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate is expected to stay on the field on third downs, according to head coach Mike Pettine. This is good news for his PPR [ More ]

Charles BrownSep 1 10:43a

New York Giants OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Ahmad DixonSep 1 10:22a

The Dallas Cowboys released SS Ahmad Dixon.

Lonnie PryorSep 1 09:52a

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent FB Lonnie Pryor (Buccaneers) and OG D.J. Morrell (Rams) to the practice squad.

Tony HillsSep 1 09:32a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent LB David Hinds (Titans), TE Jacob Maxwell (Lions), CB Lowell Rose (Chargers) and WR Tommy Streeter (Buccaneers) to the practice squad. C Sam Brenner, [ More ]

Emil IgwenaguSep 1 03:53a

In addition to the previously announced signings of TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn, the Detroit Lions inked OG Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR [ More ]

Chase FordSep 1 03:42a

Nine players were signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players joining the squad include RB Joe Banyard, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, TE [ More ]

D.J. SmithSep 1 03:33a

The Carolina Panthers brought 10 players onto their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players signed were CB Carrington Byndom, LB Adarius Glanton, WR Tavarres King, SS Robert Lester, [ More ]

Trevin WadeSep 1 03:22a

The New Orleans Saints signed six players to their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Signees include WR Brandon Coleman, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Seantavius Jones, OT Tavon Rooks, [ More ]

Champ BaileySep 1 02:52a

Although the New York Jets are in need of cornerbacks, they are unlikely to pursue free-agent CB Champ Bailey, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, [ More ]

Dee MillinerSep 1 01:02a

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls and FS Antonio Allen could start at cornerback Week 1 because of the injury to CB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Jeromey ClarySep 1 12:23a

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) underwent hip surgery around a week ago, and his status for the 2014 season is uncertain, according to sources. Clary has [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 12:12a

Free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) is receiving significant interest from the Tennessee Titans and could sign with them as early as Monday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Kenjon BarnerSep 1 12:02a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownSep 1 12:02a

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

DeMarcus Van DykeAug 31 11:52p

Kansas City Chiefs CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jake StoneburnerAug 31 11:32p

Green Bay Packers TE Jake Stoneburner (undisclosed) and OT Aaron Adams (knee) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after they were waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

M.D. JenningsAug 31 11:22p

Chicago Bears FS M.D. Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

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