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

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy opened practice on the sidelines Wednesday, Dec. 17, while RB Chris Polk opened with first-team reps. After practice McCoy did not seem too concerned. [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanDec 18 01:03a

The Denver Broncos are hopeful RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) will be able to return for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, or for the [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Philip RiversDec 17 06:13p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (chest, back) took part in a walkthrough Wednesday, Dec. 17, but didn't take part in practice, but he fully expects to play in [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 05:43p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (knee, back) received good news from his MRI results, but he said it would take a miracle for him to play in Week [ More ]

Robbie GouldDec 17 04:53p

Chicago Bears PK Robbie Gould (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Cam NewtonDec 17 04:13p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Frank GoreDec 17 03:13p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) visited with a doctor at the team's facility Tuesday, Dec. 16, as part of the NFL's concussion protocol. Gore did not participate [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 17 02:33p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is not participating in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

C.J. SpillerDec 17 02:13p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Blake BortlesDec 17 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and is listed as questionable for Week 16.

Julio JonesDec 17 01:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Dec. 17.

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