News and Notes on the Denver Broncos


Dec 22, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the day after a Denver Broncos loss and it feels like the season ended on Monday night. I was as critical as anyone in my reaction to the loss and I stand by those thoughts, but now it’s time to take a step back from the ledge and focus on the task at hand.

The truth is that nothing much has changed for the Broncos in terms of their potential playoff seeding. If they beat the Oakland Raiders on Sunday as expected, the Broncos will clinch the number two seed and a bye. Even if the Broncos had won on Monday night, they probably would have ended up in the same spot.

That doesn’t excuse the effort on Monday night and it doesn’t mean there are not reasons to be concerned. However, in all honesty, the Broncos are in roughly the same spot today that they would have been in had they won the game.

Here are some news and notes as the Broncos prepare for their regular season finale versus the Raiders.

CJ Anderson apologizes: Anderson was very short with his answers following the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He basically answered every question by saying, “We have to play better.” Anderson tweeted out an apology stating that he was frustrated and it won’t happen again. He also personally called one member of the media and apologized as well. It was a mistake but Anderson showed a lot of class in taking responsibilities for his actions.

TJ Ward avoids serious injury: The safety injured his neck during the second half of Monday night’s game and it didn’t look good at the time. However all tests were negative and Ward is listed as day-to-day with a strained neck. With all of the injuries to the linebackers, losing Ward for any length of time would have been devastating. It’s unknown if he will be able to play on Sunday, but he should be ready to go for the playoffs.

The injuries at linebacker are catching up: Injuries are never an excuse but they do have an impact. The Broncos are without their top three linebackers in Nate Irving, Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall. When you take that much talent out of a defense, there are going to be issues. The Broncos had a horrible night versus the run and it can be directly tied to those injuries. The hope is that Marshall will return for the playoffs.

The offensive line has to be a priority in the offseason: The Broncos must address the offensive line in either free agency, the draft or both. It’s clear that a lot of the problems on offense are directly tied to the poor play of the offensive line. There’s nothing they can do about it now and it might cost them a shot at the big prize, but it must be priority number one in the offseason.

Peyton Manning struggled on Monday but what’s your alternative: I awoke this morning to more than a few people calling for Brock Osweiler to start in place of Manning. I understand that these are the fringe fans and most logical fans think that’s insane, but that sentiment is out there. There’s no arguing that he is in a slump but if the Broncos are going to do anything in the playoffs, it will be on the arm of Manning.

I’m not paying Julius Thomas: As great as he was last season and in the first part of this season, the Broncos cannot afford to give him the type of contract he’s going to demand. There are the lingering ankle issues to consider and I’m just not sure he has given everything he has in an effort to get back on the field. They have bigger priorities in Demaryius Thomas and Terrance Knighton.

I am paying Orlando Franklin: Can’t believe I’m saying that but he has been the Broncos best offensive lineman for weeks now. He consistently grades out extremely high and has found a comfort zone as a guard. The Broncos should not overpay to keep him, but they should make a sincere effort to keep him.

The Broncos are still contenders: It doesn’t feel like it today and the naysayers are all over the place, but they have the talent to go far in the playoffs. It doesn’t mean they will but once the playoffs start, anything can happen. The Baltimore Ravens literally limped into the playoffs two seasons ago and we all know what happened, they got hot and won it all.

There are fans of many other teams who would love to have the problems of a Broncos fan this week instead of counting the days till the NFL Draft. Perspective is a good thing to have.