Broncos address ‘soft’ label after loss to Bengals pushes skid to six games

So, are the Broncos soft? (Asking for a friend.)

Their 20-17 loss Sunday to the Bengals dropped Denver to 3-7 and extended its losing streak to six games.

General manager John Elway, speaking Friday at a ceremony honoring former Broncos coach Red Miller and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis, traced the current struggles to a fast start to 2017 that led to complacency: “To be dead honest with you, we got a little bit soft. We went 4-0 in the preseason, we started out 3-1, then we get a bye week, and if you exhale in this league, you’re in trouble.”

Nose tackle Domata Peko: “Losing five in a row, that’s soft. How many turnovers we’ve been giving away, that’s soft. Dropping punt returns, that’s softness. Letting people run on us last week and the week before — that’s what coach was telling us, too, and he showed us that last night.

“It wasn’t what he had hoped for or what we had hoped for, but young players experience things like this. We have to push through it,” McDermott added. “You know when you put a young QB out there, there will be some struggles. I’m going to take my time and evaluate who will be the starting quarterback next week. I’m going to make the decision that I think is right for the team.”

The Bills (5-5) play will travel to Kansas City (6-4) next week before taking on the AFC East-leading Patriots (8-3) on Dec. 3 as they battle to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Bills have two games remaining against both the Patriots and Dolphins (4-6) over the final six weeks with a home game against the Colts (3-7) nestled in on Dec. 10.

“Who’s starting at QB next week is neither here nor there today,” Taylor said following Sunday’s game. “We’re 5-5, and as a team, we need to fix this and get back to winning moving forward.

“I knew the situation going into the game. I’ll still support Nathan if he’s the guy.”broncos_094-500x500

Cichy had a headset on for the entire game against Maryland and often gave tips to the other Badger linebackers.

Hear me out on this one. Certainly, there are stars to pay up for at every position (including fellow-SF Kevin Durant) but my “must haves” tonight are James Harden and DeMarcus Cousins. Considering you might also want the likes of Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis or Ben Simmons, where can you reliably save? Who is the cheapest player at a position you don’t mind saving on that you can confidently build around?

Three-time All-Star Kyle Lowry got off to a slow start but picked it up big time in the second half before finishing with a triple-double — 11 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Ball was seen at times running back and forth as Lowry ran off screens and did his usual thing, hitting 3s or driving and kicking. This is the first time in Ball’s career that an opposing starting point guard went for a triple-double.

“She was taking steps toward making sure the team runs smoothly as a point guard and that she communicates,” he said. “She has a little more sense of what it means to be a great leader and that she executes at a high level.”

“He’s gonna find a way to help us win games on Saturdays,” Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard says. “He’s all in, and it’s really cool to see that approach. He cares about the program.”

I’m hopeful the Islanders can get some clarity between then and July 1, and relay that to Tavares. One thing working in the Islanders’ favor: They have the money, and they are able to offer Tavares a max eight-year deal, when he can only get seven years elsewhere. GM Garth Snow has said he thinks the world of Tavares; the center has hinted it is his preference to stay. Call me a sap or an optimist, but I like to think this is one Islanders saga that gets a happy ending.flames_116

Expect EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel to be taking snaps for the Raiders and Titans, respectively.

Aaron Jones (7:30 a.m.): With Ty Montgomery doubtful to play because of his rib injury, expect Jones — who was reported to have been taking first-team reps this week in practice — to get a chance to handle a lot of Green Bay’s rushing offense today.

Adam Schefter’s overnight update (7:15 a.m.): Our ESPN NFL Insider reports that wide receivers John Brown, Martavis Bryant, Tyrell Williams and Marqise Lee, despite being listed as questionable, are all expected to play today. As for quarterbacks, Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr are both likely to be sidelined. Expect EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel to be taking snaps for the Raiders and Titans, respectively.

Jones, one of seven NFL owners who donated to Trump’s inaugural committee, spoke with the president after the Cowboys played the Cardinals. According to Jones, Trump said the entire issue could have been avoided if the NFL enforced a rule stating that players must stand for the national anthem. However, that requirement is not included in the NFL’s game operations manual.

According to the manual, “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking.”

NFL players who have demonstrated during the national anthem over the past year have said that they are protesting police brutality and racism — not the flag or the anthem itself.

“If it comes between the impression or the perception that we’re not standing together, supporting each other or the perception that we’re disrespecting the flag, the perception that we’re not together will be secondary to not respecting the flag,” Jones said. “Respecting the flag is first.”x (9)

Injuries are threatening to turn what was once Tom Brady’s deepest offense into a kiddie pool of wideouts and running backs.

New England was already without Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola to start the day. During the game, they lost two different players who had scored touchdowns — Gronkowski (groin) and Rex Burkhead (ribs).

Dorsett never lived up to his first-round-pick status in Indianapolis, but he stepped up for the Patriots when an injury-riddled roster pressed him to the top of the team’s receiving rotation. He had 75 total yards — the second-largest total of his three-year pro career — to carry his share of the team’s offensive weight.

He limped into the injury tent and missed the final eight minutes of the game with a minor left knee issue, because this injury thing is frankly getting out of hand.

It wasn’t a perfect game by Watson — though a 13-9 victory on the road in a short week for your first NFL start is pretty damn good. After the game, he told reporters, “I just want to be a complete professional quarterback.” He added, “That’s going to take time.”

Now he’ll have a few extra days to prepare for their next contest: a Sept. 24 matchup against the New England Patriots.

Things got real weird once the preseason started. Non-committal responses about Luck’s rehab and readiness were interspersed with reports that he was throwing again. In the middle of August, owner Jim Irsay weighed in with the strangest comments yet.

Irsay talked optimistically about Luck’s recovery, talking about how well he was progressing and that he’d be ready to start the season even if he wasn’t ready to play in the season opener against the Rams. Wait? What?

Then, Irsay made a cloudy allusion that Luck’s problems may all be in his head.
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The Rockets forward was trying to use his social media following to directly link trapped people in need of aid with first responders.

Many in Houston reported difficulty getting calls through jammed 911 lines, so Capela asked for people trapped in the area to tweet at him, which he would then amplify.

Tweet me and I’ll share as many emergency situations as I can. Stay safe Houston.

Watt was all over the place in this game, and kept James Harrison on the sideline in the process. It may have just been one game, but if I were to bet on a player to be more than ready for the next step in his NFL progression, it would be Watt.

In looking through the San Francisco 49ers first week of the season, there are a few potential surprises to consider. The decision to sit Aaron Lynch as a coaches’ decision is a little surprising, and Jaquiski Tartt’s tackling problems on Sunday were a surprise. However, the real surprise might be the lack of more significant rushing opportunities for Carlos Hyde.

The Broncos’ defensive effort is exactly the type they’re going to need if they want to get back to their Super Bowl contending ways. So far this season, they’re looking good.

Even if your team is a rival of the Raiders, you have to enjoy what you’re seeing out of Oakland and Beast Mode. One of the more fun players in the league is back in his hometown, and he’s doing what he wants in everything around him.

When the Raiders were up 35-13, Lynch danced like nobody was watching, as the Oakland crowd cheered him on while he danced to Keek da Sneak’s Super Hyphy and Oakland, featuring Vell and DJ Mustard.
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