CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has gone on the offensive, openly challenging quarterback Andy Dalton and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga to start leading their 3-4 team.
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Bengals coach Lewis challenges Dalton, Maualuga (The Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) — It might be less of a collision and more of a mere bump in the night when the Chargers and Chiefs meet on Thursday night.
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Sliding AFC West teams collide (The Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a rare show of unity, President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney took turns praising Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III a couple of weeks ago for a video that aired on the Fox network’s NFL pregame show. They uttered polished, rote lines such as Romney’s ”RG3 hasn’t been in Washington very long, but he’s already created change” and Obama’s ”You’re welcome at my house for a pickup game anytime.”
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NFL players talk politics, look ahead to election (The Associated Press)
The Denver Broncos have surged into the AFC West lead as quickly as the Cincinnati Bengals have watched their promising start disappear.
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Broncos-Bengals Preview (The Associated Press)
Former NFL player Nate Jackson waxes poetic on why the Arizona receiver’s value goes far beyond touchdowns and receptions
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Larry Fitzgerald – The reality is greater than the fantasy (National Football Post)
The Bengals can only hope that Peyton Manning changing teams can result in a change of fortune for them. When Manning was with the Colts, he posted a…
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Bengals looking to end Peyton’s dominance
In the interest of sparking more activity, this year’s NFL trade deadline was first moved back two weeks to the first Tuesday after Week 8 while teams sort out who’s in, and who’s out, in the marathon to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
Team-by-team look at the NFL trade deadline (The SportsXchange)
Wesley Woodyard led the Denver Broncos’ defensive attack as it shut down Drew Brees on Sunday night and the linebacker has been rewarded for it. The …
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NFL honors Wesley Woodyard
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – Wesley Woodyard has no intention of slipping back into a substitute role when D.J. Williams returns from his nine-game, NFL-mandated banishment next month. The Broncos have no plans of letting him off the field, either. He’s the first Denver defender to record 50 tackles with multiple sacks (three) and interceptions (two) before the midway point of the season. On Wednesday morning he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. The fifth-year linebacker was a one-man wrecking crew in the Broncos’ 34-14 thrashing of Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints last weekend, getting 13 tackles, two pass breakups, a sack and strip, and a game-turning interception. “I noticed I was around the ball a lot,” Woodyard said. The Saints managed just one first down, rushed for only 51 yards and didn’t reach the red zone until just before the two-minute warning Sunday night. Woodyard was the biggest reason for that. Yet he’s not one to bask in the afterglow of his monster prime-time performance. “I’ve still got a lot to do to get better,” Woodyard said. “It’s definitely one of the games I’ll look back on and say I made a lot of plays. But I only focus on those few plays that I gave up.” Asked what he could have possibly done any better against New Orleans, Woodyard was quick with his answer: “Just better dropping in coverage. I wish I could take that Darren Sproles touchdown back. You know, I feel like I let the team down on that. So, I’ve got to be a lot better with my eyes and play better to take away that play.” Woodyard leads the Broncos with 58 tackles, 14 more than runner-up Mike Adams , a big jump for a guy who spent his first four seasons playing mostly on special teams. Woodyard got his chance when Williams, the team’s leading tackler in four of the last five seasons, was suspended for the first six games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The NFL tacked on a three-game suspension over his alcohol-related driving conviction in August, pushing Williams;’ return back to Nov. 18, when the Broncos play San Diego. “It’s always good to have a guy that can roll in,” said Woodyard. “D.J., with his experience, that allows us to be able to play a lot of different things and do a lot of different things with him.” It’s almost certain that one of those roles won’t be his old starting job at weak side linebacker, the position Woodyard won with an outstanding training camp and now has a stranglehold hold on. With Joe Mays being placed on injured reserve Tuesday after breaking his left ankle blocking on a punt return against the Saints, Williams might end up sharing snaps at middle linebacker with 15-year veteran Keith Brooking when he returns to practice Nov. 12. The Broncos haven’t revealed their plans for Williams. What they do know is that Woodyard is too valuable to take off the field anymore. “He was primarily a special teams guy when we got here,” second-year coach John Fox said. “But he’s got good straight-line speed. He does have good instincts.” Woodyard wasn’t drafted out of Kentucky, the knock on him being his size — 6 feet, 229 pounds — which many scouts felt was too small to be an every-down player in the pros. He’s risen up to that challenge this year. “There have been guys who have played at the highest level of this league who haven’t been big guys,” said defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, himself a former linebacker. “He’s done a good job. He’s played well. He’s practicing with intensity, which we like. And he’s done a good job playing for us in a role that’s kind of gotten bigger maybe than he thought it might be entering the year and we thought it might be entering the year.” Woodyard is like the gambler who won’t count his stack of chips until the dealing’s done, downplaying all the big plays he’s been making. “I focus on the little things that I did wrong,” Woodyard said. “I feel like I left some plays out there. I’ve got to continue to get better.” Notes : The Broncos promoted S Duke Ihenacho to take Mays’ roster spot, and they signed CB Mario Butler to replace Ihenacho on their practice squad. Ihenacho, a rookie from San Jose State, spent two weeks on Denver’s active roster earlier this season. By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer (TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Woodyard Named AFC Defensive Player Of The Week
By Rich Kurtzman What looked like a two-horse race for the AFC West two weeks ago has become a three-team battle for the division. Through seven weeks of play, the standings look like this: Denver (4-3) San Diego (3-4) Oakland (3-4) Kansas City (1-6) The Broncos faced the NFL’s most difficult schedule in their first six games, and when Denver dismantled New Orleans on Sunday Night Football, they proved again they’re the best in the AFC West. Peyton Manning and his merry men went wild on the Saints’ sorry defense, putting up 17 points in each half and eventually winning 34-14. The offense was overwhelming as Manning was a maestro and they racked up 530 yards of total O on the day. But this game showcased Denver’s defense as well; they held the spectacular Saints’ offense to 14 points while forcing eight punts and intercepting Drew Brees once. It was an all-around great game for the Broncos and it was an important win, carrying their momentum from the 24-point comeback against the Chargers through the bye week to gain their second straight victory. Speaking of San Diego, the Chargers are choking once again. Norv Turner’s team found themselves in rainy Cleveland Sunday afternoon and they couldn’t find footing on either side of the ball. San Diego, usually a strong scoring offense, was limited to a mere six points on the day—two field goals—as they lost to the 2-6 Browns. That loss not only hurts because it was to a terrible team, but because it was the Chargers’ third straight losing effort. Coupled with Denver’s win, San Diego is now two games back in the West. Right on the Chargers’ heels are the Raiders, who have miraculously ran off two straight wins, albeit against bad teams. Last week, they edged out Jacksonville 26-23 and this Sunday they beat the Chiefs in Kansas City 26-16 when Darren McFadden went for 114 yards, while Carson Palmer was quite efficient. Those back-to-back wins by Oakland put them at 3-4 and just behind San Diego due to the Chargers beating the Raiders in Week One. At the back end of the division are the Chiefs, who may just be the worst team in the entire NFL. Kansas City lost to Oakland last Sunday, their fourth straight loss, and they’ve only won one game this season. And here’s the stat that says they’re the worst in football; according to Cecil Lammey, the Chiefs are the first team in 83 years to go through their first seven games and never lead at any point in regulation. Yes, even though they won a game, it was an overtime field goal to win sudden death-style. So, while the Broncos hold a two-game lead for now, there’s still far too much football to be played to anoint them AFC West champions. Still, it’s evident they are the best out west and if they don’t win the division, it will be a debacle in Denver. For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Broncos news, see CBS Sports Denver . Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Find more of Rich’s Denver Broncos pieces on Examiner.com .
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AFC West Update: Broncos Lead, But Chargers, Raiders Close Behind