AFC West: D.J. Wiliams

Broncos-Panthers update

December, 14, 2008
12/14/08
5:53
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Halftime notes where Carolina leads Denver, 20-10:

Denver running back Selvin Young fumbled at the Denver 25-yard line with seven seconds to go in the first half. It set up a Carolina field goal at the end of the half. Denver coach Mike Shanahan will be questioned for trying to get yardage late in the half with Denver deep in its own territory.

The Broncos have committed two turnovers, resulting in six points for the Panthers.

The Broncos used a 4-4-3 defensive alignment some in the first half. They did it to get standout rookie linebacker Wesley Woodyard on the field. He was a star with D.J. Williams out for five games.

Denver is using a three-man running rotation of Young, Tatum Bell and P.J. Pope. Pope has been the most impressive of the three.

Carolina receiver Steve Smith has six catches for 126 yards.

Carolina running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart have a 26 yards rushing in the first half.

Broncos halftime thoughts

November, 6, 2008
11/06/08
9:53
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here are some Broncos halftime notes as they trail Cleveland, 20-10:

Brandon Marshall looks distracted. He has dropped passes and he has run the wrong routes. Jay Cutler doesn't look overly sharp, but Marshall has helped out that perception with some uncharacteristically sloppy play.

The Broncos are using a spread offense with Cutler in the shotgun because they don't have any running backs. They are down to fullback Peyton Hillis at running back. Starter Ryan Torain is out with a leg injury. Backup Selvin Young is not healthy yet because of a groin injury. Michael Pittman and Andre Hall were put on injured reserve this week. Denver is in bad shape at running back if Torain's injury is serious.

Speaking of bad injury situations, now all three of Denver's starting linebackers are injured. Middle linebacker Nate Webster is out with a knee injury. He is not expected back. Strongside linebacker Boss Bailey is out for the year with a knee injury and weakside linebacker D.J. Williams will be out for the next month with a knee injury. Left cornerback Champ Bailey is out for a month with a groin injury and safety Marlon McCree is out with an ankle injury. This defense is just not talented enough to withstand these injuries.

AFC West news and notes

November, 2, 2008
11/02/08
11:57
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

DENVER -- Random game night thoughts across the AFC West:

After being inactivated by the team for off-field issues, Johnson will likely be back with the team. But Charles has a chance to show he can be the tailback of the future. He got a good start Sunday in a 30-27 overtime loss to Tampa Bay as he broke the 100-game rushing barrier.

  • Denver rookie fullback Peyton Hillis had seven catches. Denver coach Mike Shanahan said the Arkansas product needs to work on his blocking but he has "Pro Bowl" ability as a receiver.
  • Shanahan said he gave the Dolphins a 2nd and 19 situation at the Denver 47 and instead of third and 14 from the 42 because he wanted to take the Dolphins out of field goal range late in the game. However, the Dolphins went on to score a touchdown on the drive to take a nine-point lead with three minutes to go.
  • Miami linebacker Joey Porter, who got into a jawing match with Denver receiver Brandon Marshall, called out Marshall saying he wasn't tough and he didn't adjust well to being double teamed.
  • Denver rookies Ryan Clady and Eddie Royal continued their stellar seasons. Clady handled Porter routinely and Royal had seven catches and a 95-yard kickoff return to setup a touchdown.
  • Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell took a step back as he completed 6 of 19 passes for 31 yards. Russell, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2007 draft, was completely outplayed by Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, the No. 3 overall pick of this year's draft. The Raiders had 77 yards of offense and gained three first downs.
  • The losing is wearing on the 2-6 Raiders. After the game, safety Gibril Wilson questioned whether some unnamed teammates are playing hard.
  • Don't be surprised if the Broncos consider signing Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. The defensive end was cut by Green Bay on Saturday. But with D.J. Williams hurt, Denver may have to sign a linebacker.

Here is, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Analysis, are some notes and charts from today's game in Denver:

MARSHALL PLAN GOES BAD

Marshall entered the week as the most thrown-to receiver in the NFL. (Andre Johnson of Houston has had two more attempts go his way, 78 to 76, but he's also played one more game.) The Dolphins shut him down completely. He didn't catch a pass until the final minute of the third quarter.

Brandon Marshall touches by quarter
QuarterThrown toCaughtYards
1st300
2nd000
3rd2*2*14
4th7113
Total12327
*TD called back by offensive interference

MILE-HIGH MISERY

In the first seven games, Denver was averaging 25.6 rushing attempts per game, 118.3 yards per game and 4.6 yards per rush. On Sunday, they had just 12 attempts for 14 yards, a 1.2 yards per carry average. The 14 yards rushing is second-fewest in Broncos history (13 at Oakland, 10/22/1972).

BRONCOS' TURNOVER PROBLEM

The Broncos have a turnover margin of minus-11 (eight forc
ed, 19 committed), which is worst in the NFL. Their 67 points allowed off turnovers (12 against the Dolphins) ranks 30th in the NFL.

PEYTON FINDING HIS PLACE

100 receiving yards by a RB or FB, 2008 season:
PlayerOpponentDateRec.Yards
Patrick Cobbs, Miamiat HoustonOct. 123138
Marion Barber, Dallasat ArizonaOct. 1211128
Leonard Weaver, Seattleat San Fran.Oct. 264116
Peyton Hills, Denvervs. MiamiNov. 27116
Reggie Bush, New Orleansvs. Tampa BaySept. 78112

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