AFC West: Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
DENVER -- Random game night thoughts across the AFC West:
- Pressure will be on rookie Jamaal Charles in Kansas City. Kolby Smith is now out for the season with a knee injury. Larry Johnson is out because of an NFL suspension for a week.
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.
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
Posted by ESPN .com's Bill Williamson
Neither team has gotten a consistent pass rush all season. Both defenses need a spark. I'm not going to guarantee that Gbaja-Biamila can be a productive player anymore or that he is the guy to provide the spark for these two struggling playoff hopefuls.
But Denver and San Diego need to look at this guy. They need to study film of him. They need to figure out if there is any way he can help them -- he couldn't make either team worse. He is worth a look.