Cumberland Times-News

Football

October 27, 2013

Manning, Shanahan face off in meeting of friends

RGIII, Redskins visit Denver

(Continued)

“I’ve just always had a great respect for him,” Manning said. 
Here are five things to watch when the Broncos host the Redskins in Shanahan’s return to Denver: 
PEYTON’S ANKLE: Manning took a beating last week in Denver’s first loss of the season, 39-33 to the Colts. As a result, he missed his first regular-season practice as a Bronco, sitting out Wednesday’s session with a tweaked ankle. As is the case with all things Manning, there has been a lot of conjecture about when, exactly, he got hurt and how much it affected him. Best guess: When Robert Mathis sacked him from the blind side, stripping the ball and scoring a safety in the second quarter. 
The Broncos didn’t score on their next six drives — a dry spell of epic proportions for a team with a record 298 points through seven games — though Manning played well in the fourth quarter and nearly completed a comeback from 19 points down. 
MASTERMIND’S RECEPTION: The Broncos are planning a short video tribute for Shanahan when he runs onto the field with the Redskins, fitting for the man who won 146 games and brought two Super Bowl trophies to Denver. Shanahan said he expects a warm reception with no boos because, after all, “I don’t think I did anything wrong to get booed. I didn’t leave. They fired me.”
ANY DEFENSE?: The teams combined to give up 80 points last week. Washington overcame that in a 45-41 win over Chicago. Denver didn’t in its loss to Indy. The Broncos’ defense is ranked 30th, and 32nd in yards passing allowed. The Redskins’ defense is ranked 25th. Las Vegas has set the over-under for the game at 58 1/2 points — six higher than the next-highest game on the board. 
RG3’s FORM: Griffin finished with 298 yards passing and two touchdowns last week and led the Redskins on a winning 80-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes. Or, to put it more simply, he looked as good as he had since last year before his knee injury in the playoffs. Some say it’s a sign Griffin is all the way back from the injury, which kept him out during the preseason. Griffin just calls it a matter of the offense working better together. “The first couple weeks of the season, we were out of sync, as a whole,” he said. 

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