NFL Team Report - Denver Broncos - INSIDE SLANT
As they head into Sunday's game at Kansas City against the AFC West rival Chiefs, the Denver Broncos know they have not solved their problems just because of a 39-36 win over Miami.
Aqib Talib and linebacker Brandon Marshall. Neither practiced Wednesday.
And hello Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and running back Jamaal Charles.
The win was not going to remedy the Broncos' road woes this year. Denver is 2-3 away from Sports Authority Field at Mile High this year, and its two wins are over the Raiders and Jets, teams that are a combined 3-19.
"Away games, we always start flat," said wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. "We've got to come out with the energy and start fast early. If we can do that, I think we'll be fine."
But pin-pointing the reason for the poor play on the road is another story. The problems were different at each venue, but the results were the same: missed assignments, missed blocks and inconsistent play. Perhaps most damning of all is that the Broncos' last two road losses, at New England and St. Louis, were by a combined 37 points.
"I can't really say. It's hard to say," Thomas said when asked why the Broncos have lousy road starts. "Maybe we can figure something out."
-- As the Broncos' primary blocking tight end, Virgil Green is rarely a target of quarterback Peyton Manning. In fact, he's never caught a touchdown pass from Manning in the last three seasons.
"I'm going to get him that first touchdown pass; I'm going to do it' we're going to do it," said Manning. "It's just a matter of time. So we're on a mission there."
For now, the Broncos and Green will content themselves with having him back from the calf injury that cost him three games and prevented the running game from finding much traction.
It was an aggravation of an injury first suffered in the preseason, which led the Broncos to exercise extreme caution.
"It's very frustrating. A guy like me, I like to work. I don't like to be sitting out. I don't like to just watch other guys," Green said. "Just sitting out, it hit me pretty hard. But at the same time, you realize how much you love this game and how much you appreciate all the opportunities. I was excited to get back."
Manning and offensive coordinator Adam Gase were equally keen to get Green back in the lineup. The Broncos are 6-0 when he plays from start to finish, and 2-3 when he was injured during the game or a game-day inactive.
"(Green) allows us to do more things from a personnel standpoint and formations," said Manning. "He is a physical player and I thought his presence was felt on Sunday having him back out there."
SERIES HISTORY: 109th regular-season meeting. Chiefs lead series, 56-52. Broncos have won five straight. Most historic meeting between the two teams was on Jan. 4, 1998, when the Broncos upset the top-seeded Chiefs 14-10 in the divisional playoffs en route to their first world championship.
NFL Team Report - Denver Broncos - NOTES, QUOTES
--Denver Broncos coach John Fox wouldn't call it a tryout. But effectively, that's what the Tuesday kick-off between Connor Barth and Jay Feely was.