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Denver Broncos at the Bye - A Primer

The Denver Broncos (4-3) join five other teams in the NFL with a Week 8 bye and enter their annual off week with a winning record for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. The club returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 2, when it hosts Miami (2-4) at INVESCO Field at Mile High at 2:05 p.m. MST.

The Broncos enter their bye week following a 41-7 defeat at New England on Monday Night Football. Five Denver turnovers led to 20 points by the Patriots, who scored touchdowns on 4-of-5 trips inside the red zone and rushed for 257 yards in their victory. Despite the loss, the Broncos still lead the AFC West with San Diego (3-4) trailing by one game. The Chargers are spending this week in London preparing to play New Orleans at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Since the bye was introduced by the NFL in 1990, the Broncos have been one of the league's top teams in the contest following the week off. Denver's 15-4 (.789) record after the bye week ties for the best in the NFL with Minnesota and Philadelphia, and that mark includes an 11-2 record (.846) at home after the bye.

Mike Shanahan has guided the Broncos to a 10-3 (.769) record following the bye week since he was named head coach in 1995, and Denver has won six of its last seven such games dating back to 2000. The Broncos have been victorious in their last five games after the bye week for the third-longest active streak in the league.

The Broncos look to continue their post-bye week success against Miami, which hosts Buffalo on Sunday before traveling to Denver next week. Led by first-year Head Coach Tony Sparano, the Dolphins are coming off a 27-13 home loss to Baltimore last week.

Through its first seven games, Denver has totaled the most first downs (155) in the NFL and ranks fourth in the league in yards per game (381.9) while leading the AFC in third-down success (45.8%). The club's offensive line, which features rookie left tackle Ryan Clady, has allowed the second-fewest sacks (5) in the league in addition to blocking for a running game that leads the AFC in yards per rush (4.6).

Running back Michael Pittman has started the Broncos' last two games, totaling the fifth-most rushing yards in the league (197) during that time. With 88 catches between them, Denver wide receivers Brandon Marshall (49 rec.) and rookie Eddie Royal (39 rec.) form the most productive pass-catching duo in the NFL. The two players have helped third-year quarterback Jay Cutler compile the second-most passing yards (1,862) in the league this year.

Denver kicker Matt Prater is tied for the NFL lead in 50+yard field goals (4-of-4) and leads the AFC in scoring (57 pts.). Defensively, weakside linebacker D.J. Williams ranks first in the league in tackles with 69 (53 solo).