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Horse Tracks: Broncos open with a win

A win is a win is a win! It may not have been pretty, but the Broncos got one yesterday. Denver's defense is as ferocious as we all hoped it would be. The offense? Well, there's a great opportunity for improvement there. There's a lot of football yet to be played, folks. The Broncos have plenty of time to work the kinks out. This ride is just getting started!

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Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin is already throwing dirt on Peyton Manning's career. On Sunday's NFL Game Day Final, Irvin didn't have many nice things to say about Peyton. Granted, Manning's performance left a bit to be desired, but I think it's too early to declare this the beginning of the decline, to call him 'average.' Lat's call it what it is. It was the first game of the season in a new offense against a team with possibly the best pass rush in the NFL. You don't need to be former Texan's quarterback David Carr to know that when you're running for your life, it's harder to throw the football. Your throwing motion isn't as fluid when Terrell Suggs is hanging off your back. It's too early to stick a fork in the 2015 Manning-led Broncos offense.

Okay, so the Broncos offensive line needs a little more time to gel. They struggled mightily, but I have to give them a little credit. After getting absolutely worked in the second and third quarters, they managed to pull it together long enough to sustain the longest drive of Peyton Manning's career in the fourth. Without that drive, I'm not sure Broncos Country would be waking up with that spring in their step Monday morning. Should we be worried? No. Nervous? Sure. These guys can do it and hopefully they'll click sooner rather than later. Thursday is right around the corner, fellas.

Just a half-second more. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco just needed to hold on to the ball just that much longer and the defensive storyline, already pretty amazing, would be that much better. How many times did it look like Flacco was going to get strip-sacked only to have him get the pass off a split-second before contact? Not every quarterback the Broncos will face this year has as quick a release as Joe Flacco. Just you watch, this defense is going 'eat greedy.' Stay tuned.

It was a gut wrenching win, but look alive Broncos fans... We are on to K.C.

HORSE TRACKS

We start with Woody Paige and his infectious optimism. He's got a point, there have been Broncos teams in the past that would have folded in the face of adversity. Not this time. Kicking and screaming, indeed. Paige: Any type of win works for Broncos - The Denver Post

Here's the recap of the game from the Denver Broncos themselves. Sacks, Talib's pick six driving Broncos against Ravens

Sports Illustrated also recapped the game. Baltimore Ravens vs Denver Broncos September 13, 2015

It was old-school, bare-knuckles football, devoid of subtlety or finesse.

Yes. Yes, it was. Andrew Mason gives his take on Sunday's game. In turning back Ravens, Broncos find a new -- yet old -- way to win

The Denver Broncos website puts a positive spin on Sunday's dreadful offensive performance. Offense shows flashes, room for improvement

So how did the Broncos grade out in their debut? The Denver Post breaks it down. Broncos' bests/worsts vs. Ravens: Brandon McManus and C.J. Anderson

Here's a look at what the Baltimore Sun thought of the Ravens performance. Mike Preston grades the Baltimore Ravens' loss to the Denver Broncos - Baltimore Sun

Sunday's game was not without injuries both on and off the field. First, there was the collision with the line judge that resulted in the ultra-rare sight of a referee getting carted off the field. I felt terrible for the guy, he didn't even see it coming. Denver Broncos vs Baltimore Ravens: Referee carted off (injury) - NFL - SI.com

Probably the most devastating injury of the day came in the form of a torn Achillies tendon. I always say the league is better when the stars are out, but unfortunately the Ravens will have to finish the season without theirs, Terrell Suggs. Terrell Suggs will miss rest of year with torn Achilles - NFL.com

Then there was the fan who fell over the railing at the stadium. I'd be lying if the fear of plummeting hadn't crossed my mind in those steep seats there at Mile High... Especially way up there where my seats are. Fan suffers serious injuries in fall at Denver Broncos game, police say

When the Broncos win, Denver wins! The Denver Post breaks down 'free and cheap' stuff fans can get after a victory.You get a donut! You get a donut! Everybody gets a donut! Deals when Broncos win (or lose): Free and cheap things the Broncos score for you - The Denver Post

Can you name two quarterbacks to play in a Broncos Super Bowl not named Elway, Morton, or Manning? One is the current head coach of the Broncos. Please allow me to introduce you to Norris Weese. Great Moments in Denver Broncos History: Remembering Norris Weese | The Mountain-Ear

Fans plummeting out of the stands, line judges breaking collar-bones, and torn tendons are just some of the injuries the league incurred over the weekend. Yahoo takes injury inventory. NFL 2015 campaign off to bruising start - Yahoo Sports

When a player crumples to the ground without being touched, it's never a good thing. Jets bracing for Monday’s Cromartie MRI | ProFootballTalk

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was also injured. Adjust your fantasy teams accordingly. Cowboys WR Dez Bryant suffers broken bone in foot - NFL.com

The Raiders had a brutal debut on Sunday. The injury to David Carr's hand may be the least of their worries. Del Rio: Carr X-rays negative | ProFootballTalk

It looks like Bengals CB Adam Jones re-discovered his inner Pac-Man when he bashed Amari Cooper's head on his own helmet on Sunday. Jones will likely receive a fine and could be suspended. That means he'll have plenty of time to hit the 'scrip' club. Adam Jones on hitting Amari Cooper: It was "in the moment" | ProFootballTalk

Old habits die hard for the villains of the NFL. Miami Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has once again found himself having to pretend he wasn't kicking and stomping people. This time, the target was Washington running back Alfred Morris. Suh could be facing a suspension, again | ProFootballTalk

Who came out on top in the battle of the rookie quarterbacks? Well, it wasn't even close. If the Broncos offensive performance showed 'room for improvement,' the Buccaneers may just be a total tire fire. It didn't go well on either side of the ball for them. Marcus Mariota, Titans nearly perfect in rout of Bucs - NFL.com

The St. Louis Rams are sneaky-good. In what was probably the best game on the slate where neither of the teams were the Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks looked confused, out of sorts, and ineffective when it mattered most. Marshawn Lynch stuffed as Rams stun Seahawks in OT - NFL.com