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Broncos at Rams: Preseason agony in four quarters

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Forget that the Broncos lost, fans that endured that football-ish awfulness are the real losers.

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

We’ve heard it a million times: The third week of the preseason is the dress rehearsal for the regular season. I get it, because Denver played in the Hall of Fame Game on August 1st, their third week of the preseason actually took place during week 2 for the rest of the league. Lucky us.

Sure, against the 49ers in Denver, the starters did play for a bit and on defense they looked terrific. It felt good to see Jimmy Garoppolo go 1/6 for 0 yards and an interception, but for as good as that was, before we could enjoy it, we were thrust back to the grind of below average exhibition play.

Saturday night’s Broncos sizzle-reel highlights? David Williams broke a 20-yard run, Juwann Winfree had a 19-yard reception, and Brandon McManus kicked two field goals. Defensively, there were 4 tackles for loss, 2 passes defended, and 3 hits on the quarterback. Three hours of your life for that?

I felt awful for the Broncos fans in the stands who paid good money for tickets, drove through rush hour traffic on Los Angeles freeways, and paid a fortune to park, only to be presented with that football-ish abomination up close. I’d be mad as hell.

Folks, we are 4 quarters shy of the 20 quarters the NFL gave the Broncos to assess the ability of of the talent on the roster. Figuring out how to shorten this antiquated exhibition system needs to be a primary concern. Those empty seats should he hint enough that fans deserve better. Empty stadia are fine for baseball, but this is the NFL. It can do better than this.

But wait, there’s more!

If you thought Saturday’s game was unwatchable, just wait for Thursday. Game 5 at Mile High against the Cardinals bodes to be a more relaxed, toned-down version version of the Rams game, but without all the fireworks of those jaw-dropping, heart-pounding plays previously mentioned.

HORSE TRACKS

Rams 10, Broncos 6: Observations
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Butt caught two passes on Saturday night as he took game snaps for the first time since suffering an ACL injury ahead of a Week 4 game in 2018.

Woody Paige: Let's move on: No need for Broncos to play more exhibitions | Sports Coverage | gazette.com
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Jay Gruden announces Case Keenum will start Week 1 vs. Eagles - CBSSports.com
The veteran will start ahead of rookie Dwayne Haskins

Raiders releasing veteran running back Doug Martin - NFL.com
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Antonio Brown loses second helmet grievance, wins eventual endorsement deal – ProFootballTalk
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Rivera: Cam Newton progressing after shedding boot - NFL.com
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Source -- RB Miller has torn ACL, out for season
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Cards rookie WR Butler (hand) out for season
Hakeem Butler, selected in the fourth round of this year's draft, was placed on injured reserve along with safety Josh Shaw.

Dolphins cut McDonald in wake of position switch
Miami released veteran safety T.J. McDonald in a surprise move given his role as one of the Dolphins' defensive leaders and his willingness to embrace a recent switch to a hybrid safety-linebacker role.

Pats' Gordon removed from injury list, can play
The pieces have come together for the Patriots' receiving corps in the last week with Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman and Demaryius Thomas all being activated.

Patriots sign Scooby Wright, Robert Martin, place Brandon King on IR – ProFootballTalk
The Patriots made several roster moves Sunday, including signing linebacker Scooby Wright and running back Robert Martin. The team released defensive lineman Keionta Davis and receiver Maurice Harris with injury designations. It placed linebacker Brandon King on injured reserve.

Taco Charlton: I ain’t done nothing; I still have a lot to prove – ProFootballTalk
Taco Charlton is quickly running out of time to live up to the expectations the Cowboys had for him when they drafted the defensive end in the first round. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones called this a big year for Charlton.

Undrafted rookie Damion Willis to start in place of A.J. Green – ProFootballTalk
The Bengals won't have wide receiver A.J. Green in the lineup for the first week of the regular season and they named the player who will be taking his place in the lineup on Sunday.

Packers releasing former second-round pick Josh Jones after just two seasons - CBSSports.com
Jones had reportedly asked to be traded, but was instead given his release

Chris Ballard: Jacoby Brissett is a “rare, rare leader” – ProFootballTalk
Andrew Luck's retirement announcement dominated the football world on Saturday night and one of the many storylines flowing out of that announcement is the ascension of Jacoby Brissett to the top spot on the quarterback depth chart in Indianapolis.

Report: Colts won’t go after Luck’s bonus money – ProFootballTalk
Under NFL rules, the Colts could force Andrew Luck to pay them millions of dollars for abruptly retiring. But they won't do that. The Colts and Luck have already reached an agreement that the team will not go after any of that money, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Why did Andrew Luck retire? QB explains shocking decision: 'I haven't been able to live the life I want to live' - CBSSports.com
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Andrew Luck retirement shakes up AFC South odds, Colts in last as two teams tied at top - CBSSports.com
The Colts are no longer the favorites to win the division