The Notebook: Denver’s first-strike capability, Dareus’ dominance & more

The Broncos have the NFL’s highest scoring offense, averaging 41.2 points per game. More than 13 points separate the Broncos from the Bears, the second-most prolific offense at 28.8 points per game. I assumed that for a team to put up those kinds of numbers, it’s essential to get off to a good start.

So, so, so much of it.

Even with placing Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley and Bryan Bulaga on injured reserve, missing James Jones for two games and Eddie Lacy for one game, the Packers still rank second in the NFL in offense, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA statistic. With great performances from Rodgers, Lacy and Jordy Nelson, Green Bay is third in the league in scoring and second in total yards. Mike McCarthy’s offense wasn’t just good, it was good in the face of a constantly running ticker that spat out nothing but bad news.

But this latest bit of bad news may be more than even McCarthy can overcome.

It’s been a tough season for gadget players. Randall Cobb is on temporary injured reserve list. Percy Harvin has yet to take a snap with the Seahawks.

It’s not his fault that his offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, had a secret plan based on one end-around per game, a few Jet sweeps and a whole bunch of dump offs in the flat from a shell-shocked Sam Bradford. As a matter of fact, St. Louis might have been the worst possible landing spot for Austin given the OC and Jeff Fisher’s offensive philosophy built around field goals and stout defense.

But it was all OK for a little while on Sunday when the Rams used only a handful of plays from Austin in a 38-8 thrashing of the Colts.

There was the punt return touchdown, which Tom Brady Cheap Jerseys shouldn’t have been Austin’s first one except for all the special teams penalties that cost him nearly 300 yards on punt returns alone. Then there was a simple go route, sending him streaking down the field for a deep pass and a score. The Cheap Basketball Jerseys real highlight, the one that says the Rams might have some idea about what the guy is capable of doing for them, was his 81-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

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