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Make the yeah-buts stop.
“People don’t fear Denver,” CBS Sports analyst Jonathan Jones said when asked where the 3-0 Broncos stood among the less elevated parts of NFL nation. “They fear the altitude. The last sort-of home-field advantage that they have in the NFL, they fear that. But they haven’t struck fear in the hearts of other teams in five years or six years.
“But if (they) get this Ravens win …”
Show them, Broncos.
Make ’em fear you again.
“When I was coaching with the Chargers, we had a year where we went 4-12 and the next year (2004) we came back and we were 12-4,” recalled James Lofton, the Pro Football Hall of Fame wideout who’ll help call Broncos-Ravens for CBS on Sunday at Mile High at Empower Field. “We didn’t change a lot in terms of people in the building.
“When the schedule came out (in 2005), I was in a room with my wide receivers and I was talking to them about it. The (pundits) were saying, ‘You guys have to go back-to-back playing Pittsburgh, and then you’ve got to play New England.’
“I said to the players, ‘No, they’ve got to play us.’
“And I think once you get to that mentality of, ‘They have to play us.’ … I’m pretty sure that’s where (coach) Vic Fangio is taking those guys.”
Make a statement. Plant a flag.
Baltimore (2-1) has averaged 12 wins per year the past three seasons. Ravens boss John Harbaugh, at the start of his 14th season in crab country, has become a paragon of stability in a league that chews up and spits out coaches like smokeless tobacco.
Since 2019, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is 26-7 as an NFL starter. The seven losses were to teams that wound up posting a combined record of 65-34 (.657).
No. 8 does not gladly suffer fools. Or pretenders.
Make them forget about how wretched the Giants, Jaguars and Jets are. Make them remember just how much you pushed those three teams around.
“I think (Denver fans) should be really excited,” Lofton said of the Broncos’ first 3-0 start since 2016. “It’s like somebody tells you that you have to return a Christmas gift. You don’t.”
You can only play who’s in front of you. Yeah, yeah. We know: The G-Men, the Jags and the J-E-T-S were combined 0-10 heading into the weekend, the NFL’s Three Stooges. Here’s the part that tends to get glossed over, along the Front Range and elsewhere: The Broncos also head into Week 4 tied for the NFL lead in point differential (plus-50) with Buffalo.
They haven’t just beaten the league’s dregs. They’ve lobotomized them.
Which is what good teams do.
“You know what? Somebody’s worse,” Lofton noted. “You could be in that corner.”
You could be Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. The former BYU star channeled Garth Algar, the blond sidekick from the movie “Wayne’s World,” last Sunday during his postgame news conference at Empower Field — polite, subdued, and absolutely shell-shocked.
After Broncos 26, Jets 0, the poor kid looked like he wanted to flee to the Flatirons and hitchhike to Provo. Anything to keep from going back to the Big Apple.
“And the Broncos played well,” Lofton continued. “They’ve done the job on offense, and it hasn’t been easy offensively.
“Teddy (Bridgewater) has had to scramble around a lot. You had one big run by Melvin Gordon (in Week 1), but other than that, it’s been a lot of little runs, some that got (stopped) behind the line of scrimmage, where running backs struggled. Everybody’s doing their jobs.”
Make the doubters think Steady Teddy has hopped into a time machine and taken us all back five years. That Fangio and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, a pair of old dogs, still have new tricks.
“I do think they’re the least impressive of the undefeated teams,” Jones said. “I think (3-0) Carolina edges them out with that distinction. But in the same breath, I’d say that doesn’t matter. Most certainly, a win against Baltimore is legitimizing.”
Make naysayers admit this team is legit. That the next man up can take the baton and run like the wind. That Courtland Sutton’s knee and Tim Patrick’s hands are in it for the long haul. That this offensive line can hold up with gum, piano wire and Quinn Meinerz.
“We didn’t make the schedule, we’re just playing the games,” Broncos star Von Miller offered a few days back. “We’ve got some tough teams coming up — the Ravens, the Steelers, then the Raiders right after that. So we have more than enough time to show the type of team that we are.”
Make them believe. Make Christmas come early.
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri football team has been selected to play in the Armed Forces Bowl later this month.
The Tigers will face the Army Black Knights at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. The game is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 22.
Mizzou went 6-6 in 2021 and 3-5 in SEC play. Army, an independent school, went 8-3 this season.
The Armed Forces Bowl will be broadcast on ESPN.
U.S. health officials said Sunday that while the omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout the country, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than delta, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations.
President Joe Biden’s chief medial adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that scientists need more information before drawing conclusions about omicron’s severity.
Reports from South Africa, where it emerged and is becoming the dominant strain, suggest that hospitalization rates have not increased alarmingly.
“Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Fauci said. “But we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn’t cause any severe illness, comparable to delta.”
Fauci said the Biden administration is considering lifting travel restrictions against noncitizens entering the United States from several African countries. They were imposed as the omicron variant exploded in the region, but U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has blasted such measures as “travel apartheid.”
“Hopefully we’ll be able to lift that ban in a quite reasonable period of time,” Fauci said. “We all feel very badly about the hardship that has been put on not only on South Africa but the other African countries.”
Omicron had been detected in about a third of U.S. states by Sunday, including in the Northeast, the South, the Great Plains and the West Coast. Wisconsin and Missouri were among the latest states to confirm cases.
But delta remains the dominant variant, making up more than 99% of cases and driving a surge of hospitalizations in the north. National Guard teams have been sent to help overwhelmed hospitals in western New York, and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring any hospitals facing limited patient capacity to reduce scheduled procedures that are not urgent.
U.S. officials continued urging people to get vaccinated and to receive booster shots, as well as take precautions such as wearing masks when among strangers indoors, saying anything that helps protect against delta will also help protect against other variants.
Even if omicron proves less dangerous than delta, it remains problematic, World Health Organization epidemiologist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove told CBS’ “Face The Nation.”
“Even if we have a large number of cases that are mild, some of those individuals will need hospitalizations,” she said. “They will need to go into ICU and some people will die. … We don’t want to see that happen on top of an already difficult situation with delta circulating globally.”
Two years into the outbreak, COVID-19 has killed over 780,000 Americans, and deaths are running at about 860 per day.
More than 6,600 new hospital admissions are being reported daily, according to tracking data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. have dropped by about half since the delta peak in August and September, but at more than 86,000 new infections per day, the numbers are still high, especially heading into the holidays, when people travel and gather with family.
By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press
WOOD RIVER, Ill. – A mom recently expressed gratitude in a Facebook post after first responders aided her daughter after a car crash.
Alexis Summers was making a left-hand turn in Wood River, Illinois when another driver ran a red light and crashed into her vehicle. The momentum from the crash spun her vehicle around, Summers said.
The vehicle’s airbags were deployed.
“I don’t remember much of it,” Summers said. “It was definitely really scary.”
After the crash, she said her ears were ringing and managed to get out of the car. Summers went to check on the people in the other vehicle.
“It kind of scared me at first because nobody got out for a second, and all I could hear was a kid crying,” she said.
Another person had pulled over to see if they could help. Summers used their cellphone to call her mom.
“My husband and I were actually heading to Walgreens when I got the call from her. It was from a number I didn’t know, and normally I don’t answer numbers I don’t know, but I answered it,” Stacy Collins said.
“All I heard was her screaming and crying. You could tell she was just scared and in a lot of pain.”
Stacy and her husband Mick rushed to the scene from Bethalto to Wood River. Upon arriving, they were relieved to see their daughter was in good hands. Wood River Police Officer Fester and paramedic Kevin were calming Alexis down and keeping her warm, Stacy said.
Mick added that the first responders did a great job with taking care of Alexis and helping her through the situation.
“It was just really remarkable (of the) humanity extended towards her,” Stacy said.
She added that Officer Fest called later that evening to check up on Alexis.
“Police officers are getting bad raps and to see that kind of compassion and kindness extended, I just think everybody should know about it because she was scared. And as her mom, to know that when I pulled up that she wasn’t alone was very refreshing to me,” Stacy said.
She also expressed gratitude to the person who let Alexis use their cellphone.
Alexis was taken to hospital by her parents who said she is still recovering from whiplash and injuries to her hip and shoulder.
“She’s better than what the car looks like,” Stacy said. “It was really scary when you see the car, and to know that she didn’t walk away with worse injuries is a miracle in itself.”
During the time of the crash, Stacy said her daughter had a guardian angel with her. Alexis’ grandma recently passed away and with her was a hairbow she always wore.
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