Updated: October 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm
1. Welcome to the biggest mismatch in NFL history. If you go by the books - the Las Vegas sports books - there had never been a bigger one when the betting opened at 28 points. The Broncos are now a 26 1/2-point favorite. The Jags are a 26 1/2-point underdog. It's so bizarre in the parity-driven NFL, the spread is worth printing twice. "Those guys are still getting paid, just like us," cornerback Chris Harris told me. The Broncos downplayed the obvious mismatch. We don't have to. The Broncos can go 16-0; the Jags probably will go 0-16. Sports Illustrated detailed the 10 highest point spreads in NFL history. Only two of the favorites covered the spread.
2. What were you doing Jan. 12, 2013? Crying in a cup of hot chocolate? The Mile High Mistake won't slide from memory any time soon. Long before the Ravens did their thing, another team stunned a sure-fire Super Bowl team in Denver: Jaguars 30, Broncos 27. This was the Mile High Mistake before the Mile High Mistake. Mark Brunell passed for 245 yards, Natrone Means rushed for 140 and Jacksonville - a 14.5-point underdog - upset Denver in the playoffs. What were you doing on Jan. 4, 1997? I was in disbelief.
3. Before the season, I asked ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski to estimate how long Peyton Manning will play football. They're golfing buddies. "I don't get the sense Peyton is close to being done," Jaws said. And why would he? His onslaught on the NFL record books is ongoing; Manning has never been better. He joked this week about what he will miss when his football career is over. "Once you stop playing, you don't get to fly on a plane with 53 guys and everybody's standing up when the plane's taking off," Manning said. "Nobody has their seat belt fastened, everybody's using their cell phone. When the pilot says we can't take off when those things are happening, they're lying, because we do it."