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Avalanche in Denver

Mike Penner
LA Times

By Mike Penner

Los Angeles Times

In Detroit, they are firing coaches. In Denver, they are running newspaper polls asking fans if the Broncos just completed the worst collapse in sports history.

That’s quite a claim; the Broncos lost their last three games to squander a three-game lead over the San Diego Chargers and miss the playoffs. Thus, they became the first team since the NFL began divisional play in 1967 to blow a three-game lead with three games remaining. But the worst collapse of all-time? What about, just to name one, the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, who famously squandered a 61⁄2-game lead with 12 games left?

Broncos fans weren’t hearing any of it. By mid-day Monday, a Denver Post online poll showed 66 percent of respondents voting the Broncos as the worst ever. The 1964 Phillies pulled in only 10 percent.

TRIVIA TIME

With three interceptions in Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre finished the season with 22. What is the Jets’ record for most interceptions thrown in a single season?

THISJUSTIN

The Jets entered Sunday’s home game needing Jacksonville to defeat Baltimore to have a shot at a wild card. Early, with Jacksonville holding a 7-3 lead, the Giants Stadium message boards kept fans appraised of the action. But after Baltimore took the lead, en route to a 27-7 victory, the discouraging news was removed from the message board. No more Jaguars-Ravens updates.

No news is good news What the Jets didn’t know still hurt them. Baltimore clinched the last AFC wild card and the Jets finished 9-7, two games behind the Dolphins.

PROBOWLSHIFTS

The NFL’s decision to move next year’s Pro Bowl to Miami and hold it a week before the Super Bowl is curious to say the least.

The league has long sought a way to remove the Pro Bowl’s sense of anticlimax, but moving it before the Super Bowl eliminates players still in contention for the league championship. And what’s a Pro Bowl without the best players from the best teams?

Then again, many Pro Bowl players who participate in the Super Bowl suddenly develop “injuries” that rule them out of the all-star game.

Trivia answer

Al Dorow, in 1961 (when the team was known as the Titans), and Richard Todd, in 1980 both threw 30 interceptions.

And finally: From David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Winter weather is causing problems for the NFL. In the past week alone, we saw a $10,000 snowball and a $10,000 snow angel.”