September 29, 2008 10:34 AM
Cutler's pace hard to pass up
Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler could set a regular season NFL record for passing yards -- if his right arm doesn't fall from its socket.
Cutler is on pace to throw for 5,100 yards, which would top the record (5,084 yards) established by Miami Dolphins' Hall of Famer Dan Marino in 1984.
Thing is, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is on pace to throw for a whopping 5,412 yards.
Marino is the only NFL quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a season.
The pace established by Cutler through four games puts him on track to finish with 408 completions (which would rank third-best in NFL history) and a franchise-record 36 touchdowns. No Broncos quarterback has thrown for 30 TDs in a season.
Cutler also is on pace for 628 pass attempts, which would rank fifth-highest in NFL history. Hall of Famer John Elway holds Denver's record with 605 attempts in 1985.
These gaudy passing stats seem out of place considering the Broncos usually wield a strong running game under coach Mike Shanahan. Denver's 121-yard rushing average is 14th in the NFL, sixth in the AFC.
The days of penciling 100-yard rushers on Denver's stat ledger are fading. The Broncos haven't produced a 100-yard rusher in seven consecutive regular season games (10 in the past 11 games) since last year . . .
Might be a good time for Denver to clean up its act, it being Broncos Alumni weekend and all. Opponents have scored 117 points on the Broncos, which averages out to a 468 points for the season. The franchise record for points allowed is 473 set during the days of Mickey Slaughter and Bud McFadin in 1963 . . .
In case you're wondering, my record for NFL picks thus far is 32-27. I'm 8-4 going into tonight's Baltimore-Pittsburgh game, with the Ravens as the winner . . .
Which quarterback is likely to end his retirement before midseason -- Daunte Culpepper or Jake Plummer? . . .
Denver hasn't allowed 30 or more points in four straight games since 1968, when opponents reached 30 in the final six games of the season. The Broncos have given up 30 in each of the past three games . . .
Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden has gone 1-8 against the Broncos -- 1-7 as Raiders head coach (1998-2001), 0-4 in games played at Denver.