You wouldn't think you would notice the thin air in Denver so much if you were NOT the one playing. But you pick it up on the little things, like climbing stairs or the constantly parched feeling you get as soon as the plane touches down. I can only imagine what the players go through.
The Broncos are 31-9 at Invesco Field, and showed why on Sunday against the Texans. The Broncos didn't look spectacular by any means, but they methodically beat Gary Kubiak's boys in the third preseason tilt.
Thoughts on the game...
- We're still not seeing David Carr look comfortable in this offense. Sure, he was better than 50 percent, but the ball is not going downfield, and eventually it will have to. I'm torn between thinking "it's OK, it's preseason" and "this could be a problem." Kubiak has been very public about his criticism of Carr. We have yet to see the first-half-of-2004 gunslinging that he exhibited in the best stretch of his career.
- Demeco Ryans looks like the real thing.
- The defense got pressure on Jake Plummer and forced him into his worst preseason outing. The three-and-out on the first Broncos series of the third quarter was inspirational. The Texans even did a nice job against Denver's vaunted running attack.
- Phillip Buchanon will make big plays in the return game. He will make this team because of that. The question is what happens when Demarcus Faggins and Jerome Mathis get healthy. That could bump him down the depth chart in two spots.
While the Texans have their preseason wrap up on Thursday, college football kicks into gear this week. The college game is a big passion of the NFL players. On Saturdays, they all check the scores of their alma maters and give each other plenty of grief about the results.
Five things I'm looking out for in the college season:
**1) The Aggies to Bounce Back
**I know many of you could give a Bevo breakfast snack about the Aggs' situation, but isn't the season much more fun if A&M is relevant? 'Horns fans should know that most of the Aggies were pulling for you in Pasadena for the sake of Texas football. This is too great a football state to have a great institution like A&M struggle for bowl eligibility.
**2) The Cougars to get at least nine wins
**It's possible that they could do this. Look at the schedule. The big conference games are at home. While I feel it's crazy that the university would put any money into a Heisman campaign for Kevin Kolb, here's hoping that he and the Coogs put up a season of national acclaim. Again, it's good for Texas football.
3) USC to cool off
They probably won't be back in the title game but they won't be horrible either. I'm just ready for someone else (Texas) to put together a two- to three-year run of dominance.
**4) Speaking of Texas, can they do it?
**Chances of repeating will be gauged early with the results of the Ohio State game. Win it and you're in the pole position. Lose it and there's still a chance but a big uphill climb.
**5) Get ready for controversy again
**Last year's gift-wrapped 1 vs. 2 matchup in the Rose Bowl was the game everyone wanted to see. This year is a wide open competition among teams with holes in key places. This could easily create a dreaded BCS beauty contest featuring several one-loss teams. Great for talk radio, bad for the chances of crowning a true National Champion.