The Denver Broncos are setting a historic offensive pace and quarterback Peyton Manning appears to be three steps ahead of every defense he faces. The Dallas Cowboys, who host Manning and the Broncos on Sunday, are averaging 33.5 points in two home wins and could need at least that much to stay close. Manning has thrown 16 touchdowns and no interceptions through four games and is on pace to shatter the single-season TD mark.
Denver is putting up 44.8 points and nearly 500 yards of offense and is coming off a 52-20 drubbing of the Philadelphia Eagles. That offense is masking some potential issues on the other side of the ball, where the Broncos rank in the bottom third of the league in total defense. The Cowboys are not much better on defense and gave up 506 yards while squandering a lead in a 31-20 loss at San Diego last week.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Broncos -7. O/U: 56
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (4-0): Manning formed a quick connection with Wes Welker and has weapons spread across the field in wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker and tight end Julius Thomas. That passing attack opens up the ground game for a trio of backs in Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. Denver still thinks it can get better on the offensive side of the ball and is due for an upgrade on the defensive side, where linebacker Von Miller has yet to play while sitting out a six-game suspension and cornerback Champ Bailey (foot) is still waiting to make his season debut.
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (2-2): Dallas is down two defensive starters in linebacker Justin Durant (groin) and defensive end George Selvie (concussion), who were both missing from practice on Thursday and are uncertain for Sunday’s game. That puts even more pressure on Tony Romo and the offense to put up points, which they failed to do while being shut out in the second half of last week’s loss. Romo is completing 72.4 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and one interception but could be missing one of his weapons with wideout Miles Austin (hamstring) questionable.
1. The Broncos have won 15 consecutive regular-season games, each by seven points or more.
2. Romo is 4-1 with 14 TD passes and one INT in his last five home games.
3. Denver LB Danny Trevathon was carted off the field at practice on Wednesday with a knee injury but came through an MRI exam clean and could make Sunday‘s game.
PREDICTION: Broncos 45, Cowboys 24