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Broncos, Briefly: Friday, Nov. 30, 2018

Turnovers key to Vance Joseph's turnarounds (Mike Klis, 9 News)

Credit the defense for the 6 takeaways – 2 interceptions each against Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, and two fumble recoveries against the Steelers – and credit Broncos quarterback Case Keenum for the zero turnovers.

After throwing 10 interceptions through week 8 to tie Jets’ rookie Sam Darnold for the league-most, Keenum has gone three consecutive games without a pick.

“Just being smarter with the ball,’’ Keenum said. “It’s something I do. That’s why early on in the season I was frustrated. It’s tough. That’s something I pride myself on as a quarterback, giving our team a chance to win and not being the reason that we aren’t winning. Turnovers in this league is probably the biggest stat that really matters. You can look at wins and loses compared to turnover battle—who won it.’’

Case Keenum finds comfort level in Denver's offense (Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press)

Ball security, Keenum said, is "something I think about every day. Every decision I make, I know the ball is the most important thing on the field. I've got it in my hands every play, so I know every decision I make is that important.

"That's why I grind, that's why I work, and we've gotten better across the board — offensive line, running backs and receivers," Keenum said. "We're all on the same page, getting better, working each week and communicating. We feel better with the offense and it's just a lot of different things, a lot of factors."

Keenum said the learning curve at quarterback in the NFL is infinite.

"Do I feel a lot better than I did at training camp? Heck, yeah," Keenum said. "I think we're light years ahead of where we were then. But at the same time, I still feel like we have a long way to go."

Kiszla: For love of the game. Dave Logan’s run from prep championship in Colorado to Broncos game in Cincy will be long, sleep-deprived haul. (Mark Kiszla, Denver Post)

We sometimes believe a coach on the sideline or a big-time broadcaster is far different than you or me. But sports often work much like the rest of life. The long line at airport security doesn’t get shorter because you’re chasing a dream. Every man or woman who embraces a labor of love makes sacrifices for what’s important.

This weekend, it probably means no sleep ’til Cincy for Logan.

Go, Dave, go.

Red eyes. Full heart. Can’t lose.

Domata Peko can’t wait to show Cincinnati Bengals “what they lost” (Sean Keeler, Denver Post)

“(Cincinnati) gave me a lowball offer, and the Broncos gave me a really good offer,” Peko recalled. “And I had to make the best decision for my family. But definitely, it’s going to be fun going back there and coming back home to Cincy and playing in front of the crowd there.”

No. 94 still keeps a home in Northern Kentucky, along with enough mental snapshots to fill up two Instagram accounts.

“They’ll probably boo me a little bit,” Peko said with a knowing grin. “I’m going to keep doing my same routine when I go out there. Run out of the tunnel with fire, ready to go. And show the city what they’re missing.”

As their cleats become their canvas, NFL players tell the stories behind the causes dearest to them (Lindsay Jones, The Athletic)

River Cracraft has worn the black bracelet on his left wrist for 306 days, ever since he received it at the memorial for his friend and Washington State teammate Tyler Hilinski. It reads “Hilinski’s Hope,” and it’s been a constant reminder for Cracraft of his friend, who committed suicide in January.

Cracraft caught Hilinski’s first touchdown pass – a 71-yard deep ball in a win over Arizona in 2016 – and had seen Hilinski just three days before his death. Cracraft and his fellow Washington State teammates were shocked. They only knew Hilinski as a seemingly happy kid, the one who was constantly smiling in the locker room and lifting up others.

“It’s tough. It’s a constant thought, especially for guys like me who knew Tyler and had a good relationship with him. Even when you try to think about something else, every now and then it will just pop up and it’s like, ‘Ah man.’ It’s kind of always there,” Cracraft said.

Von Miller leads $200K Broncos initiative to provide protective kits to first responders in mass shootings, improve law-enforcement relations (Nicki Jhabvala, The Athletic)

Instead of simply providing a lump sum or one-time donation, however, Miller’s plan is designed for the long term.

The donation from Miller and the Broncos to Shield616, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit, will provide more than 125 advanced protective kits for police and firefighters responding to mass shootings. As the second part of the rollout, Miller and the Broncos will maintain a connection with the select first responders and their families through roundtable discussions, programs with local youth and various volunteer opportunities.

“When I heard there’s been more than 300 mass shootings in the last year alone, I felt like we needed to do something for those who protect us,” Miller said. “I hope that we can all help bridge the gap and work to improve relationships with law enforcement in our communities.”

Broncos expect new Bengals QB Jeff Driskel to show athleticism; Von Miller donates to law enforcement (Ryan O'Halloran, Denver Post)

The Bengals lost Andy Dalton to a thumb injury in last week’s loss to Cleveland. Jeff Driskel will make his first NFL start. He has 36 career passing attempts (all this year) and was 17 of 29 for 155 yards and one touchdown against the Browns.

“You watch him throw the football and he’s pretty accurate,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “He’s an NFL quarterback and we can’t sleep on him. We’re not going to discount the guy’s ability.”

The Broncos should expect the Bengals to use Driskel’s athleticism to call run-pass options and to prioritize receiver A.J. Green, back after a three-game absence (toe injury).

“I’m not back there looking to run first, but it’s definitely a tool I have and something that generates big plays,” Driskel told Cincinnati reporters.

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