By WOODY PAIGE
The Denver Broncos haven’t lost three games in a row since a current minor-league baseball player was their quarterback.
At the end of the 2011 regular season, the Broncos fell to the Patriots, the Bills and, finally, the Chiefs 7-3.
Tim Tebow was the quarterback, and those are the last three regular-season games he started in the NFL. Now, he’s playing for the Mets in the Fall Instructional League in Arizona.
Oddly enough, that last regular-season defeat was to a team with Kyle Orton at QB. With Orton at quarterback earlier in the season the Broncos also lost three consecutive games. The season before, with the same Orton, the Broncos lost four straight twice before Orton was replaced by Tebow. When it happened again the next season, Orton was let go, and ended up with the Chiefs. Then he went off to Dallas as a backup.
And, like Tebow, Orton is out of football.
The Broncos certainly aren’t drawing attention to a potential three-game streak for the first time in five seasons. During those four seasons in which the Broncos never had more than back-to-back beats, the two quarterbacks were Peyton Manning and what’s-his-name.
Oh, Brock Osweiler.
Brock’s Broncos dropped games to Oakland and Pittsburgh last December.
Brock, of course, has gone on to Houston, but he returns on Monday night against Trevor Siemian’s Broncos. Brock is 4-2 this year as a starter, and Trevor is 4-1. Push vs. Shove on national TV.
If the Broncos don’t get their act, their game and their first quarter together, three could happen.
But won’t. I’ve got the Broncos, who are favored by eight points by MGM Resorts International and my Vegas guy Jay Rood (who sets the line that almost everybody else follows), winning by at least 10 (30-20) on Monday night.
In last week’s action vs. the spread, I was 9-6. Betting 100 units per game (and giving up 10 percent on losses), I finished 240 units ahead.
I’m now 370 units ahead for the first six weeks of the season. I have never bet on games, and will not. (However, If someone, hypothetically, had bet $100 a game on every game this season, the gambler would be up $370. I doubt most of the touting services are honestly that much ahead, although they will claim they are.)
Here are my NFL locks, and my pro football picks this week:
CHICAGO BEARS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (-7.5) Thursday night: This is when the Pack and Aaron Rodgers get well. PACKERS 37-14.
NEW YORK GIANTS (-2.5) AT LOS ANGELES RAMS: Close, but no victory for Rams. GIANTS 24-20.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-3) AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: I love me some Vikings to stay unbeaten. VIKINGS 24-13.
NEW ORLEANS AT KANSAS CITY (-6.5): The Chiefs leveled the ship at Oakland last week. Another victory at home. CHIEFS 35-28.
WASHINGTON AT DETROIT LIONS (-1.5): Give me DETROIT 27-17.
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (-10): The Browns had their moment in the sun last week. CINCINNATI 38-10.
BUFFALO BILLS (-3) AT MIAMI DOLPHINS: I’m thinking outside the box and outside the Bills. DOLPHINS will upset Bills. DOLPHINS 27-26.
OAKLAND RAIDERS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (-1): I don’t trust Jags. Raiders may lose at home, but never on the road. OAKLAND 30-27.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT TENNESSEE TITANS (-3): I give up on the Colts. They suck. TITANS 24-20.
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT NEW YORK JETS (-2): Really, with Geno Smith starting at quarterback. Make mine RAVENS 23-18.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (-6.5): The Falcons are still good. San Diego saved Mike McCoy’s job, but doesn’t matter. ATLANTA 41-21.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-1) AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Bark, bark of the week. Could go either way. I’ll go San Francisco 20-19.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-7) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS: No Ben Roethlisberger, no way. This would have been a great Ben-Brady matchup. NEW ENGLAND 34-17.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (-2) Sunday night: Big conference game. Arizona has to win. Arizona will win. ARIZONA 27-24 on end-of-game field goal.