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Edwards said this offensive explosion is bound to slow down eventually. He noted that defenders are just starting to build up their stamina after playing sparingly in the preseason, and they’ll adjust.

And when the weather changes, the game will, too, he said.

“When the leaves fall off the trees and it gets a little colder, it slows down,” Edwards said. “Guys get banged up and it’s a long season. Early now, if you play spread offense, you’ve got a chance. Guys aren’t in condition, keep the defense on the field. But it’s like anything else, the great thing about football, we all adjust.”

Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio isn’t so sure the pendulum will ever swing all the way back.

“The way some of the rules have been put in place, I think they’re definitely there with the idea of making the game a little more exciting and to create some scoring,” Del Rio said. “But we’re going to do all we can to battle that.”

The league has changed the rules over the years to protect the quarterback and his receivers, making it illegal to hit them in certain areas. That’s made it harder for defenses to do their thing.

“It’s hard to get your hands on people, you can’t touch people,” Broncos safety Jim Leonhard said. “And then you see with the spread, and getting athletes and big receivers, if you can’t touch them, they always have the advantage, whereas you used to be able to get up and get physical.

“There used to be a fear coming across the middle, whether it was receivers, whether it was tight ends. You had to think twice about throwing it in there,” Leonhard said. “Now, you don’t.”

Of course, not all the news is bad for defenses.

They’ve actually contributed to this scoring surge, collecting a half-dozen interception returns for touchdowns and two fumble returns for scores to go with two blocked punts that resulted in TDs.


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AP Sports Writers Dave Skretta, Chris Duncan, Joe Kay, Joseph White, John Wawrow, Larry Lage, Dennis Waszak Jr., Teresa Walker, R.B. Fallstrom, Associated Press Writer Oskar Garcia and AP freelancer Scott Held contributed to this story.


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