Broncos win eighth straight, Jones in at Tennessee, Knick whack Heat without Melo, NHL talks at loggerheads, MLB Hot Stove League News + Free Play for Friday, December 7, 2012

Broncos pound Raiders 26-13 for eighth straight win

In a game not nearly as close as the final score, the streaking Denver Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders 26-13 for their eighth straight win. The Bronco offense rolled to 30 first downs and held the ball 37 minutes. Had four Bronco drives not stalled resulting in short field goals, the final margin would have been much worse. Peyton Manning was 26-36 for 310 yards and a score registering his 73rd career 300 yard game. Manning also completed his 5000 pass during the game to join Brett Favre in that elite club. The Raiders lost their sixth straight to drop to 3-10. Bronco and Under players went to the pay window.

Vols name Cincinnati’s Butch Jones new head coach

One day after turning down a five-year deal at Colorado, Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones has accepted the same job at Tennessee. Jones took the Tennessee job after the Vols failed to land Jon Gruden, Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Okie State’s Mike Gundy. UT will make the hiring official at a 2:30 PM EST press conference. The 44-year-old Jones has a 50-27 record in six seasons as a head coach. He went 27-13 in three seasons at Central Michigan and was 23-14 at Cincinnati the last three years after replacing Brian Kelly who jumped to Notre Dame.

No Carmelo, no problem ….. Knicks 112 Heat 92

The 14-4 New York Knicks sent a message to the league that they are for real by traveling down to American Airline Arena in Miami and spanking the World Champion Miami Heat 112-92 without their best player. Carmelo Anthony sat the game out because of a laceration to his non-shooting hand but it didn’t matter as the Knicks rolled to an easy win off a 59-39 second half. Raymond Felton led six Knicks in double figures with 27. New York continued it’s torrid outside shooting knocking down 18 off 44 treys good for 40%. Lebron had 31-10-9 for the Heat but Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh could only manage 25-9-2 combined. In the back end of the TNT double header, Dallas held off Phoenix 97-94 behing 23 points from OJ Mayo and a big night from the bench. The NBA resumes tonight with it’s usual monster Friday night card.

NHL talks break down after the league rejects the player’s latest offer

Talks between the NHL and NHLPA broke down after just one hour on Thursday after the union’s latest proposal was rejected by the owners who have also taken all their prior concessions off the table. With time ticking on and with no further talks scheduled between the two sides, it’s looking more and more like the NHL will cancel a season for the second time in eight years.

MLB Hot Stove League News

The Philadelphia Phillies appear to be close to acquiring veteran Michael Young from Texas. According to reports, the Rangers will pay about $10 million of Young’s $16 million dollar guaranteed salary in 2013.

The Mets and Cy Young award winning knuckleballer RA Dickey are far apart in extension talks. Dickey is looking for a two-year $30 million dollar deal. The Mets are offering $20 million. Dickey can walk after this year where he is scheduled to make $5.3 million.

Reed Johnson, the National League’s top pinch-hitter last year, has re-signed with the Atlanta Braves for one year and a club option on a second. Johnson hit a combined .290 with three home runs and 20 RBIs last season. He batted .419 (18 for 43) as a pinch hitter.

Free Play

(NCAAB) Manhattan -4.5 over Marist (Friday, December 7, 7:00 PM EST)

Free Pick record in December: 3-3