To follow up yesterday's Game Ball post, there were additional players that made a difference in the Denver Broncos victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. First and foremost, it was fantastic to get a road win, especially at a venue that has historically shut down the Broncos. The 3 game Balls dealt out yesterday may have been the leading stars of the game, but we all know it was a team win. Yet there were a few who didn't quite make the cut for a Game Ball and since Wilson isn't working overtime, there are only so many to go around. That's why we have the Horseshoes. This week there are three on Offense and five on the Defensive side of the ball.
Tim Tebow gets the first Horseshoe for leading the charge. Tim carried the ball 9 times for 43 yards and a touchdown and though he only completed two passes, one was a 56-yard bomb to Eric Decker for a touchdown in the 4th quarter that put the Chiefs to bed. That was sufficient enough to get a 102.6 QB Rating. Tebow posted his sixth career game with both a rushing and passing touchdown.
Lance Ball earned his Horseshoe for being the "next man up" and answering the call when Willis McGahee and then Knowshon Moreno went down with injuries. Lance carried the rock with an unexpected heavy workload and kept the Denver Offense moving the chains, enabling the Broncos to churn out a win over the ground. The Bronco Rushing Offense started the game ranked #5 in the NFL, but left the game with the #2 ranking. Of the 244 yards on the ground that Denver put up, Lance had 96 of them on a workman-like 30 carries. A well deserved honor.
Eric Decker makes another appearance on this list, not only for his 7th touchdown of the year, but for his touchdown celebration. The 56-yard catch was Decker's longest for this season. Upon reaching the EndZone, Eric knelt and paid tribute to our Nation's Military Servicemen, Women and Veterans with a Mile High Salute.
DJ Williams gets a Horseshoe today for leading the Broncos in Tackles with 9. He also picked up his 3rd Sack of the year and Forced another Fumble. Even though the Broncos didn't recover the Fumble, DJ's presence has been felt in each game this season. Given the personnel upgrades around him this year, fans are beginning to change their opinion on Williams. He wasn't the problem in the past, but he often tried to do other players jobs in the past few years, and his game suffered from it. DJ is able to concentrate on his own responsibilities this year and it shows. He won't have to be the leading tackler anymore either. That job should fall to Joe Mays or Wesley Woodyard since the Middle Linebacker is supposed to be the main man in Dennis Allen's Defensive scheme. That is what's happening as we speak too. Woodyard leads the team with 61 Tackles, Mays is second with 47 and DJ is 3rd with 39. The Weak side Linebacker shouldn't lead their team in Tackles anyway. This makes sense and shows why the Broncos Defense is climbing the ranks to respectability.
Chris Harris makes his weekly appearance here, because he is exceeding the expectations of an Undrafted Free Agent. He is 4th on the team with 38 Tackles, has 4 Pass Break ups and one Interception this year. In Sunday's contest, Harris had 8 Tackles, one Pass Break up and one solid Quarterback Hit on Matt Cassell. This is one Rookie who is pulling his weight.
Joe Mays also had 8 Tackles, one Pass Break up and a knock on Cassell. His production has been solid this year, even though he leaves the field when the Nickel package is used. And it has been used quite a lot this year. As Wesley Woodyard was out for this game, Mays stepped up his game and came through with a complete performance.
Ryan McBean gets a Horseshoe for finding the switch. The young happy-go-lucky Jamaican is turning the corner in his 4th season. He has 22 Tackles this year and should eclipse his career-best of 25 in the next few weeks. He also has contributed his first 3 career Sacks this year and his aggressiveness has been tempered with discipline. Whether it is the new philosophy on Defense or playing a position or scheme that fits him, Ryan is quietly having his best year in the league.
Elvis Dumervil may not have the stats to back his play so far, but the leader of the "Von Doom" Sack Attack pass rush for Denver is taking up more double-teams. That has freed up others to make Sacks for the Broncos. Von Miller has 8, DJ has 3, McBean and Robert Ayers 2 each and Jason Hunter 1 to go along with Doom's 2 Quarterback take downs. Elvis was credited with 1 Tackle, a half Sack and 3 Quarterback Hits on Sunday. The Sack that he split with Von Miller ended any chance the Chiefs had of making a comeback in the game.
So not only did the Broncos come away with a team-building road victory at Arrowhead, more players turned in quality performances. That is something to wrap your head around no matter how you look at it.