Denver Broncos Week 11 Horseshoes

Continuing the celebration of the Denver Broncos victory over the New York Jets on Thursday night and after the bestowing of Game Balls, it's time to hand out the Horseshoes for Week 11. The Bronco Defense came up big and really set the tone at Home. They established their dominance and imposed their will, especially the middle linemen. So this post will turn it's main focus from that aspect. If you're ready, let's get started.


Britton Colquitt probably should have received a Game Ball this week. I hope I can atone for this omission by awarding him with a Golden Horseshoe. Broncos Orange and Blue is dear to a Bronco fans heart, but gold is precious. Britton has been one of my favorite players to watch grow with this team. Some of you may remember from my Training Camp posts that I believed that Colquitt beat out Brett Kern fair and square for the punting job a few years ago and sincerely thought they would make up for that mistake by bringing him back when Kern was released. But the wisdom (sic) shown by then head coach Josh McDaniels, bringing in noted PED user Todd Sauerbraun was finally corrected when Britton returned to Denver after the Broncos poached him from the Miami Dolphins' practice squad on December 30, 2009.

Colquitt has improved each week seemingly and Thursday night's game was no exception. He kept the field position battle tilted in the Broncos favor through a precision punting display, often with a short field to work with. From my seat in the Northwest corner of the End Zone, I would have sworn that a few of those kicks went straight up in the air and would fall for a 10-yard punt. With two exceptions, Britton would have had a perfect evening. Matt Willis kind of lost focus and missed downing a punt at the Jets 1-yard line on one attempt. However, Willis was successful downing another punt at the 1-yard line. The other may have just been dumb luck (even the Jets are entitled to that once in a while). Colquitt finished with 8 punts for a gross average of 43.8, with two touchbacks, dropping 3 Inside the 20, two were Fair Caught and 3 were returned for an average of 11.6 yards. His longest went 56 yards and Britton finished with a net average of 34.4 yards.


On the season, Colquitt has punted 51 times for a gross average of 49 yards, which ties him as the 5th ranked punter in the league. His Net average of 42.6 yards is 3rd in the league. His 17 punts placed Inside the 20 tie him for 2nd in the league.  Britton's longest punt this year was a 66-yarder. 7 punts have been Downed, 4 have gone for touchbacks and 33 have been returned an average of 9.7 yards. And let's not forget the Unnecessary Roughness penalty he took in the Detroit game. Yeah, this kid has swagger too.


The rest of the Horseshoes go to Defensive Linemen. These guys helped hold the Jets to an 83 yard day and a 3.0 rushing average. They also helped a Defensive effort of only allowing 3 out of 14 (21.4%) 3rd Down conversions to the New York Offense. 




Broderick Bunkley was one of the Defensive Linemen who stood out for me as I watched from the stands. He had swagger and appeared to be taking dancing lessons from Marcus Thomas, as he did his best imitation of Marcus' antics from the Chiefs game. Bunkley has been solid for the Broncos. He had 5 Tackles, including one for a loss on Thursday, which is a very good day for a D-Linemen. For the year, Broderick has 23 Tackles, 3 Tackles For Loss and one Quarterback hit in 10 games. He's had two 4 Tackle games and two 5 Tackle games this year while clogging up the middle. 




Ryan McBean has been an active participant on the Defensive Line and could make a case for the most improved Bronco in 2011. Ryan got into the action early and seemed to roll all over Jets Running Back Shonn Greene late in the first Quarter. Greene was forced to leave the game with an undisclosed injury.  McBean finished with 5 Tackles, including one For a Loss against New York. Ryan leads all Bronco Linemen in Tackles with 27, seven Tackles For Loss, 3 Sacks and 4 Quarterback Hits this season.




Elvis Dumervil was another force on Thursday evening. He contributed 3 Tackles, including one For a Loss, added 1.5 Sacks and 2 Quarterback Hits while taking on D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Matt Slauson almost the entire game. Doom has 15 Tackles, including 2  For a Loss, 8 Quarterback Hits, 4 Pass deflections and 3.5 Sacks in 8 games this season. I get the feeling that Elvis has turned the corner on his nagging health problems and is set to make an impact down the stretch.




Wesley Woodyard gets the final Horseshoe this week. It seemed like every time a good Defensive play occurred, Woody was involved or very close. He was one of the blockers leading Cassius Vaughn down the field on that 67-yard Kick Return in the 2nd stanza. Wes finished just behind Von Miller with 8 Tackles in the game, bringing his season totals to a team leading 69 Tackles, one For a Loss, one Pass Broken Up and one Forced Fumble in 9 games.


In all actuality, each of these players could qualify for the Most Improved Bronco, so that will be the Poll question today. Give me some feedback. Did I miss a player that should be on this list?

Next week the Broncos face the San Diego Chargers and could end up going over the .500 mark. That would be nice for a change wouldn't it.

Go Broncos!


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