After a second consecutive Denver Broncos loss, it is difficult to find anything positive to take away from the game. So in the ever changing spirit of this series, it's time for an audible. I have chosen two players from each unit for a Horseshoe. I'm giving you will the opportunity to vote for the player who deserves the Golden Horseshoe in Week 16.
Willis McGahee had 15 carries for 64 yards, a 4.3 average and a long of 24 yards on Saturday. He went over the 1,000 yard mark for the season and the 4th time in his 8 seasons. McGahee also joined Ricky Watters as the only two players to rush for 1,000 yards with 3 different teams. Willis has been wearing down due to some injuries through the latter half of the season, but being on the other side of 30 (middle aged for a RB) hasn't fazed him at all. He has been a valuable part of the Broncos this year simply because the Broncos running game has sputtered when he is missing.
Demaryius Thomas has caught 4 or more passes in four consecutive games. Against the Bills, Thomas had 4 receptions for 76 yards, including a 47-yarder, a 19.0 yard average. For the year, Demaryius has 29 catches, 517 yards, a 17.8 average and 4 Touchdowns in 10 games (5 starts). However, the best part of this is that Thomas has been healthy for the second half of the season. If those numbers hold consistent for a full year, they will translate very favorably.
Chris Harris. It seems like this Undrafted College Free Agent has shown up in the Horseshoe post on a weekly basis. Chris made a team high 8 Tackles in Buffalo before leaving with an injury in the 4th Quarter. As I stated in another thread, this is the 3rd game this season that Harris has led the Broncos in Tackles. He is the 3rd highest Tackler on the team behind Wesley Woodyard and D.J. Williams with 69 this year. From what I could find, that is the most Tackles by a CFA Defensive Back in a rookie year. Tackles haven't recorded as a statistic in the NFL for very long, but Defensive Back Sammy Knight of the Saints had 67 Tackles in 1997 and Cornerback Sam Shields had 29 Tackles and 2 Interceptions last year for the Packers.
Elvis Dumervil continued his streak of at least 1 Sack to six straight games against the Bills. He had 3 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 Tackles For a Loss and 2 Quarterback Hits in the game. Doom has 34 Tackles, 9.5 Sacks, 9 Tackles For a Loss, 18 Quarterback Hits and 1 Pass Break Up in 2011.
Britton Colquitt punted 7 times on Saturday and had a gross average of 43.7 yards. 3 were Fair Caught and one was downed Inside the 20 by Long Snapper Lonie Paxton. Unfortunately, Colquitt ended up with a 24.4 yard Net average after Bills return man Leodis McKelvin torched the Broncos coverage unit for an 80-yard return for a Touchdown. McKelvin broke a team record set by Roscoe Parrish with 135 Punt return Yards in one game.
Matthew Willis returned 7 Kickoffs for a 19.7 average and probably should have played on the coverage unit on Saturday, as he has 5 Special Teams stops and 1 Downed Punt this season. Willis was replaced by Jonathan Wilhite since he was returning Kicks and seeing action at Wide Receiver. Wilhite made 2 Special Teams Tackles in the game.
As I said at the beginning, it's difficult to find positives in a loss. Vote now for the player who should get the Gold Horseshoe. Then we can throw it over our left shoulder and focus on the upcoming season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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