What a way to celebrate a Broncos Stompin’ of the Raiders than to hand out a few Game Balls. It’s been a long time coming, four years to be exact, since the Broncos have beaten the rival Oakland Raiders at Mile High. Talk about Owned. 39-6 doesn’t do justice for those last 4, but it’s a good start.
Just as when they lose, when Denver wins, they do it as a team. This victory was the epitome of a team triumph, so much so, that it’s going to be tough to give only one Game Ball on the Offensive side of the ball.
The Offensive Line blocked for a 100-yard rusher as the ground game pounded out a total of 222 yards. They also didn’t yield a Sack the entire contest. In fact, the Offense ran so smooth, that punter Britton Colquitt was relegated to holding for Matt Prater and didn’t punt once. There was also balanced play calling, with 39 passes and 38 runs. I especially think that going 10-16 (62.5%) on 3rd down conversions is the true meaning of domination.
The Defense did a stellar job limiting the Raiders to two Field Goals, both in the 1st half. They held Darren McFadden, a Running Back who has shredded the Broncos for over 500 yards in the past four contests, to a slim 32 yards rushing and 2.6 yards yards per carry. Oakland ended up with a mere 56 yards on the ground. Carson Palmer was Sacked 3 times, hit another 8 times and was forced to get rid of the ball quickly on numerous other occasions. The Raiders only converted one single 3rd down, going 1-12 (8%) on the day.
As I said. it’s going to be tough handing out Game Balls this week because so many things went well. I think I’m going to need your help, but let’s narrow things down a bit and begin with the obvious.
David Bruton is getting the attention he deserves from Broncos Country. The Broncos Special Teams ace deflected a Shane Lechler punt yesterday that set up a touchdown. It would have been a block, but the ball traveled 2 yards past the Line of Scrimmage. David got his hands on two punts during the preseason and it’s nice to see it carry over into the regular season.
In my mind, the entire Defense deserves the Game Ball, including Jack Del Rio. Holding the opponent to six points, 8% on 3rd down and shutting them out completely in the 2nd half shows that all eleven guys are on the same page. If I had to single out one player, it would have to be Defensive End Elvis Dumervil. Doom made 4 Tackles, had 3 Quarterback Hits, 1.5 Sacks and provided constant pressure towards Carson Palmer. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard (6 TKL, .5 SK and 1 QB Hit) and Cornerback Chris Harris (3 TKL, 1 SK, 1 TFL and 1 QB Hit) had notable performances as well.
This is where your help is needed. When a team hangs 37 points on an opponent without forcing a turnover on Defense, more than one player had a terrific game. Here are the nominees for the Game Ball on Offense.
- The Offensive Line. As I stated at the top of this article, this unit did not allow a Sack and provided an escort for the Running game to put up 222 yards despite losing starting Center J.D. Walton in the 2nd Quarter. Dan Koppen came in and the O-Line didn’t appear to miss a beat.
- Willis McGahee. 19 carries for 112 yards and a Touchdown, a healthy 5.9 yards per carry to boot. He also caught all six passes he was targeted on for an additional 23 yards. It was McGahee’s 32nd career 100-yard game. Willis has 325 yards on 69 carries and 3 Touchdowns so far this year, along with 9 catches for 40 yards. McGahee is 6th on the Active list with 7,691 career Rushing yards.
- Peyton Manning. 30/38 (79%) for 338 yards, 3 touchdowns, no Interceptions, no Sacks, a 92.0 Quarterback Rating and a 130.0 Passer Rating. Peyton now has a record 65 - 300 yard passing games for his career.
- Eric Decker. Seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown on 9 targets. One drop was all I saw. The other target looked like he had maintained possession while rolling and the ball touched the ground. The officials called an incomplete pass, so it should be considered a drop, but either way, this is another instance where sloppy play has been cleaned up over the next week.
- Other notables in the Receiving Corps, were Demaryius Thomas (5 catches, 102 yards on 6 targets), Jacob Tamme, the 3rd down clutch player (5 rec. 38 yards on 6 targets) and Joel Dreesen (2 catches for 29 yards and a TD). Dreesen’s first catch was all the Offense the Broncos needed to defeat the Raiders.
If the current trend continues, the Broncos will fix the few mistakes they made this week and be prepared to meet their next challenge. A Week 5 appointment with the New England Patriots at Foxborough.
Follow Me on Twitter!
Get your MHR T-shirt here
Like Me on FaceBook!