Broncos 34, Saints 14. What a game. I know that I’ll be walking on air this entire week as I’m sure many of you will be. It’s time to get to handing out Game Balls and Horseshoes. I have to tell you that this is getting harder and harder each week, the way our beloved team is playing. TEAM is the definitive word here. That is what happens when more than a few guys step up. The Bronco players are playing for each other as a unit. The best part is, I don’t think they’re hitting their full stride yet.
Anyway, here is what I came up with for the Game Ball and Horseshoes on Offense this week.
The Offensive Line had the biggest effect on Sunday’s game and get my vote for the Game Ball. They did not allow a Sack (and haven’t since Week 5) and were a huge factor in the success of the Rushing game. The Broncos ran for 225 yards (a 5.5 avg) on the New Orleans Saints. Denver’s bookend Tackles, Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin graded out the best out of the starting five. O was the best Run blocker and 2nd best Pass blocker, while Clady was the best Pass blocker and 4th best run blocker behind Zane Beadles and Chris Kuper. Center Dan Koppen actually graded out the worst, but like I said, they haven’t allowed a Sack in two games.
Hopefully we can all agree on the Game Ball selection, but in any case, you can vote on the issue. The 3 Horseshoes are open to interpretation as well, but I am going to list them as I saw it. Feel free to agree or disagree.
The Golden Horseshoe is going to Quarterback Peyton Manning. I’ve already regaled you with his stats once today, but the future Hall of Famer dissected the Saints Defense with the skill of a Vivisectionist, cutting them apart with all the precision you’d expect out of a franchise QB. After 5 straight 300-yard passing games and throwing 14 Touchdowns against 1 Interception during that time, I think we might as well start talking league MVP, comeback or not.
The Silver Horseshoe goes to Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas this week. Bay Bay caught 7 balls on 9 Targets for 137 yards and a Touchdown and an average of 19.6 yards per catch. His longest of the day was a 41-yard catch on the Broncos first scoring drive. It was the key play, taking Denver form it’s own 28-yard line to the New Orleans 31. Six plays later after a do-over, Willis McGahee made it 6-0 Broncos. It was Thomas’ 4th 100-yard receiving game this season and 6th of his career, not including the 204 yard day against Pittsburgh in the playoffs last year. Demaryius has 39 catches for 679 yards and 4 Touchdowns so far and is well on his way to a 1,300 yard season.
The last Horseshoe on Offense goes to Willis McGahee this week. He might have gotten the gold or silver had he not fumbled, but no one else on the Broncos can carry people for five yards and get those tough up-the-gut runs than Willis. At 31 years old, he can still tote the rock. McGahee finished with 122 yards and a Touchdown on 23 carries, a 5.3 average. It is his 3rd 100-yard game this year and the 33rd in his career, 1st among active NFL Running Backs. Willis’ 63 Rushing Touchdowns are the 2nd most by an active player.
The 10th year Running Back helped keep Drew Brees off the field and wear down the Saints Defense with four runs of 10 or more yards and seven other runs of 5 or more yards. Willis also caught a pair of passes for 33 yards, including a nice grab and go for 19 yards. McGahee is on his way to consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. He currently has 554 yards and 4 Touchdowns on 123 carries and a 4.5 yard average.
I suppose I really have to give Eric Decker some love too. He did catch a pair of Touchdown passes, the first being a very nice grab. Decker had 4 catches for 42 yards on Sunday and has 38 for the season, with 484 yards and leads the Broncos with 5 Touchdown receptions.
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