It’s been two days now since the Denver Broncos came away from a visit to New England with a loss. I know there are others with 20 shares of emotional investment in this team too, but I have come to terms with it and look forward to facing the Chargers this Monday Night. Before we go there however, I have a few Horseshoes to hand out. Being as our team was defeated, I will limit this to the three players I thought had standout performances, regardless of position.
The Golden Horseshoe goes to Linebacker Von Miller this week. Miller was by far the best defender on the field in Sunday's game. On both teams. He finished with 8 Tackles (7 solo), 5 Tackles for a Loss, 3 Quarterback Hurries, 2 Quarterback Hits, 2 Sacks, 1 Pass Defensed and 1 Missed Tackle. In coverage, Von allowed a 15-yard reception to Wes Welker and broke up a pass intended for Brandon Lloyd.
Von has 12 TFL's this season, good for first in the league. Among Linebackers, he is tied for 2nd in QB Hits with 9 and tied for 3rd in Sacks with 5. In 332 snaps, Miller has 16 hurries, 18 TKLs, 2 Missed Tackles, 22 Stops and committed 1 penalty.
The Silver Horseshoe goes to Quarterback Peyton Manning. Yes he was Sacked twice for 13 yards and the Patriots forced him to fumble. He also went 31/44 for 345 yards passing, a 70.4% Completion Rate, 3 Touchdowns and 0 Interceptions for a Quarterback Rating of 116.2. Before this week, Manning's career Quarterback Rating in games played in Foxborough, Mass., including two playoff defeats was 73.9. His career rating at all other road venues is 18.3 points higher (92.2). So he was on top of his game despite the Fumble.
For those who allege that Peyton can’t run, he disproved that by running 10 yards to gain a 1st Down at one point in Sunday’s game.
For the season, Manning has dropped back to pass 209 times, going 130/197 for 1,503 yards, a 66% Completion Rate, 11 Touchdowns and 3 Interceptions. He has been Sacked 10 times, had 3 Batted Passes, 17 drops, 4 Throwaways and a 101.1 Rating.
The Golden Horseshoe Nail goes to Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas. I know, he had a Fumble for the second consecutive game, but he also produced more than it and has been each week. The biggest problem we all have with Bay Bay is his consistency. One play he makes a tremendous one-handed catch while reaching behind him and the next play can end up a turnover. Thomas has proven that he is very talented. He is averaging over 100 yards per game in 2012. Broncos Country can’t wait until he puts it together, because when that happens, Denver opponents will be quivering in their cleats.
In Sunday;s game, Demaryius had 9 catches for 188 yards while being targeted 11 times (and No the other two were not drops). That is a 20.9 yard average.
In 2012, Thomas has been targeted 45 times, with 30 catches for 515 yards, a 17.2 average. He is also averaging 9.0 yards after the catch. Demaryius has 2 Touchdown catches, 6 drops and caused 6 Missed Tackles.
For a little comparison, Eric Decker has been targeted 44 times, with 28 catches for 343 yards, a 12.3 yard average, 2.8 yard YAC average, 2 Touchdowns and 5 dropped balls.
During the game on Sunday, I overheard Phil Simms say that Decker and Thomas had the most catches for a Wide Receiver tandem in the league.
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