Broncos Week 12 Game Balls (and a Few Horseshoes)

Peter Aiken

Capping off an ugly win in the Show-Me State.

Another win is in the books for the Denver Broncos after sneaking away from Arrowhead on Sunday and keeping alive the possibility of a 13-3 season. At least mathematically. The Broncos sputtered on Offense and had a Shankapotamus problem in the kicking game, but fortunately the Defense kept this one in hand. I will hand out a few Horseshoes on Defense, but only because the Game Ball should really go to one guy on Defense.

OFFENSE

I don’t think there is really any question that Knowshon Moreno deserves the Game Ball on Offense this week. After being inactive since Week 2, Moreno was the logical "Next Man Up" when the team lost starter Willis McGahee last week against the Chargers. Knowshon responded with 85 yards on 20 carries, a 4.25 average and 4 catches for 26 yards on 4 targets. More importantly, he didn’t Fumble.

I suppose one could argue that Demaryius Thomas earned a Game Ball this week. He scored the deciding Touchdown with a nice 30 yard grab from Peyton Manning in the 3rd Quarter, with the sun in his eyes even. He finished with 82 yards on 4 receptions, a 20.5 yard average. But Demaryius was targeted 8 times too.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker Matt Prater missed two Field Goals (47, 33), Punter Britton Colquitt had a less than his usual terrific day and the Cover guys were just okay, but Trindon Holliday nearly had a couple more Touchdown returns and gave the Bronco Offense great field position. "Mighty Mouse" had 2 returns for 92 yards, a 46.0 yard average. Tim Tebow may not be a Bronco anymore, but this kid is just as exciting.

DEFENSE

The Denver Defense held their opponent without a Touchdown for the second time this season (Week 4 vs. Oakland). They held the Kansas City Offense to a 21% (3-14) 3rd Down conversion rate and 264 Total Net Yards. The Chiefs got their average in the Running game, but forced Brady Quinn to beat them with his arm. They took away the long pass and Quinn’s short passing game didn’t stand up. It also helped that the Bronco Defense held the Chiefs 0-2 in the Red Zone as well.

The Game Ball on Defense goes to Safety Mike Adams, who might have had his best game as a Pro. He made 8 Tackles, put a Hit on the Quarterback, Forced a Fumble and broke up a sure Touchdown pass in the 1st Quarter. Adams graded out as the best defender in the game on Sunday.He currently ranks 5th in the league among Safeties with 8 Pass Break Ups and 1st in QB Hits with 6.

Champ Bailey was good as Gold this week, so he takes the Golden Horseshoe. He graded out as the 2nd best defender against the Chiefs and made 6 Tackles and one Pass Break Up. It was actually one of Bailey’s better games too. Out of 9 passes thrown his way, only 4 were caught and the longest one went 13 yards. Terrance Copper caught a 3 yard pass and Champ prevented the 1st down conversion. The other 3 passes were caught by Dwayne Bowe--a 2 yard dump off that went for 11 yards and a 1st down, a 13 yard catch that needed 14 for a 1st down and a 6 yarder that came up a yard short of a 1st Down and forced the Chiefs Ryan Succop to deliver a 49-yard Field Goal.

Linebacker Wesley Woodyard led the Broncos with 9 total Tackles, a 3rd Down Sack, 2 Tackles For Loss, 1 QB Hit and a Pass Breakup. This is pretty much what we all expect out of Wes. However, before I am lambasted for not giving Woody the Game Ball, allow me to explain. Wesley got washed out of the play repeatedly by the Chiefs Offensive Linemen blocking at the second level. He actually graded out as the worst Bronco defender on the field during Sunday’s contest. Nothing new here though. D.J. Williams has been Tackling guys downfield for years.

That’s all I have this week. It’s time to move on to the next opponent: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Go Broncos!

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