2012 Denver Broncos-Week One Game Balls

Those of you who were around last year probably saw this feature. After a Broncos win, I hand out 3 Game Balls--one each on Offense, Defense and Special Teams. I may even give an MVP type game Ball as well. After a Loss, I’ll hand out Horseshoes---kind of an attaboy for a standout performance in a loss, since no one gets a Game Ball for losing.

I expect to be handing out many more Game Balls this season, so enjoy re-living the Wins.

There wasn’t much in the Special Teams department that really affected this game. Matt Prater was 1/1 with a 26-yard Field Goal and all his Kickoffs went for touchbacks. Britton Colquitt had a rare not so good performance in net yardage, but it had no effect on the outcome. Jim Leonhard returned two punts for 22 yards and Jacob Tamme and Quinton Carter each had a Special Teams Tackle.

With that being the case, my solution is to still give out three game balls--MVP, Offense and Defense.

The first Game Ball, for MVP simply has to go to Quarterback Peyton Manning. The Broncos weren’t very effective Offensively until Peyton went to his specialty--the No Huddle Offense. Neither team scored in the opening stanza, but when the Broncos Defense held Pittsburgh to a Field Goal after a 10-play drive stalled at the 3-yard line, Manning went to work. The Broncos marched 80 yards in 12 plays and capped it off with Knowshon Moreno cutting back for a 7-yard touchdown run. Peyton went 6-7 on the drive and even ran for a 1st down. The Bronco Offense only saw the ball for :36 seconds in the 3rd Quarter, but that was enough to outscore the Steelers and pull ahead. Manning hit Demaryius Thomas with a bubble screen pass and Bay Bay turned on the jets for a 71-yard touchdown. Peyton finished the day going 19/26 for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Game Ball on Offense goes to Demaryius Thomas, mostly for the play I just described. He dominated Steelers Cornerback Ike Taylor once again and will likely be a part of Taylor’s nightmares for the rest of this season too. Thomas had five catches for 110 yards and that 71-yard touchdown on 7 targets.

The Game Ball on Defense goes to Tracy Porter naturally. The best Free Agent pickup on the Defensive side of the ball for the Broncos this offseason, Tracy made a "pick six," an interception return for a touchdown in the 4th Quarter with just under two minutes left in the game, to stick a fork in the Pittsburgh Steelers and ice the win. Porter also had 8 solo Tackles, including one for a loss of yardage and 5 Pass Breakups. Broncos Country should be ecstatic about having a complimentary Cornerback opposite Champ Bailey. Tracy Porter has to be the best pickup of the offseason, barring Peyton Manning.

Of course, football is a team sport. There were other standout performances for the game, so I will be handing out Horseshoes later on. Until then...

Go Broncos!

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