Week Two Capsule - Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons

Quarterback Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on September 9, 2012. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The (1-0) Denver Broncos will visit the (1-0) Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome on Monday Night. Both teams began the year with victories as Denver knocked off Pittsburgh 31-19 and Atlanta defeated Kansas City 40-24. The Broncos lead the series 8-4 plus one playoff win at a neutral site (Super Bowl XXXIII). They are 4-2 on the road and 4-2 at Mile High. Denver prevailed in their last meeting, 24-20 on November 16, 2008.

The game will be shown on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. MDT. Mike Tirico will call the play-by-play and Jon Gruden will do the color commentary with Lisa Salters reporting from the sidelines.

The Broncos in 2012 are appearing on Monday Night Football for the 21st consecutive year, a streak that began in 1992. Denver’s 21-year streak of making at least one appearance on Monday Night Football is the longest active streak in the NFL and the second-longest streak in league history.

OFFENSE

  • Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning ranks second among all players with 46 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since the 1970 NFL merger, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Included in his career total are seven game-winning drives during the 1999 and 2009 seasons that are tied for the NFL single-season record.

  • Manning’s 253 passing yards and 129.2 rating represent the highest figures for a player in his first start with the Broncos.

  • Broncos Tight End Joel Dreessen, who was signed by the club as an unrestricted Free Agent on March 29, 2012, ranks third in the NFL in percentage of catches resulting in touchdowns (15.4% / 10-of-65) since 2010 (min. 25 rec.).

  • TE Jacob Tamme recorded a career-high 67 catches in 2010—all in the last 10 games with quarterback Peyton Manning—to lead the NFL during that stretch after starting tight end Dallas Clark was placed on injured reserve.
  • T Ryan Clady has started 64 consecutive games to begin his career as one of just three players from his 2008 draft class to accomplish that feat.
  • C J.D. Walton is one of three offensive linemen who entered the NFL in 2010 to have started every game for his team.


DEFENSE

  • Jack Del Rio is in his first season as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator after spending the previous nine seasons as head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent the 2002 season as Head Coach John Fox’s defensive coordinator in Carolina, where he inherited the NFL’s worst defense statistically and turned it into the league’s No.2-ranked unit.

  • CB Champ Bailey played in his 11th Pro Bowl in 2011 to tie for the third-most in NFL history. His 32 interceptions rank fifth in the NFL since he joined the Broncos in 2004. His 50 career interceptions rank first among all active NFL cornerbacks and are third among all players since entering the league in 1999.
  • CB Tracy Porter has totaled three career game-sealing interceptions returned for touchdowns with all three of those plays occurring with less than 3:30 remaining in the fourth quarter and his team leading by one score or less.
  • CB Chris Harris led all NFL rookie defensive backs with 65 tackles in 2011 after joining the club as a college free agent.
  • LB Von Miller was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press after setting a Broncos rookie record with 11.5 sacks. That total is also tied for the most by a rookie in franchise history.
  • DE Derek Wolfe recorded his first career sack in Week 1 against Pittsburgh to become just the sixth rookie in Broncos history (since sacks became an official statistic in 1982) to record a sack in the club’s regular season opener.
  • Denver’s 41 sacks in 2011 represented an improvement of 18 from the 2010 season and marked the most by the club since totaling 44 in 2000.


SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Broncos kicker Matt Prater, who has converted on 1-of-1 field goals this season, owns the 2nd-highest field goal percentage in franchise history (min. 50 att.). The fifth-year player has made 91-of-113 (80.5%) Field Goals as a Bronco.
  • Matt has converted 29-of-30 career Field Goals in the 4th quarter or overtime. He became the first player since K Chris Jacke (Ari., 1998, Weeks 15-17) to kick a game-winning field goal on the last play of the game in three consecutive contests in 2011.
  • Prater owns the best field goal percentage from 50+ yards (.750 / 12-of-16) in NFL history among players who started their career after 1970.
  • P Britton Colquitt set the team single-season records for gross and net punting average in 2011, previously held by Tom Rouen (47.6; 1998) and Mike Horan (38.9; 1990), respectively.
  • LB Wesley Woodyard led the team in special-teams tackles (10) for the second consecutive season in 2011 and the third time in his first four NFL seasons.
  • Rookie CB Omar Bolden recorded a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Denver’s preseason finale at Ari. (8/30) to represent the longest such play in any game in Broncos history.

ODDS

The wise guys in Las Vegas have the Falcons by 3 points.

The Falcons rank 23rd in the league in Total Defense, but their Offense took off with immediate results. Four touchdowns and four Field Goals on their first eight chances in Kansas City a week ago. They have three very good receivers in Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez. Cornerback Brent Grimes was lost to Injured Reserve, so the Broncos should have an edge their. Denver’s Defense will decide this one by the effectiveness of their pass rush.

Go Broncos!

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