The Denver Broncos lost to the Atlanta Falcons last night 27-21, but there were some positives to take from the game. Our team never gave up and battled back from a 20-0 deficit. There simply wasn’t enough clock to complete their comeback. Props to a very good Falcon team, a terrific defensive game plan and a home field crowd that truly took advantage of their power to affect the contest.
I was very impressed with the Broncos for maintaining their focus and composure despite the replacement referees and that’s all I will say about that. It’s time to acknowledge the players who stood out in this game, just to prove all was not a total loss and being 1-1 at the end of Week 2 of a difficult schedule is not so daunting.
The Golden Horseshoe on Offense simply has to be given to Running Back Willis McGahee. He rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in the game for a 5.1 average. Willis also caught both passes thrown to him or an additional 11 yards.
The Broncos Offense had trouble getting started, with four turnovers in their first 5 possessions and only 2 first downs in the first Quarter. McGahee had runs of 15 and 31 yards to highlight Denver’s Offense.
Willis scored a pair of 2-yard touchdowns in the final stanza. On the first one, McGahee had four carries for 23 yards. On the final touchdown that brought the game to within six points, McGahee took the ball up the middle on fourth and goal from the 2 and gave his second Mile High Salute of the game.
Demaryius Thomas had a pretty good game also. Enough to warrant the Silver Horseshoe. Thomas had 8 receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. His touchdown came with six seconds left in the 1st half, putting the Broncos on the scoreboard, but still down 20-7. The Falcons held him to a 9.8 average, well below his career mark of 15.3 ypc.
The Golden Horseshoe Nail (provided by Chuck "DeadDrunk" Breedlove) goes to the Offensive Line’s Run Blocking. It takes a good effort by many players to get a Running Back over the 100-yard mark for a game. The lunch pail guys that do all the dirty work in the trenches never seem to get much love, but they are the meat and potatoes of every football team. As a team, the Broncos ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries for a 4.4 average. I’m not forgetting Knowshon Moreno’s Fumble here either, just giving the Big guys some much deserved love.
The Broncos Run Defense gets the Golden Horseshoe on the opposite side of the ball.They held the Falcons to a paltry 2.4 yards per rush -- 67 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries. That lone touchdown came on a 1-yard rumble by Falcons Running Back Michael Turner after the first of three Peyton Manning Interceptions. And it took Turner three tries to earn that score.
This is a toss up for me as to who should get the silver Horseshoe, so this is where you get to decide in the Poll below. Safety Mike Adams was the leading tackler in the game for the Broncos, with 8, He also had one Pass Breakup and a hit on Quarterback Matt Ryan. Linebacker Von Miller contributed 3 Tackles, 2 Tackles For a Loss, 2 Quarterback Hits and his 3rd Sack of the season. Kevin Vickerson deserves some credit for being the only Lineman to get a consistent push. "Big Vick" finished with 4 Tackles and a Quarterback Hit.
This one is a No-Brainer. Punter Britton Colquitt continues to show a consistent effort at a high level for the Broncos. He Punted 5 times for a gross average of 50.2 yards and a Net average of 50.6 yards. Colquitt had a long of 67-yards that rookie Omar Bolden downed at the Atlanta 4, and another 52-yarder downed by Matt Willis at the 3. He left three punts total Inside the 20 and didn’t have a touchback. Britton also forced 3 Fair catches by Atlanta return man Dominique Franks. Franks did attempt one return, but Nate Irving dropped him for a 2-yard loss.