Broncos 37, Texans 13: Game Balls

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

When the Broncos win, the MHR Staff gives out game balls! Here's Mile High Report's staff awards for Denver's dominating 37-13 victory over the Houston Texans. It seems like there are records breaking with every win this year.

Peyton Manning

51 touchdowns. Five different Denver Broncos with over ten touchdowns. Soon to be a 5-time MVP.  There is no denying that this is the greatest season any NFL quarterback has ever had.  It is amazing to think that in just two short years Peyton Manning has obliterated over 50 years of Denver Broncos quarterbacking records.  As it stands he has thrown 88 touchdown passes and still has one game to go.  We've all witnessed history, and we all have a treasure trove of memories to pass down to future generations of Broncos fans.  Thank you Peyton, you're simply the best!  -Bronco Mike

Mike Adams

This is the 3rd week Mike Adams has made a game saving/momentum altering play. Prior to his interception the Broncos, and their fans, felt they could win, but the mood wasn't good. The Broncos had 16 points in 45 minutes leading up to that interception and had 21 points after that in just 15 minutes. While he did have one just bad coverage breakdown he was solid all game. He's not the fastest or biggest safety on the team but when the team needed a play he stepped up and made a catch I see wide receivers struggle to make.

Adams gets a lot of flak, and most of it is correct, but he's a veteran who knows that when he his team needs him, he'll step up. Whether it was the interception this week, the batted pass on the final play against Kansas City, or his huge 3rd down tackle against San Diego the first time. -Topher Doll

Julius Thomas

What a special season for Julius Thomas. Everyone came into 2013 expecting the trio of Wes Welker, Eric Decker, and Demaryius Thomas to dominate opposing defenses. No one saw the emergence of Julius Thomas coming - not to this degree. J.T. added another touchdown Sunday, but the significance of that touchdown stands out. Thomas caught Peyton Manning's 51st touchdown pass of this season, which broke the NFL passing record. That football will go into the Hall of Fame (until two years from now when Tom Brady Brock Osweiler breaks the record again). Still, consider this a consummate game ball for Julius, as he has been a big part of Manning's season from the start, catching Peyton's first two touchdown passes of the year. Indeed, Julius Thomas has served as the bookends to Peyton Manning's statistically dominating journey; let's see what they can achieve now that the goal is simply the Super Bowl. -Monty

Chris Harris Jr. and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

This time, the Broncos played it smart with the return of Champ Bailey, leaving Chris Harris Jr. and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as the primary cornerbacks and keeping Bailey in the slot. That's a lot of pressure, playing above a future Hall of Famer, but Harris and DRC rose to the occasion. They each handled Andre Johnson (one reception on five attempts against these two), and only allowed three catches on 11 targets in their direction overall. Rodgers-Cromartie had a few exceptional plays - the deep bomb pass breakup and the fourth quarter interception - while Chris Harris continued to quietly shine as one of the NFL's best young cornerbacks. I would not be opposed to seeing these two continue to line up as #1 and #2 while Bailey finds a comfort level as the nickel back. -Monty

Knowshon Moreno

This season, Moreno has gone from a player who may not make the roster to a player who the Broncos may not be able to resign. -David East

Congratulations to Knowshon Moreno for eclipsing the 1K yard mark in a season. One thousand yards is especially impressive in this pass crazy offense. What might even be more impressive, is his 12 total touchdowns on the year. Ten of which have come from the ground. This season, Moreno has gone from a player who may not make the roster to a player who the Broncos may not be able to resign. Moreno has shown so much maturity and grit. Whether it's gaining a crucial third and one, rushing for 224 yards on 37 carries in the bitter cold, or crawling on the field after a first down, this guy has proven that he is as tough a nails. The bust label has certainly been lifted. -David East

Sylvester Williams

For the first time all season, Sylvester Williams is playing like a first round draft pick. He was disruptive at the point of attack with several tackles for losses and a critical sack of Matt Schuab. With all of the injuries the Broncos have endured on the defensive side of the ball in 2013, it is vital that Williams continue to get better each week as this teams fights for the franchises third Lombardi Trophy. -Tim Lynch

Malik Jackson

Malik Jackson continues his campaign as Most Underrated Bronco of the Year. Jackson has probably been Denver's most consistent defensive player, not always flashy but always someone the opponent had to consider. Against Houston he caused disruption at the line of scrimmage and got after quarterback Matt Schaub. He notched a QB hurry and a batted-down pass, J.J. Watt style, and gave this defense some much-needed confidence heading into the postseason. -Ian Henson

John Elway

I'd like to take a moment to thank The Man, John Elway. He had the foresight to know just how great this roster was going to be from the top down once a true franchise quarterback was added. To see teams like the Detroit Lions struggle to get eight wins with all that talent and a supposedly good quarterback has made me realize just how good the 2011 Broncos were to win the AFC West with Tim Tebow as the Broncos starting quarterback. Looking back, that season was magical, but the last two seasons have been dominating. It's time for Peyton Manning to get that playoff monkey off his back once again and secure his second Lombardi Trophy and the Broncos third. -Tim Lynch

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