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Broncos 49, Ravens 27: MHR Game Balls

When the Denver Broncos win, the MHR staff gives out game balls! And win the Broncos did, to the tune of 49-27 whuppin' of the Super Bowl champs. Take it away fellas...

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Shaun Phillips

Peyton is the easy choice here, but Phillips stepped up tonight. 2.5 sacks? Von who? (Kidding). When Von comes back we'll have one deadly pass rushing tandem. 3 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Great game. Felt good embarrassing the Ravens.

Final note: Flacco elite? nope! - Scotty Payne

David Bruton

Since there are so many obvious answers that will get attention I'm going with an underrated player to make sure he won't overlooked.

David Bruton. Guy had a blocked punt, would have had another but was held. Also had a key blocked pass as well as three QB pressures. And he did that as the backup. He and Adams came in on rotation and both had fantastic games in coverage and rushing the passer. - Topher Doll

Chris Harris Jr.

His INT early on changed the momentum of the game and allowed Denver to put a TD on the board. It wasn't just that though, when he left due to cramping, it was a night and day difference in the way the Broncos had to scheme the defense. No more man coverage, hello soft zone and two deep safeties which provided Joe with some cushion he needed to pad his stats. There are three key players on this defense right now as I see it and losing any one of them completely changes the rules of the game. Chris Harris is one of them. - Bronco Mike

Robert Ayers

Robert Ayers. He had a sack (silly, but on pace for a Von Milleresqe 16) and many pressures. I was hoping he'd step up, and he didn't disappoint. Would I like more consistency in his pass rush? Sure, but last time I checked, he had more sacks than Miller and Doom combined against Flacco! - Big Pete

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning came in and gave the Baltimore Ravens an old Irish beat down. 141.1 quarterback ranking and seven touchdown passes. That hasn't been done since Joe Kapp did it in 1969 (and here are the YouTube highlights). That record will of course stand until later in the season when Manning throws for eight touchdowns. - Ian Henson

Julius Thomas

It just goes to show that if a guy has awesome physical gifts, but is raw as a football player, it pays huge dividends to be patient and develop him slowly.

Julius Thomas. I must admit that I had given up on this kid's potential after last year's preseason. It just goes to show that if a guy has awesome physical gifts, but is raw as a football player, it pays huge dividends to be patient and develop him slowly. The results of the Broncos patience with Orange Julius were on full display last night with five catches for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The only downside for him is his blocking ability, but in a few more years that won't be much of an issue either. I can't wait to see this kid play next week! - Tim Lynch

Honorable Mentions

There are a ton of guys who deserve a hat tip if not a game ball, so I'll be dishing out some names the rest of the staffers miss each week. Knowshon Moreno did a terrific job in pass protection and showed why he was trusted with the start. Ryan Clady did an admirable job against Terrell Suggs, often on an island against one of the NFL's best defenders. Wesley Woodyard and Duke Ihenacho were in and around just about every play. Finally, Danny Trevathan - outside of one really really critical mental error, you played a heck of a game. That mistake was so huge though - the NFL is a game of inches in so many ways. Please have learned your lesson. - Monty

Your game balls in the poll and comments.

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