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Broncos 31, Jets 17: Game Balls for Von Miller, Bradley Roby, and more

When the Broncos win, the MHR Staff gives out game balls! Alright folks, Broncos 31, Jets 17, who ya got?

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Von Miller

Von Miller had himself another monster day as did the entire defense for the most part. Finishing with two sacks, even though he was out of the game for a bit with "concussion-like symptoms". Which reminds me, do star players have different concussion protocols than your average role player?  It does make one wonder sometimes, because Von Miller looked like he was concussed pretty good after that tackle. So much so that he fell flat on his face without even trying to move his arms to break his fall as any normal unconcussed player would try to do.  Just sayin...

Either way, the dude was an animal before and after that non-concussion event. Two sacks and relentless pressure on most downs. Poor Geno Smith didn't stand a chance. I am sure his PFF score is going to be impressive again this week. - Tim Lynch

Bradley Roby

If we can get him the publicity that he deserves Bradley Roby is marching towards a Defensive Rookie of the Year award. 

With a batted pass intended for Jace Amaro in the endzone at the end of the first half and the stop on Greg Salas where Roby came out of nowhere and knocked out Salas's feet using his back in the middle of the fourth quarter Roby single-handedly stopped two touchdowns today.

Roby started the season with a seven-tackle, three-passes-defensed effort against the Indianapolis Colts, but posted his best game of the season thus far against today against the New York Jets. Roby's stat line was three tackles, two passes defensed and a sack. As of right now it is hard to make a better argument than Roby for Defensive Rookie of the Year, especially in comparison to early contenders like Deone Bucannon, C.J. Mosley, Ryan Shazier, Kyle Fuller, Khalil Mack and Jadeveon Clowney. - Ian Henson

Demaryius Thomas

Bradley Roby is marching towards a Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

On a day that belonged once again to the defense and where the major story on offense was that Broncos do have a running game - what a relief! - I'm giving a game ball to Demaryius Thomas because it was also a relief to see our No. 1 wide receiver have a second stellar receiving game, reassuring Broncos Country that this guy is definitely back on track for a record-breaking 2014.

Thomas caught a team-high 10 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown against the Jets. It was the 20th game in which he has had more than 100 receiving yards, including postseason, which ranks third in Broncos history (Rod Smith No. 1 at 31 games) and second in the NFL since 2011 when the 6'3" wide receiver recorded his first 100-yard game for the Broncos.

And ironically on the day the Broncos faced the Jets and Eric Decker, Thomas' one-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter put him above his former teammate for most receiving scores in Broncos history. Thomas stands at ninth with 34.

But records aside, it was D.T.'s clutch plays and important timing that really earned him the game ball, in my opinion.

Though his 54-yard catch to start the game unfortunately ended in just three points, Thomas put the Jets secondary on notice from the get-go. His head-up play on 3rd and 7 in the third quarter to pull the ball down and keep two feet in is the kind of thing we've come to expect from him, so it was awesome to have that reassurance back.Despite only finishing with one touchdown, Thomas was back to his consistent and reliable self at keeping the chains moving downfield. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Aqib Talib

Talib was tasked with defending Eric Decker most of the day and outside of a pick play that sprang him for a TD and a WR screen that went for 15 yards, Talib held the former Bronco in check. Not only that, but he salted the game away with a stylin' and profilin' pick 6 off Geno Smith. - Bronco Mike

The front seven

My game ball goes to the front seven of the defense for their exceptional job stopping the run. The New York Jets team before facing us were averaging 29 rushes for 139 yards per game (4.76 yards per carry).  Our front held them to a whopping 15 rushes for 31 yards (about 2 yards per carry).  Their dominating performance opened up everything our defense was designed to do for much of the game and took away the best part of the Jets' offense. - Sadaraine

Ronnie Hillman

My gameball goes to Ronnie Hillman, for the breath of fresh air that he's been for this rushing offense. Hillman showed a burst that hasn't been seen in the Broncos' run game for quite awhile, and amassed over 100 rushing yards in his first career start for the Broncos. The same fumble problems came to the surface at one point during the game, but the team finally showed a threatening running attack on Sunday, all thanks to Hillman. The third-year back averaged 4.5 yards per carry behind an offensive line that has not been good at run blocking, and gave Denver a dimension that they have not yet had this season. On top of his running ability, Hillman proved to be adequate as a pass blocker too, not allowing a single QB pressure, hit, or sack the entire game. Hillman has literally taken the starters job and run with it, and if he continues to play as he did on Sunday, it will be hard for Montee Ball to reclaim it upon his return to health. - Jacob Dearlove

Corey Nelson

When Danny Trevathan left very early in the game, I expected we'd get a healthy dose of Nate Irving the rest of the way. Jack Del Rio would adjust by moving Brandon Marshall back into Trevathan's role and Irving more at Mike.

Instead, to my surprise, the gameplan ostensibly continued, with Corey Nelson simply stepping in for Trevathan.

To my bigger (and pleasant) surprise, Nelson, the Broncos' 7th-round draft pick who had previously had a total of two snaps all year, played very, very well. He had 36 snaps to Irving's 16, registered three tackles, and was assigned pass coverage duties on 26 snaps. He was targeted just once, a two-yard grab by RB Chris Johnson, which helped him to a +2.1 grade from PFF, the fourth-highest on the team (Miller, Derek Wolfe, and Roby). Way to step up, rook. - Kyle

Honorable mentions

Britton Colquitt. Unfortunately Colquitt had to punt eight times in this game (not good), averaging a respectable, though improvable, 44 yards per punt. But he and Steven Johnson deserve kudos for their tandem excellence at the end of the game to put the Jets on their own five for a desperate final drive that ended in a pick six for Broncos' Aqib Talib. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Peyton Manning. Manning was forced to embrace a "game manager" role as Jets head coach Rex Ryan took away some of Manning's passing lanes with three-man front, eight-man coverage looks that saw linebackers split out wide to jam Broncos receivers. Center Manny Ramirez's struggles didn't help matters. But Manning still managed three touchdowns and no turnovers, showing that, while he didn't do enough by himself to win this game, he didn't lose it either. - Kyle

Steven Johnson. A number of big special teams stops made a big difference. Johnson is becoming a leader on Denver's third unit.  - Kyle

Your Game Ball in the poll and comments!