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Broncos 35, Chargers 21: Instant Reactions

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Hat tricks aren't just for hockey anymore, are they Emmanuel Sanders?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not gonna lie; each time I thought about this game, I flip flopped over total domination by Denver, or some fluky miracle that would get the Chargers the win. Thankfully, tonight was the former and the Broncos dominated. The score? Bah, the score was closer than the game. This was a beat ass from the get go. At no point was Denver ever in danger of losing this game, and it was the Chargers (i.e. the only team that ever poses a threat to beat us at home).

The offense

Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning. Simply surgical. I'm loving his deep balls. Unlike the last two years when he was Mr. Checkdown or Mr. Short Pass, he is airing it out to Sanders and Demaryius Thomas with amazing accuracy and effectiveness. He's definitely using his brain to compensate for his body as he ages. I mean, he was always a cyborg, but apparently he got that new microchip installed. It's either that or he's rattling chicken bones and drinking blood while burning sage. Quite frankly, I don't care why or how, I'm just so ecstatic that he's our QB. I really hope he not only completes his current contract, but signs an extension. #onto600 baby!

Emmanuel Sanders got the hat trick. I don't care how you slice it, he's a ridiculous upgrade over Eric Decker, AND he doesn't trip over blades of grass. This dude is pure electricity. I don't know why Pittsburgh let him go, and I don't really care. All I know is that he is money. "He's gold Jerry, gold!"

Demaryius Thomas is his usual self; Dominant! I'm saying it right now, and I'll argue till I pass out from lack of oxygen (never gonna happen) that DT is the best receiver in the NFL. He's better than Calvin Johnson, he's better than Dez Bryant, and he's better than Julio Jones. He's simply the best. If you are starting a franchise and you are on the clock for your franchise WR, you're an idiot if you don't take DT. He is simply that good. Not only that, but he set a franchise record to night for consecutive 100 yard games (4). I'm sorry Rod Smith, I love you man, but DT is the best wide receiver the Broncos have ever had.

Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie Hillman, where do I start? I suppose with a hearty plate of crow when I said you should be cut in training camp. I find myself rooting for Hillman these days. Not only that, but I kinda feel bad that Juwan Thompson kept gobbling up his touchdowns tonight. Another 100 yard game? That seems so, I don't know, routine I guess. Ronnie really does deserve some accolades here, and he deserves a touchdown or two. This cat is balling his brains out. He's now reminding me of Knowshon Moreno of last year. He's all heart (just like Rocky Balboa). maybe a benching did him well because he's playing with a huge chip on his shoulder and it's paying off. #Monteewho?

Where do I start with the offensive line? How about with Orlando Franklin robbing Hillman from a 37 yard rushing TD? How about them starting to gel without Chris Clark at right tackle (you can all take your place in the queue to apologize to me for giving me thousands of negative comments when I said he can't play right tackle in the NFL regardless of what he did on the left side). But do you know what I'd love more than my ego to get stroked? It's for this offensive line to be dominant. It's all about the team, and this team is starting to round into form. Exciting, isn't it?

Paging Julius Thomas, Julius Thomas, are you there? It's your contract year brother, how about you play like it? Two games without any impact? If you're not going to catch a pass, you might as well sit your butt on the bench, cause you sure as hell can't block like a TE should. Let me ask everyone something; You have three player to sign but only cap space for two, who are your two between Demaryius Thomas, Chris Harris, and Julius Thomas? I'm picking DT and Harris Jr. We have Virgil Green waiting. I think Green can be 90% of the receiving threat Julius is, but he's an infinitely better blocker. Just remember, each time we think "what the hell are you doing Elway?", he manages to make us all look foolish by upgrading the position. I think he's going to do just that this offseason with the tight end position. I think he's going to give it to Green and let Julius walk. I love me some JT, but there are more pressing needs than him, especially when he gets in ruts like these last few games. Again, if he can't catch, why play? We have much better blockers than him.

The defense

Holy Brandon Marshall!!! Can we say "Pro Bowl?" Ok, probably not, but it isn't for lack of talent and impact, it'll be simply lack of popularity unless he picks up votes for the Bear's WR Brandon Marshall. Marshall had double digit tackles yet again, and he's playing out of his mind. He's like a Danny Trevathan without the constant turnovers. All I know is that John Fox was right this pre season when he said that he needed to see Marshall on the field because nobody could stop him on the practice squad. I bet Jacksonville is kicking themselves for letting him go. Their pain is definitely our gain. I love this guy!

Von Miller has rounded back into 2012 form. He's a one man wrecking crew. He was leading the league in sacks, and he only added to that tonight. If he keeps playing at this level, we might have to call Brett Favre out of retirement to give him the record in the final game of the season!

How about our rush defense? Talk about dominance! You can't ask for a better rush defense than ours. Add to that our pass defense, and you can start to see a Top 5 defense forming. They are getting better and better as the weeks tick by. The sky is truly the limit for this unit, and they seem to be elevating their game each week. Come January they will be scary, maybe even dominant. How about that? A Peyton Manning team with a dominant defense who can take a game over. How nice would that be?

Lastly for our defense, how about Chris Harris Jr. and Aquib Talib? I'm saying it right now that they are the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. Sure, there were a few passes completed on Harris tonight, but I'm not worried about that. These two are playing at All Pro levels, and I can only assume the voters will notice as well. Bradley Roby is good, but still making rookie mistakes. Time will get him better. He just needs a bit more seasoning is all. Our safety play is starting to concern me though. Sure Rahim Moore got a pick, but he really needs to step his game up.

Thank you John Fox for not going all "John Fox" with this game. Thank you for consistently allowing the Broncos to at least attempt to put the nail in the coffin. There's hope for you yet.

Brandon McManus is no Matt Prater. Then again, Matt Prater isn't Matt Prater this year, so who knows if we miss him or not. But McManus isn't all that great. Officially.

Lastly, thank you John Fox for not going all "John Fox" with this game. Thank you for consistently allowing the Broncos to at least attempt to put the nail in the coffin. There's hope for you yet.

All in all, I'm thrilled to death about this game. We beat a great divisional opponent on a short week. Any win against a divisional opponent is a great win. I know I don't buy the "a win is a win" philosophy, and I'm not about to say I believe in it against divisional opponents, but this was a quality win and we looked good (minus a few defensive breakdowns). I just love the direction this team is going. Two weeks ago I was worried that it was going to take forever for this team to round into form, and here I stand today, convinced that we are moving closer to the goal of being Super Bowl Champs. The Broncos are the best team in the NFL, and once the dust settles on the 2014 season, nobody will be able to deny them that with all that beautiful Orange and Blue confetti floating down onto their helmets!

P.S. Phil Simms is still horrible!

Go Broncos!!!