Week 11 was easily the ugliest game from the Denver Broncos in 2014. Peyton Manning was intercepted twice in the second half; Julius Thomas (ankle), Emmanuel Sanders (concussion), and Montee Ball (groin) all left the game with injuries; the Broncos completely abandoned the run game early on.
The St. Louis Rams put together six scoring drives - five for field goals - to preserve their perfect home record against the Denver Broncos, beating Denver 22-7. Rams QB Shaun Hill finished 20 of 29 for 226 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions. His 63-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt opened up a 10-0 Rams lead they would never relent.
Manning threw for 340 yards, but his two interceptions in the second half were back-breaking. The Broncos offensive line had no answer for Rams rushers; Manning was sacked twice, but pressured into mistakes far more often. It was the first time the Manning-led Broncos have been held to single digits since Super Bowl XLVIII, and the only other instance in his two-plus years with the club.
The entire game was ugly for Denver, including the first half. Shaun Hill was nearly perfect, completing 13 of 16 passes ( %) for 168 yards (10.5 average), one TD and no interceptions. His abuse of the Broncos defense - thanks in large part to 6'3" Kenny Britt, for whom the Broncos had no answer - gave Hill a 131.2 pass rating in the first half. The Broncos' top-ranked rush defense, which had dominated the Oakland Raiders on the road a week ago, was suddenly allowing a 4.3-yard average on 15 carries.
The Rams offensive success helped St. Louis dominate in first-half time of possession (18:46 to 11:14) and kept Manning off his game. The Broncos offense never found its rhythm; its one touchdown came off a 42-yard fly ball from Manning to Emmanuel Sanders, who backed in uncovered into the end zone.
The Broncos' red zone defense did all it could to keep Denver in the game, but Greg Zuerlein made five field goals - including two from beyond 50 yards - to give the Rams the victory. Meanwhile, the Broncos opted to not even attempt two long field goals from beyond 50 yards, going for it on 4th and long/medium twice instead of giving Brandon McManus a chance.
The loss knocks the Broncos down to 7-3. They maintain their first place lead in the AFC West, but barely. Minutes later, the Chiefs held on to beat the Seahawks 24-20 and improve to 7-3 as well. The Broncos own the head-to-head tiebreaker, but must travel to Arrowhead in two weeks to fight for the AFC West.