We start things out with Big Pete, who had two Game Balls to give out (the second one will come later). Take it away, Pete!
What I'm looking for is the sense of having full command of the game. Added patience is given for youth, but as the preseason progresses, I want to see growth, I want to see confidence, and I want to see command. I see these things when I see the game that Brock Osweiler plays.
QB Brock Osweiler
He looks very fluid in this offense for how little time he's played throughout his career. 7/16 for 121 yards and a TD is a very good stat line. That 57 yard strike for a TD was money. That interception? Hey, nobody's perfect. Everything I've seen so far this preseason tells me that if needed*, Brock can win us a few games this season while Peyton rests, and if needed**, can lead us to an AFC West Championship next year. - Big Pete
* Designed benchings of Manning to keep him healthy like I've been saying Peyton will need since January.
** Due to Peyton Manning retiring, which I honestly think he might not.
WR Bubba Caldwell
Winners and losers from Broncos-Texans
Who are the winners and losers from last night's 14-10 victory over the Houston Texans.
Andre Caldwell is not a fan favorite in Denver, but the Broncos seem insistent on keeping him around. He showed why tonight when he burned Houston's secondary for a 57-yard touchdown catch from Brock Osweiler. Caldwell finished the game with two catches for 61 yards, and while he may not be a sexy option at receiver, he's an experienced option that can also play special teams. Don't expect a younger receiver to beat him out anytime soon. - Jon Heath
QB Trevor Siemian
Trevor Siemian's best game in college came in 2014 when Northwestern traveled to Notre Dame (and it wasn't all that impressive), his best game of his professional career came in his second preseason game improving on his stellar play from the previous week when he had his previous best game of his professional career. Siemian took the third spot on the depth chart last week and this week he may have boosted Corbin Louks stock hitting the undrafted receiver on back-to-back plays (one just bounced off of Louks' facemask) to give the Broncos the late game win. - Ian Henson
LB Shaquil Barrett
Guess who's the highest-graded Broncos player by ProFootballFocus.com, through two weeks of the preseason? Well, if you guessed Shaq Barrett, you either have a keen eye for football or can infer that this section is about him based on reading his big-ol' name. Barrett leads the Broncos with two sacks - ten Broncos have sacks; only Barrett and Darius Kilgo have more than one - but he also leads the team in QB hits (five) and hurries (three). More than that, he's stepped up in a big way to give the Broncos the type of depth at pass rusher and linebacker 31 other teams dream about. - Monty
RB Ronnie Hillman
Ronnie Hillman continues to impress. I am his harshest critic, and even I am being forced to shut up and admit I just might be wrong. Hillman is looking like a strong and decisive runner who picks the proper lane to run through. Combine that with his burst once he finds a seam, and my once overlooked running back looks to be moving up the depth chart to force Montee Ball to be the part time bit player. - Big Pete
Wade Phillips and the D
While this could be the name of good band, it is in fact my winner of this week's game ball. There are several players on this Broncos defense who deserve individual mention (looking at you, Shaquil, Sly and Brandon), but I can't help but highlight the entire unit and its coordinator for what continues to be the show of dominance we were promised last year (but apparently needed a coordinator with actual vision to bring to fruition). I was not a fan of Wade Phillips as our head coach back in the day and was skeptical of his hire despite his street cred as a DC, but after two preseason games, I am a believer. We finally have talent + coaching + scheme. Thank you, Wade Phillips.
As much as I love watching Von Miller dominate the sack stats (and follow with a FunkyVonSackDance), the fact that he isn't dominating and nearly a dozen players are contributing to team dominance, is going to be sweet, sweet revenge on our opponents. In fact, it's just as Miller said after the game Saturday - "With Coach Phillips, you going to go out there and manufacture a play, and that's what I like about the defense."
Me too. And our entire Defense - from the starters to the backups - is one menacing group able to manufacture A LOT OF PLAYS. Like my favorite 90s baggy-pants-wearing poet M.C. Hammer likes to say, this Broncos D is "too legit...too legit to quit." - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann
Alright Broncos fans - who gets your Game Ball for Denver's 14-10 win?