The Denver Broncos needed a win over the Houston Texans pretty badly. Not only to stop a two game slide, but to get a little of that championship swagger back by taking down Brock Osweiler on Monday Night Football.
The Broncos won the toss and deferred. Both the Texans and Broncos would trade three and outs, but a booming punt from Shane Lechler helped give the field position advantage to the Texans.
Defensively, the Broncos dialed up the pressure on Osweiler on the next series to force another three and out. Lechler was able to pin the Broncos inside their own ten yard line, however, making it as difficult as possible for Trevor Siemian and the offense.
Siemian tried to go deep on that first down, but it was a terribly short pass that Emmanuel Sanders had to effectively break up. The series would end in a “three and out”, but only because a holding call on Russell Okung wiped out a first down run.
The Texans got things going on their next drive after Lamar Miller broke containment on a third down for a 25 yard run. The Broncos defense would stiffen to force a field goal.
Texans 3, Broncos 0.
The Broncos offensive woes would continue throughout the rest of the quarter, but the Texans offense found some running room to get themselves another field goal before the end of the first quarter.
Texans 6, Broncos 0.
The Broncos opened things up in the second quarter as Siemian began finding the open receivers for short gains. He would methodically lead the Broncos down the field with these short passes and short runs from Anderson and Devontae Booker.
The signature play may have been Siemian hitting Andy Janovich on a bootleg pass. The drive would end with Anderson running it up the gut for a touchdown.
Broncos 7, Texans 6.
The second quarter would continue to be owned by Siemian and the Broncos offense. On their next drive, Booker would rip off a few good runs which setup a really nice catch and run by Emmanuel Sanders.
On third and goal, Siemian would throw this beauty to Demaryius Thomas for the touchdown to put the Broncos up by eight.
Broncos 14, Texans 6.
After a three and out to start the second half, the Broncos defense came up with a bad defensive pass interference call on T.J. Ward to set the Texans up near the red zone. They would stalled just inside the red zone, closing the gap a bit.
Broncos 14, Texans 9.
The momentum of the game permanently shifted when the Texans were driving into field goal range, Alfred Blue fumbled after two solid hits from Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward.
Siemian and the Broncos rushing tandem of Booker and Anderson would march them down the field. A deep pass to Sanders would seal the deal and lead to a Booker touchdown run.
Broncos 21, Texans 9.
Things were beginning to look bleak for Osweiler and the Texans. Then Osweiler Orton’d.
The ball would somehow come free while he was trying to throw it and it would bounce forward into the hands of Chris Harris Jr.
Yes, you may laugh now.
From there, all Siemian had to do was hand the ball off and pick up third downs. For some reason, the Broncos took Janovich off the field and the drive stalled. Imagine that.
Broncos 24, Texans 9.
Osweiler, who entered his next possession with just under 70 yards passing on the game, completed two short passes to get a first down and out past their own 20 yard line. Two plays later, on third and six, Osweiler would throw it away as Von Miller was bearing down for the sack.
Shaquil Barrett would almost block the Lechler punt, but he got his hand on the ball just enough to make the punt a very poor one to give the Broncos good field position.
Gary Kubiak decided it was time to get conservative with the Booker/Anderson show, which was working. A deep pass to Thomas was dropped, which brought out the #tradeDT crowd in the stadium.
The field position was in the Broncos favor to start the next drive, but Osweiler completed a quick pass to Will Fuller to get them out to their own 21 yard line. A few plays later, Osweiler, faced with a third and ten, again had Miller in his face who chased him to the sideline where Osweiler would throw it incomplete to Hopkins.
On fourth down and ten, Osweiler had his pass batted down by Derek Wolfe. The Broncos defense said no thanks to any garbage time stats for Brent. The turnover on downs effectively sealed the win for the Broncos.
They would run the clock down to the two minute warning and kick the field goal.
Broncos 27, Texans 9.
Osweiler would run for his life with Miller in his face on every pass play to close out the game, despite some garbage time stats to close things out.