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Broncos Texans game balls: Trevor Siemian the Broncos rushers and the No Fly Zone

When the Denver Broncos win, the Mile High Report staff gives out game balls to the game standouts.

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NFL: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

When the Denver Broncos started the second quarter it looked like this game against the Houston Texans would be a tough nut to crack. However, the Broncos would go on to outscore the Texans 27-3 in the final three quarters to move to 5-2. With such a blowout win, you know there will be too many game ball worthy players and not enough to staff to give them all out.

Here’s who we all settled on.

Trevor Siemian

Being a fan blogger isn’t always fun. As the lead guy around here, I’ve working quite hard during the games - while trying to watch and enjoy it as a fan. I mostly don’t get the latter until I rewatch it on NFL’s Game Pass the next day.

That said, Trevor Siemian had me ready to quit after three straight three and outs, but then he had me riding high the rest of the game. He managed this game perfectly once the second quarter began. He played mistake-free football and took his shots down the field when the opportunity presented itself.

Pro Football Focus last week wrote that the book was out on Siemian. Well, this week Siemian wrote a new chapter in that book and now its back on the Broncos opponents to figure that one out. Here is what they had to say about him after Monday night:

Quarterback grade: Trevor Siemian, 77.7

With the Broncos running the ball well, Siemian wasn’t asked to do as much as he has in other games, with just 13 completions on the night. The stat sheet will show Siemian completing just one pass to Emmanuel Sanders for 31 yards on five passes targeted 10-plus yards downfield, but that doesn’t quite tell the whole story of his performance. He also had two nice passes to Demaryius Thomas over 20 yards. The first in the first quarter was called back due to a holding penalty, while the other was dropped by Thomas mid-way through the fourth quarter. Still, Siemian did miss on two out routes past the first-down marker that he should have hit on. Overall, though, he did enough to help the Broncos win and took care of the football.

Pressure Drop-backs Att Comp Comp % Yards Yds / Att TD INT Rating
No Pressure 19 19 13 64.8 141 7.4 1 0 107.6
Players under pressure 5 5 1 20.0 15 3.0 0 0 39.6
When not blitzed 5 5 4 80.0 31 6.2 0 0 92.5
When blitzed 19 19 10 52.6 125 6.6 1 0 90.9
All Plays 24 24 14 58.3 156 6.5 1 0 91.7

Here’s to redemption against the San Diego Chargers next week! - Tim Lynch

Darian Stewart

You want to know who held Lamar Miller to 61 yards one week after he ran for 124 yards and a score? That would be Darian Stewart, whether it was stopping Miller short on 2nd and 8 or assisting Aqib Talib with the defense of DeAndre Hopkins (5 catches for 36 yards on 12 targets) it was Stewart that played much like he has all season. Then to top it off, with Denver leading 14-9 in the 3rd quarter, Stewart held up Houston's Alfred Blue while T.J. Ward smacked the ball loose into Todd Davis's eager hands.

Stewart may be making the same case this season as he did last season, he should be in consideration for the Broncos defensive MVP. He's certainly put an exclamation mark on the statement that Denver's defense is Denver's best offense. - Ian Henson

Aqib Talib

There is lots of talk about how there were no hard feelings when Brock left the team, but you could tell that our secondary wanted badly to show him that he had made the wrong decision when he chose to leave them behind (and not attend the ceremony at the White House and not return any of their calls). The member of the secondary who seemed to spearhead that effort last night was Aqib Talib. You could tell from his pre-game interview, that he was as primed for this game as he was for the Bucs game (his former team).

So what did he do?

He held one of the "best receivers in the game" to 5 catches for 36 yards on 12 targets. That's what I call shutting a wide receiver down. Talib shut down DeAndre Hopkins and for that he gets my game ball.

"I looked up in the fourth quarter before that last drive, and he [Brock] had like 70 yards passing," Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib said. "And I just smiled on the inside. That's what we wanted to do. We wanted Brock to come out here and struggle, and he came out here and struggled." - Joe Mahoney

Chris Harris Jr.

Two weeks ago these guys held Julio Jones to a two catch, 30 yard performance, coming off of a 300 yard performance. This week the dynamic duo of DeAndre Hopkins (who is on Chris Harris' top 5 toughest WRs to cover list) and Will Fuller posted a combined 58 yards and no TDs.

Chris Harris and Aqib Talib have been balling out all season. Our team is number one in pass defense in large part because no one wants to test these guys. The only times teams have had success is when they actively throw away from both of these guys.

Whoever was suggesting Talib should be gone this year or next (cough me cough) is being proven wrong every night as Talib balls out on a weekly basis. He had 4 pass defenses tonight and was making big hits like a safety.

These two have consistently been our top players on defense. Have a gameball fellas. - Jeff Essary

Special Teams

There were a lot of keys to the Broncos victory over the Texans Monday night. None bigger than the special teams play. The Broncos special teams was able to take control of the game, pinning the Texans offense back on punts. However, what was most impressive was their ability to pin the Texans deep in their own half on kickoffs. Brandon McManus floated the ball to the goal line effortlessly.

Joe Dicamilis had his boys flying down the field. A special shout out to Corey Nelson. He practically made every tackle on kick returns and it was rare that the Texans started beyond the 20 yard line. Winning the field position battle is a great way to ensure victory. The Broncos special teams did more than win the battle. They annihilated the competition. - Adam Malnati

Devontae Booker

Devontae Booker had 17 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown, but he gets my game ball as much for his outstanding performance as for C.J. Anderson’s, who ran 107 yards on 16 carries, also with a TD to boot. So why Booker who had lesser stats? Because thanks to the rookie, Anderson was better. Whether it was the rest No. 22 got while No. 23 took the rock, or the motivation spurred by a little competition, Anderson’s success this week has something to do with Booker. (And Booker’s success has a lot to do with Andy Janovich, but Sadaraine has got that game ball covered!)

So not only did Booker take care of his role in the game with his blazing speed and incredibly awesome willingness to steamroll the linebackers in his way, Booker helped everyone else take care of theirs.

Gary Kubiak even noted the rookie’s impact on the entire running game:

“I think it was really important because you can see he has some young juice to him. He gives us the ability to make some big plays. He’s pushing C.J. to be the best he can be, and C.J. responded tonight and played extremely well. It’s going to be really important.” - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

C.J. Anderson

The lack of a rushing attack the last four games for the Broncos was a cause of consternation. It made Denver’s offense predictable and a direct cause for the two-game losing streak. Denver didn’t have more than 90 yards the last four games. Enter Anderson, who had heard enough.

Anderson ran the ball with serious attitude and was not going to be stopped. As Laurie said, Anderson may have been sparked by Booker and Janovich actually getting on the field. Whatever the reason, if the Broncos run the ball as they did against the Texans, they will not be beat.

Anderson finished with 16 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. He’s the first Denver back to crack 100 yards this season. The goal now is to build on it and make it consistent. The lesson here? Continue to question Anderson. When he’s backed into a corner he comes out fighting. - Ian St. Clair

Andy Janovich

Any game where Andy Janovich isn't on the field for at least 40-50% of the offensive snaps is a game where Denver's primary play caller needs to be fired. After 7 weeks of the season this kid looks like the biggest win from the 2016 draft. His lead blocking is bone-crushing. His pass protection is punishing. He catches out of the backfield smoothly. He is a threat to run the ball. He's a weapon that makes teams pay for keeping their boxes light against our 22 or 12 personnel packages and opens up the play book to use a bigger variety of runs. Yes the offensive line played well, but the key to this rushing attack is squarely in the court of one Andy Janovich which is why he gets my game ball. - Sadaraine

Gary Kubiak

My game ball goes to Gary Kubiak for having the wisdom to play Andy Janovich on 25 rushing snaps. Seeing CJ and Devontae Booker trust him this week, paid off. There were only 10 rushing snaps Janovich wasn’t in. That tells a big story. - Julie Dixon

Demaryius Thomas

Demaryius catches a lot of criticism for dropping passes, I hear it in every game. And although he misses a few every now and then, he still earns his massive paycheck. He makes big plays when the Broncos need them most, like his 4 yard touchdown last night. On that touchdown, DT caught his 50th touchdown since 2012, the most in the NFL, despite the less than flashy offense the Broncos have sported the last two seasons. DT is the ONLY thing I will ever publicly thank Josh McDaniels for, and I hope we can show him just how good a pick that was in week 13. - Kelly Fleming

John Elway

So after having my game ball away for CJ pried away from me, I have decided to give my game ball to the man in the booth, John Elway. Elway has taken a lot of heat for letting Brock go. Whether it was not offering him a contract early to keep him from hitting the market or not matching Houston’s $72 million offer, many "experts" and fans thought Elway really dropped the ball and set this franchise back in its super bowl window by letting Brock leave town.

Once again Elway has been proving his eye for talent as Oswieler has been a huge disappointment 7 games in to this season. Oswieler over throws receivers, misreads coverages and panics in the face of pressure. All things that we saw from him in his time in Denver.

Last night, Houstons golden boy was out performed by MHR's favorite quarterback, Trevor Siemian. Siemian may be far from the permanent answer the Broncos are looking for, and he may have the personality of a rice cake, but he makes a fraction of what Osweiler is making and he is performing at a higher level. His minuscule contract allows the Broncos to lock down key players on the defensive side of the ball as well.

Indeed some of the best moves you make are the ones you don't make at all. And this "non move" has paid off for the Broncos and thus the reason I am giving my game ball to John Elway. - Derek Ahrnsbrak

Who gets your game ball for Monday night’s big win? Von Miller or Emmanuel Sanders anyone?