The Denver Broncos defense came to play today, dominating the New Orleans Saints for much of the game. They forced four turnovers, but the Broncos offense was unable to convert those turnovers into points keeping the game in doubt until the final minutes.
The game would be decided by an extra point. It was blocked and return for two points for the Broncos to lead them to a 25-23 victory.
The Broncos chose to defer after winning the coin toss to put this game on their defense and respond they did. After forcing a punt, the Broncos offense drove down the length of the field. Trevor Siemian threw a beautiful pass down the sideline into the end zone to Jordan Taylor who made an phenomenal catch to put the Broncos up 7-0 early.
From there, Drew Brees would not get much done against the No Fly Zone. He got one drive going late in the first quarter, but Darian Stewart made a great break on the ball to intercept Brees at the Broncos five yard line to keep the shutout going.
Stewart would open the second quarter with another pick on Brees that would give the Broncos excellent field position. The Broncos offense didn’t get much going, but did just enough to help Brandon McManus nail a 50-yard field goal to extend their lead to 10-0.
Neither team could get much done offensively until late, when Siemian and the Broncos drove down inside field goal range with less than a minute to go in the half. Siemian then telegraphed a short pass that was picked off by the Saints.
Brees took advantage of that opportunity and drove the Saints all the way down to the Broncos 10 yard line in just 40 seconds to get the Saints on the board 10-3 as the first half came to an end.
The third quarter was completely dominated by the Saints who intercepted Siemian and harassed him, while Brees led the charge back to two scores in the quarter.
Despite all that, the Broncos got things going late in the quarter and finished the quarter inside the Saints 20 yard line and in scoring position.
With the Broncos offense finally moving, Siemian had the drive ended with a sack again. It seems that Siemian was holding the ball a bit too long on that one. It was the fifth sack of the game for the Saints.
Brandon McManus just missed the field goal, setting the Saints up with solid field position. Brees hit Michael Thomas on a big play, but Bradley Roby forced a fumble that went straight into Stewart’s hands for a big defensive play to turn the tide of momentum.
Siemian on first down, missed a wide open receiver down the seam and instead stumbled his way to a one yard gain. Siemian hit Emmanuel Sanders for a first down on the next play.
Norwood caught a pass on a quick slant for a first down at the Saints two yard line. Booker was stuffed on first down and Siemian on second down hit Norwood for a one yard gain. On third and goal from the two, Siemian threw a pass to Thomas who made another incredible grab for the touchdown.
Broncos 17, Saints 17.
After two short runs, Brees on third and five would be dropped for a sack by Shaq Barrett to end the drive. A nice punt return from Jordan Norwood set the Broncos up with excellent field position.
A roughing the passer penalty set the Broncos up close to field goal range. Siemian converted a third and eight to Norwood to keep the drive alive, putting the Broncos into certain field goal range with six minutes to go in the game.
A swing pass to Devontae Booker converts another first down to put the Broncos inside the red zone. A three yard gain from Bibbs and a 12-men on defense penalty set the Broncos up with a second and short. Booker was stopped for a four yard loss to force a third and long for the Broncos.
From the Saints 12 yard line, Siemian overthrew Booker who made a diving catch well short of the first down marker.
Broncos 20, Saints 17.
With 3:23 left, #Broncos regain lead, 20-17. But defense is going to have to come up huge. Again. As usual.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 13, 2016
Great special teams coverage, pinned the Saints back at their own 14-yard line with just over three minutes to go. Von Miller came off the edge to pressure Brees on first down to force the first incomplete pass from Brees in the second half.
A quick pass over the middle saw Jared Crick force a fumble right into the waiting arms of T.J. Ward for the Broncos fourth turnover of the game.
Love. This. Defense.
Two quick runs burned the Saints through their remaining timeouts. On third and eight, Siemain from the shotgun overthrew Sanders in the end zone for an incomplete pass.
Broncos 23, Saints 17.
Brees was nearly sacked on first down, but was able to chuck the ball incomplete. On second down, Brees hit Brandin Cooks deep down the sideline over 30 yards who had beaten Roby.
From the Broncos 32 yard line, Brees hit Cooks in triple coverage for the touchdown for one of the most unbelievable plays of the season.
The Broncos special teams said no with a huge block and kickoff return for a two-point conversion. Justin Simmons blocked it, Will Parks returned it.
Broncos 25, Saints 23.
Yes. That happened.