clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game Balls for a slew of defenders and that Denver Broncos running attack

When the Denver Broncos - as they often do - Mile High Report staff give out their Game Balls to standout players from the big win.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos defense had themselves quite a game in their 34-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The offense put up 400 yards in total offense, while the defense just obliterated Andrew Luck and the Colts in the fourth quarter.

All around it was a good fun game to watch. So many game ball worthy players, but here is who we each settled on.

Demaryius Thomas

Demaryius Thomas appears to be rounding into form and back to being a dominant #1 NFL WR. Was there a drop? Sure. But there was also a back-breaking screen and a bunch of drawn PI calls that kept our team in the game. The Colts had no one who could cover DT which is what a player of his level should look like week in and week out. At the end of the day 5 catches for 90 yards and a handful of chain moving penalties drawn is a fine day at the office in my books. - Sadaraine

Aqib Talib

Aqib Talib is just too good. If you are willing to put up with his antics, and his occasional mistakes, he will reward you. Not only did Talib help the secondary lock up the pass happy Andrew Luck and Company, he also did what he loves to do. He took it to the house. His interception return for a touchdown was vintage Talib. He stole the ball, and looked to make the Colts pay. He is never satisfied with just giving the ball back to the offense. He wants the end zone, and has an uncanny ability to weave his way through wide receivers, offensive lineman, and get some defensive points. Without it, the Broncos probably don’t win the game. - Adam Malnati

Derek Wolfe

Derek Wolfe accumulated 1.5 sacks and made a handful of plays in the running game that helped the Broncos' defense obliterate the Colts' offense. His strong play on the left edge also helped set-up teammate Von Miller for success all game long. It is clear that Wolfe and Miller have a great bond with one another and feed off eachother's energy. - Christopher Hart

Andy Janovich

How important is Andy Janovich to the Denver Broncos offense? Let me put it this way, Janovich was in for 34 offensive snaps (and 19 special teams snaps), 16 of those 34 took place in the 1st half of the Colts game. On 7 of those 16 1st half plays Janovich was in the backfield as a fullback, on those plays Janovich led blocked for C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker to the tune of 35 yards. Now, that sounds paltry, but it does average out to 5 yards per carry for the two running backs. Those other 9 snaps, you ask? Well, one was a 10 yard Janovich reception during the first drive and of the other 8 only one resulted in an incomplete pass. Janovich's presence on the field forces defense's to stay in their base formation (Indianapolis's base defense is a 3-4). Cutting down the opportunity for a Colts secondary that was already hurting, by forcing linebackers into coverage is what allowed Trevor Siemian to complete passes to 9 different receivers in the 1st half. - Ian Henson

Shane Ray

After Demarcus Ware left the game with a fractured forearm, Shane Ray stepped in and performed like a starter. He brought pressure to Luck, and scored his first defensive touchdown of this career resulting from Von Miller's strip sack. Although we will miss Ware for a few weeks, I'm comforted that his replacement would be a sure starter on any other team in the NFL. - Kelly Fleming

T.J. Ward

TJ Ward was all over the field on Sunday. Was there some bad - of course, he had a holding penalty that led to a 3rd down conversion and he slipped on another coverage allowing a 3rd down conversion, but overall he was a BOSS this game. He led our team with 8 solo tackles he also added a QB hit and a pass defended. His tackle on the 3rd and 5 pass in the 4th quarter was wicked, effective and perfectly legal to keep Josh Ferguson a yard short of the sticks. Boss up. - Joe Mahoney

Von Miller

If there was any question Miller would have a “let down” after that playoff run and new salary, that’s been tossed in the garbage. Prior to Sunday’s game, the Broncos outside linebacker had yet to get a sack on Andrew Luck. I’d say he made up for it. Miller finished with three sacks, including the game-sealing strip sack that led to Shane Ray’s touchdown. On top of those three sacks, he had seven total tackles and three quarterback hits. There’s no question Miller would have had more sacks if Luck wasn’t so tough to bring down. For the season, Miller leads the NFL with four sacks. He’s converting 55.6 percent of his pressures into sacks. That’s just the start. Chew on this: In his last four games, including playoffs, Miller has nine sacks, 10 QB hits, four tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and one interception. - Ian St. Clair

Matt Paradis

Paradis had himself another quietly great day and has established himself as our best, most consistent linemen. His reach blocks on stretch runs are a thing of beauty. Paradis is a huge part of why our run game has been so successful this year. - Jeff Essary

Wade Phillips

You have to hand it to Wade Phillips. He took the Top 5 defense Jack Del Rio left him and turned it into one of the best defensive units in NFL History. He has completed destroyed the narrative that his defenses regress in the second year under his system after just two games. Phillips has waited his entire career to have the kind of talent his unit now possesses. This one’s for you Wade! - Tim Lynch

The Running Game

Although the Broncos' offense isn't quite impressing yet, the running game is definitely keeping opposing defenses honest behind C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker, Andy Janovich and even Kapri Bibbs. The running attack contributed 134 yards of the 400 total in Sunday's win, but more importantly was responsible for the only offensive touchdown and several key first downs. Shout out to Booker who bounced back in his second pro contest with 46 yards and no fumbles and adequately spelling Anderson on a hot game day that definitely needed a running game. (*but yo, Kubiak, more Jano next time, OK?) - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

So who gets your game ball?