After every win, the Mile High Report staff give out game balls. It’s been so long that we almost forgot we do game balls posts around here. The Denver Broncos 23-0 dominating shutout win over the New York Jets was just the kind of game we all needed.
The offense was kind of average in this game, but with no turnovers we saw how good the defense actually could be when not put into really bad spots. Here are the game balls each of us have to give.
DT came to play in this game. He was dominant from start to finish on his way to pushing Shannon Sharpe down to the third spot for two Broncos records. Thomas passed Sharpe in total career touchdowns and receiving yards as a Bronco. Not bad for a guy in just his eighth year who had just 800 yards receiving total through his first two seasons in the league.
For whatever reason, Thomas gets a lot of hate from Broncos fans. It’s as if these fans believe replacing a guy with DT’s talent is as easy as it would be in Madden. Thomas continues to prove he is a Top 10 talent in the NFL and is worth every penny. - Tim Lynch
It's been so long since we won, most of the staff forget that we give out game balls after a victory. My game ball goes to Shelby Harris. This guy has been straight balling all year and now, he was forced to move over to play the nose because of the injury to Domata Peko.
So how did he respond? He was a force. He disrupted both passing plays and running plays. He was only credited with one tackle, one sack and one pass defense, but his contributions were much more significant than that. He spent most of the game in the Jets' backfield and made the most of the 32 defensive snaps that he got this game.
You know what else he did this game? He guaranteed that he will be back on the Broncos next season as he will be an exclusive rights free agent for 2018 and we would be stupid NOT to bring him back next season. He will be cheap and he is one of the few guys on the team who has played well above his pay-grade this season for Denver. - Joe Mahoney
Brandon Marshall has taken a ton of heat this season, and he finally had a game worthy of praise. A strip-sack plus three tackles for a loss deserves credit - and even a game ball. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann
I don’t want to tell people how to be a fan … but don’t be that fan that complains about a single missed tackle from a player that has a sack, a forced fumble and three tackles for losses in a single game. When I refer to “spoiled fans,” that’s what I’m talking about.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 11, 2017
Darian Stewart has been pretty bad this year. We're talking PFF grade of 51.7 bad, which is easily the worst he's posted since 2011. With Wade Phillips' departure, Darian Stewart's game tanked. But, for one shining moment at least, he was rocking like it was 2015 all over again. Josh McCown threw the ball up and Stewart streaked across the field and snagged the errant ball mid jump, landing in stride and perfectly angled to take his prize the other way down the sideline. Well done! And kudos to Von Miller for hustling over to throw a timely block that bought Stewart another 5 yards or so on the return. - Taylor Kothe
The win was meaningless, but what we saw from Von Miller was historic. With his one sack, he became the first player in Broncos history with six, 10-sack seasons, and he recorded his 90th career sack, including the playoffs. That’s the fifth-most in NFL history through a player’s first seven seasons. Only Reggie White, DeMarcus Ware, Richard Dent and Derrick Thomas had more in that time. Mile High Salute to Miller. It’s a true pleasure to watch you do what you do and how well you do it. - Ian St. Clair