The Denver Broncos won their third-straight game to move to .500 on the season with a convincing 24-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The win puts the Broncos in position to seriously challenge for that sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC in their final four games.
The win was powered by the Broncos impressive rookie class with the game-breaking plays being made by Phillip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, and Bradley Chubb. This team is on a streak and Broncos Country should be excited for them heading into the final quarter of the season.
The game starts with the predictable losing coin toss for the Broncos, which the Bengals then deferred that brought Case Keenum and the Broncos offense out onto the field to begin the game.
Phillip Lindsay came out immediately with two runs for sixteen yards to set the tone for Denver on the first drive.
A strange personal foul call on Courtland Sutton pushed the Broncos back to a first and 26, but that would not deter Denver’s desire to feed Lindsay who gained 10-yards on the first down carry.
Keenum went to an empty set on second down and found Sutton for a 13-yard gain out to midfield to setup a third and three. Keenum found Emmanuel Sanders on a quick out on the next play to recover from the questionable personal foul call on Sutton.
The drive would stall from there where Colby Wadman would pin the Cincinnati Bengals at their own five-yard line on their first drive.
From their own five, the Bengals looked for Joe Mixon to get out of the shadow of their own end zone with a mix of runs and short passes. Mixon then ripped off a 23-yard gain up the middle to the Broncos 46-yard line.
The Bengals drive stalled a bit after a block in the back call that pushed them back to their own 48-yard line for a third and 16. That would lead to a punt.
Unfortunately, Chris Harris Jr. suffered a lower leg injury and was ultimately carted off the field on that final defensive play.
The Broncos and Bengals would trade punts, as Von Miller got his first sack of the game. The quarter would end after a nice 7-yard gain by Royce Freeman on first down.
The Broncos started the second quarter from their own 26-yard line. Their drive would stall and they would again trade punts with the Bengals as Shelby Harris would get a sack of his own early in the second quarter.
After a poor punt, the Broncos were set up with good field position. They quickly moved the ball across midfield. From there a nice catch and run out of the flat by Andy Janovich and a run by Lindsay to get the Broncos just inside field goal range.
The drive would stall where Brandon McManus would miss from 50-yards out in the swirling winds.
Shelby Harris would get another sack on the Bengals next drive that ended up a third and 39 that would ultimately end in a punt.
Lindsay again helped push the Broncos across midfield on the Broncos next drive.
Keenum hasn’t looked accurate in this game, but on a third and 10 Keenum found Devontae Booker past the sticks who caught and ran for 30-yards into the red zone.
I mentioned in GIF Horse last week that the #Bengals struggle against backs in the passing game. Booker making me look like a prophet here, big gain for the #Broncos. #DENvsCIN pic.twitter.com/grLA4RoBfG— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 2, 2018
Another reception by Booker gained 8-yards to bring the Broncos down inside the Bengals 10-yard line at the two-minute warning.
Lindsay would take it from there with sic-yard touchdown run untouched to break the scoreless tie.
Broncos 7, Bengals 0.
The Bengals in hurry up quickly moved to their own 43-yard line after one of the worst hands to the face calls on Von Miller ever called.
Von Miller with a Hands to the Chest penalty call. Give me a break...— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 2, 2018
On a third and 11, Jeff Driskel hit Tyler Boyd deep for a 22-yard gain to the Broncos 36-yard line. Another ticky tack penalty on Isaac Yiadom for breaking up a pass, with a lowering the helmet call after leading with his shoulder.
Mixon then powered his way for a 14-yard gain to the Broncos 7-yard line. Miller nearly had a sack on Driskel who threw the ball away and was call for intentional grounding.
With it being a second and goal from the Broncos 17-yard line, Driskel looked to the end zone incomplete with 21 seconds left in the half. On third and goal, Driskel overthrew an open receiver in the end zone to bring out the field goal unit.
Broncos 7, Bengals 3.
The Bengals received the second half kickoff and opened things up with an offensive holding call on their first play. The Broncos defense would take things from there to force a three and out.
Not that the Broncos could do any better as they quickly punted right back to the Bengals on their first second half possession.
On the ensuing punt, the Bengals muffed it and the Broncos recovered for a huge game-changing turnover. Long snapper Casey Kreiter emerged from the scrum with the ball to set the Broncos up at the Bengals 33-yard line.
Two plays later Keenum threw up the 50/50 ball that Courtland Sutton just knows how to catch to blow the game wide open for the Broncos with a 30-yard touchdown reception.
Broncos 14, Bengals 3.
Bradley Chubb nearly had a sack on Driskel who got the ball off just in time to Tyler Boyd for a 20-yard gain to open up their next drive. His next pass was nearly pick-sixed by Bradley Roby, but fortunately for Cincinnati the pass was high and incomplete.
Driskel lobbed a third down pass up to Boyd who made a miraculous catch for a 23-yard gain. Boyd went down on the play and was helped off the field.
Driskel would then feel the pressure from Adam Gotsis and throw an interception to Justin Simmons to give the ball back to Denver.
The Broncos would come up with a short run by Lindsay and a pass for no gain to Sanders, then Keenum went over the top to Sutton for a 17-yard gain and a first down.
On the very next play, Lindsay takes a handoff outside untouched for a 65-yard touchdown run to extend the Broncos lead to three scores.
Broncos 21, Bengals 3.
The Bengals responded with a strong statement, marching down the field to cap their drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Driskel.
Broncos 21, Bengals 10.
Royce Freeman opened the drive up in the backfield and too his handoff for 9-yards on first down and then pushed through for the first down on the next play. Keenum missed a wide open Sanders deep, but he was under pressure and forced up in the pocket where Keenum ran and dove for a 10-yard gain and another firs down.
Freeman was stood up after a gain of six-yards and fumbled the ball, where the Bengals recovered.
The Bengals begin the final quarter with the ball near midfield. After getting one first down, the Bengals drive stalled after Todd Davis read a screen play perfectly on third down to force a punt.
After taking a few drives off, Lindsay was back on the field and ripped off a 14-yard gain. Sanders was open for a deep ball on the next play, but he was laid out with a dirty helmet to helmet hit that Sanders struggled to get up from. Sanders went to the tent for a concussion protocol.
The Broncos would drive would stall and end with a Keenum sack that kept them out of field goal range.
Von Miller picked up his second sack of the game on the Bengals next possession to force a third and 15 that the Bengals would not be able to convert.
From their own 20-yard line, the Broncos kept it on the ground with Lindsay who picked up 15-yards on first down. Lindsay slipped on the next play, but still gained five-yards. Keenem went deep to Sutton on the next play who adjusted to an underthrown ball for a 27-yard gain.
Courtland Sutton with another great catch on 3rd and long. pic.twitter.com/yVgCvMNOSO— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 2, 2018
The drive would stall there with the Broncos again just outside field goal range, but with less than four minutes to go the Bengals had a long way to go to overcome a two-score deficit.
Bradley Chubb would get into the action with a strip-sack on Driskel to ice the game for Denver.
The Broncos inactives are cornerback Tramaine Brock, linebacker Jeff Holland, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, inside linebacker Brandon Marshall, defensive end DeMarcus Walker, and guards Sam Jones and Nico Falah.
For the Bengals, their inactives are wide receiver Auden Tate, linebacker Brandon Bell, cornerback Tony McRae, tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Cordy Glenn, wide receiver Josh Maloneand defensive end Kasim Edebali.
The winner of this game keeps their playoff hopes alive, while the other is likely looking for Christmas miracles.
For the Denver Broncos, they are coming off two huge wins against the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Cincinnati Bengals are nursing a three-game losing streak and searching for answers.
This is a game the Broncos should win, which should scare any fan of the Orange and Blue. One good thing that has been happening is that the coaching staff is beginning to learn how best to use its rookie weapons on offense. Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave is finding ways to get the ball into the most explosive weapon they have on offense: running back Phillip Lindsay.
“That was one thing we noticed early on with this guy,” Musgrave said on Thursday. “Not everybody has the vision in between the tackles and he does. He’s not the biggest guy out there, but he has great vision. He can find that crease in that crevice and then of course, he just hits it full speed before it can close up in an instant.”
Royce Freeman may be a great running back in this league, but the Broncos have a hot hand and are trying to ride it into the playoffs. His time will come, but right now Lindsay is the home run threat this offense has desperately needed.
Here is how to watch.
When: Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Mile High time
Where: Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
Channel: CBS / Channel 20
Announcers: Spero Dedes (play-by-play) and Adam Archuleta(analyst)
Radio: KOA - 850 AM | 94.1 FM & The Fox - 103.5 FM | Spanish Radio KNVR 1150 AM
Denver Broncos injury report
|Domata Peko Sr.||NT||NIR||NOT LISTED||LIMITED||FULL|
|Emmanuel Sanders||WR||Heel||NOT LISTED||LIMITED||LIMITED|
|Derek Wolfe||NT||Back||NOT LISTED||NOT LISTED||LIMITED|
|Zach Kerr||DE||Illness||NOT LISTED||NOT LISTED||DNP|
Cincinnati Bengals injury report
|Jake Fisher||T||Back||DNP||INJ. RESERVE||INJ. RESERVE|
|Darqueze Dennard||CB||Illness||NOT LISTED||DNP||FULL|
Before the Broncos beat the Steelers and Jeff Driskel being named the starting quarterback for the Bengals, Denver was a slight underdog in this game. Now, they are favored by five-points on the road - a rare feat during the Vance Joseph era.
The Bengals are a franchise that has absolutely been dominated by the Broncos over the years. With a 21-10 overall record that includes an 8-7 mark on the road, Denver has manhandled Cincinnati most times they have faced off.
In fact, the Bengals are one of seven teams that John Elway (the quarterback) never lost to, finishing his career a perfect 7-0 against the Bengals. Only the New England Patriots suffered a worse fate against Elway with an 0-11 mark.
In this weeks’ podcast, Ian and Adam talked about legitimacy and how the Broncos could go about seizing some this week.
Broncos & Bratwurst is all about jumping on the playoffs bandwagon after two impressive wins by Denver over playoff contenders.
Social Media Information
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Broncos Regular Season Schedule 2018
|1||Sep 9||vs Seattle Seahawks||W 27-24||FOX|
|2||Sep 16||vs Oakland Raiders||W 20-19||CBS|
|3||Sep 23||at Baltimore Ravens||L 27-14||CBS|
|4||Oct 1||vs Kansas City Chiefs (MNF)||L 27-23||ESPN|
|5||Oct. 7||at New York Jets||L 34-16||CBS|
|6||Oct 14||vs Los Angeles Rams||L 23-20||FOX|
|7||Oct 18||at Arizona Cardinals (TNF)||W 45-10||FOX|
|8||Oct 28||at Kansas City Chiefs||L 30-23||CBS|
|9||Nov 4||vs Houston Texans||L 19-17||CBS|
|11||Nov 18||at Los Angeles Chargers||W 23-22||CBS|
|12||Nov 25||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||W 24-17||CBS|
|13||Dec 2||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 24-10||CBS|
|14||Dec 9||at San Francisco 49ers||L 20-14||CBS|
|15||Dec 15||vs Cleveland Browns||L 17-16||NFLN|
|16||Dec 24||at Oakland Raiders (MNF)||L 27-14||ESPN|
|17||Dec 30||vs Los Angeles Chargers||2:25 PM||CBS|