The Denver Broncos knock off the Tennessee Titans to notch their second victory in a row, improving to 2-4 on the year.
Denver came into today’s game looking to build on the momentum from their first win of the season last week and did just that. The defense continued to look dominant with newcomers Mike Purcell and Alexander Johnson carrying over their success from last week. The secondary forced two interceptions on Marcus Mariota, which forced the Titans to bench him midway through the second half.
The offense struggled to execute what looked like an intentionally conservative gameplan as both teams traded punts for most of the game, but they did enough to come away with the win and capitalize on the opportunities given by the defense.
Denver deferred to start the game so the defense was up first and immediately shut down the Titans offense, forcing a three and out. Fangio has been showing some more blitzes on 3rd downs over the last few weeks and dialed one up here which allowed Alexander Johnson to get the sack.
The #Broncos hold on 3rd and long after Alexander Johnson brings down Mariota! pic.twitter.com/A67eOvmzfU— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Diontae Spencer took the ensuing punt back past midfield with a really nice return, so Denver started their first drive of the game in great field position. Nice bounce back from a special teams unit that gave up a punt return touchdown last week.
Denver came out running the ball with Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman helping march the offense down the field into the red zone.
Backs have been a huge factor so far for the #Broncos offense. Two straight Lindsay carries and then this throw to Andy Janovich. Denver in the high red zone. pic.twitter.com/1EhisLNgdP— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Malcolm Butler made a nice break on a ball to Courtland Sutton on 3rd down, so Denver was forced to punt.
Broncos 3, Titans 0
Denver’s defense stood tall once again, shutting down Derrick Henry and forcing yet another three and out for Tennessee.
After trading punts, the Titans on offense caught a massive break as Chris Harris stripped the ball out of a receiver’s hands, but Justin Simmons had stepped out of bounds and was the first Bronco to touch the fumble, so it rendered the fumble out of bounds, Tennessee ball. Still a great play by Harris forcing the fumble.
Denver’s defense came up big on a third down play later in the drive, forcing the Titans to punt.
Tennessee started off the second quarter receiving a punt from Denver and subsequently punted the ball back as Denver’s defense has played exceptional, aside from a few penalties.
Will Parks at nickel is a Fangio adjustment I like a lot. #Broncos defense is stout against the #Titans very conservative play call, rallying up to prevent the first. pic.twitter.com/uhUqNlBdoj— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Denver’s offense continued to struggle and play conservatively against a stout Titans defense as both teams are a combined 1 for 9 on 3rd down conversions.
Vic Fangio sends a 2 man rush at the #Titans and @VonMiller is still inches away from a sack. #Broncos D holds on third down. pic.twitter.com/UEktHD36br— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Towards the end of the quarter the Broncos put together a good drive on the back of a big play to Courtland Sutton, but were stalled on 3rd and 1, which brought up a long McManus field goal, which he hit down right down the middle.
Broncos 6, Titans 0
Imagine sleeping on @SuttonCourtland— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Couldn't be me. pic.twitter.com/k6ZaZ0GaYW
Derek Wolfe just stole a man's soul. pic.twitter.com/3UuKqagzjq— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Right as Tennessee looked like they may get a last minute field goal, Chris Harris intercepted Marcus Mariota, giving Denver a chance for a field goal at the end of the half. However, the offense couldn’t make it happen, so the halftime score would stay 6 - 0 Broncos.
Marcus Mariota throws his first interception of the year to Chris Harris. #Broncos have another chance at points before the half. pic.twitter.com/JwcSDPITyF— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Overall, second quarter was a defensive slug-fest with poor offensive output on both sides.
Denver opened the half with the ball, but Joe Flacco and Fant couldn’t connect on a deep ball that looked like either Fant couldn’t locate the ball or Flacco undershot it. Either way, the play resulted an interception, ruining what could have been a great play.
The third quarter struggles continue for the #Broncos offense as Joe Flacco is picked off throwing to Noah Fant on third and short. pic.twitter.com/GeYgKdS4wU— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Fortunately, the Denver defense once again stood strong, forcing a Titans punt, so the only damage done on the turnover was field position.
The offense punted the ball away as they continue to struggle on 3rd down, but Justin Simmons came up with Denver’s second interception of Marcus Mariota to set the team up in great field position.
The pic after the pick!#BudLightCelly x @budlight pic.twitter.com/zR4Wf0QHV2— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 13, 2019
Love how Scangarello used Spencers' speed to open this up for Freeman. pic.twitter.com/cji7EjbvgX— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
The Broncos took advantage with Phillip Lindsay punching it into the end zone.
Phillip Lindsay for the score! #Broncos 13-0! pic.twitter.com/1uLwVcDcP1— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Broncos 13, Titans 0
After that interception and subsequent score, the Titans benched Marcus Mariota, and put backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill into the game. Ryan Tannehill couldn’t do anything, but neither could Denver’s offense so the teams traded punts up until the end of the 3rd quarter.
The Broncos defense has now gone nearly 7 quarters without allowing a touchdown.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) October 13, 2019
More of the same in the fourth quarter as the Titans offense continued to struggle under Ryan Tannehill and Denver’s offense struggled as well.
It's pretty baffling how the #Titans continue to try and run on the #Broncos base 3-4. Mike Purcell destroys this run. pic.twitter.com/ZmFXsq4hjJ— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Chris Harris with a great play on the ball and the #Broncos force a 4th down. pic.twitter.com/g9EVKrilZP— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
The Broncos defense dominated the Titans, shutting down a drive that made it into the red zone. The Titans went for it on 4th down, as a field goal doesn’t help them much at this point and the Broncos pass rush came through with a sack to force the turnover on downs.
De'Marcus Walker comes up huge for the #Broncos on the #Titans 4th and ball game! pic.twitter.com/J5n3PAAOJL— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
DeMarcus Walker picks up second sack of the day.
The offense finally caught a bit of a spark from a big catch by Courtland Sutton and a huge run by Phillip Lindsay that drove Denver down into Titans territory, ending in a third McManus field goal of the day.
30 yard pickup for the #Broncos 30, Phillip Lindsay with a huge play! pic.twitter.com/qvDiwyL1Cn— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Broncos 16, Titans 0
The Titans went into the hurry up and despite another Broncos sack, Tannehill was able to get the offense down into the red zone, but the Broncos defense came up big once again and dominated the Titans offense.
Another sack for the #Broncos as Derek Wolfe drags Tannehill down. pic.twitter.com/pXHGtioitq— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 13, 2019
Denver would finish the game with seven sacks, three interceptions, a benched quarterback, and one shutout win at home.