For the first time in 84 years, the Denver Broncos got a win.
Obviously there’s a little hyperbole there, but not by much (it’s since last December). In all seriousness, the Broncos finally finished a game and got the 20-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. It’s the first victory of the 2019 season, the 500th in franchise history and avoids the first-ever 0-5 start for Denver.
Whatever this win means going forward for the Broncos, it’s a heck of a lot better than digesting another loss. Adam Malnati and I certainly soaked up the first win of the season on the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify).
Per the usual, I’m bound to leave someone off of the list, so please mention them in the comments.
Mile High Salute to Denver’s head coach for the first win of his career. Fangio and Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell had a great plan and called a great game vs Philip Rivers and LA.
His run on third-and-14 from the Chargers’ 41-yard line epitomizes Denver’s running back — all heart. Lindsay’s 13-yard run set up the Broncos to put the game out of reach with a field goal. For the game, the second-year running back led Denver with 15 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown. Lindsay also had four catches for 33 yards.
If the Broncos can consistently get that kind of rushing attack, they’ll win a lot of games. Jim Nantz and Tony Romo talked about the one-two punch of Lindsay and Freeman throughout Sunday’s game, but they deserved it. Freeman finished with 61 yards on 13 carries. As a team, Denver rushed the ball 32 times for 191 yards.
Broncos rush offense
When you dominate a team like Denver did offensively on the ground, you go on the list. Lindsay and Freeman have to have lanes to run through, and the offensive line did a helluva job on Sunday. As did the receivers, tight ends and Andy Janovich.
I said it on Twitter, but the Broncos receiver is a damn beast, and like Lindsay, plays with huge heart. Sutton had four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Denver’s safety had himself a game on Sunday. Jackson was flying all over the field and making huge plays, one of which kept LA off of the scoreboard at the end of the first half. Jackson finished with 10 tackles.
Like Jackson, the Broncos linebacker was all over the field. The only question that arises from Johnson’s play: Why didn’t he get on the field sooner? He had nine tackles, one tackle for loss, two passes defended and one interception (it should have been two).
Denver’s safety got the first takeaway of the season with his pick in the first quarter. Simmons finished the game with four tackles and one pass defended.
There was a question of how the Broncos would replace Bradley Chubb. If Reed plays the way he did on Sunday, it will lessen the blow significantly. He only finished with two tackles, but that doesn’t do justice to how well he played.
Denver’s rush defense
Instead of listing every member of the Broncos defense, major kudos to the rush defense on Sunday. After being torched by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver responded — did it ever. The Broncos held LA to 35 yards on 16 carries.
When you hit a 46-yard field goal with under 2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to put your team up by 10 points, you’re a winner. McManus was 2-for-3 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points.
Incredible showing by Denver fans in southern California to make Sunday’s game a pseudo home game. Well done, Broncos Country!
No one. When you win a game for the first time since last December, we can take a week off with this list. It feels good to win again, so hopefully this sparks a streak.