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Broncos survive ‘Fitzmagic’ with end zone interception to beat Dolphins

Justin Simmons secured the 20-13 win for the Denver Broncos with a great interception in the end zone. The Miami Dolphins comeback was thwarted.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

For a team that came into this game with literally no one believing in them, the Denver Broncos put up a strong showing on offense and defense against a Miami Dolphins team trying to fight its way through a large field of playoff contenders in the AFC.

The 20-13 win was sealed by a Justin Simmons end zone interception on a pass that Ryan Fitzpatrick threw. If Simmons hadn’t been there it would have been an easy pitch and catch for the game-tying touchdown. He was there and the Broncos are now 4-6, ending a two game skid.

First Quarter

Things didn’t start out well for the Denver Broncos offense as Drew Lock made a critical mistake on their first drive with this interception.

The turnover led to a touchdown by the Dolphins on a 3-yard fade to De’Vante Parker from Tua Tagovailoa. However, outside that short scoring drive the Denver defense kept the Dolphins offense in check all throughout the first quarter.

Offensively, the Broncos got their spark from the usual place - a big run by Phillip Lindsay.

From there, the Broncos overcame back-to-back false starts as Drew Lock found Jerry Jeudy for nine yards and then Lock would run for a first down from there. He also hit Nick Vannett down to the one yard line where Melvin Gordon would punch it in to tie things up at 7 where it would be heading into the second quarter.

Full first quarter recap.

Second Quarter

The Broncos defense continued to frustrate and harass Tagovailoa in the second quarter, but the Dolphins did get a drive in that led to a field goal. Meanwhile, Lock put his 0/6 start behind and was dealing in the second quarter too.

He led drives to two field goals in the second quarter to put Denver up 13-10 at halftime.

Full second quarter recap.

Third Quarter

With an offense that was finding success, the Broncos defense kept on playing with fire. The Dolphins offense did almost nothing in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Broncos offense began the half with a long drive that was stalled by a failed fourth and one conversion attempt inside the red zone.

On their next drive, however, the Broncos offense ran the ball down the Dolphins throats. Garett Bolles deserves a shout out for how well his run blocking was on this drive, pancaking his man on a nice run by Melvin Gordon.

That would spring the Broncos offense that would see the drive capped by this 20-yard touchdown run by Gordon to put Denver up 20-10 over the Dolphins late in the third quarter.

Full third quarter recap.

Fourth Quarter

The Dolphins started the fourth quarter on a 1st and 20 after a holding call.

Tua Tagovailoa found himself flushed out by Bradley Chubb and chased down for a two yard loss by DeShawn Williams for the Broncos defense’s fifth sack of the game. Two plays later Bradley Chubb would end Miami’s drive with his first sack of the game and the defense’s sixth.

That last sack would knock Tua out of the game and Ryan Fitzpatrick would come in to replace him. Fitzmagic got a strong start as he would convert a third down on a beautiful pass just over the outstretched hands of Justin Simmons down to the Broncos 47-yard line.

The drive would stall just inside field goal range where the Dolphins were able to cut the leads to 20-13 on a 53-yard field goal from Jason Sanders.

It took the Lock and the Broncos offense just two plays to get into field range on their next drive with a 29-yard screen pass to Noah Fant and an 11 yard run by Lock. Lindsay took the next snap 20 yards down to the Dolphins 17 yard line to get the team in position to put the game away with six minutes to go. Melvin Gordon broke free for what looked like a touchdown, but he put the ball on the ground just before he broke the plane where the Dolphins would recover inside the one yard line.

The safety wasn’t to be, but some Fitzmagic was. They were aided in part by a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call on Chubb as they reached midfield with just under four minutes to go in the game.

From there the drive began to stall as the Dolphins were called for offensive holding to push them back to a 2nd and 20. A quick toss from there got those 10 yards back then Fitzpatrick hit De’Vante Parker for the first down who was wide open for a 20 yard gain to the Broncos 30-yard line. Miami would pick up another 12 yards just before the two minute warning to set themselves up inside the red zone.

Kareem Jackson nearly picked off the first pass into the end zone by Fitzpatrick, then Bryce Callahan was allover his man to tackle for just a two yard gain. On third and eight, Fitzpatrick was picked off by Justin Simmons to seal the victory for Denver and move them to 4-6 on the year.


How would you grade the Broncos performance against the Dolphins?

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