What a game for the Denver Broncos. Just about no one believed they had one iota of a chance in this game against the Dallas Cowboys. As double-digit road underdogs, they smacked the Cowboys in the mouth for over three and a half quarters putting up a 30-0 lead that Dallas cut down to 30-16 in the final minutes of garbage time.
It was a signature win for a team searching for an identity. Even more so less than a week after trading the face of their franchise for the better part of a decade in Von Miller. Hopefully this is a harbinger of more to come, but for now its time to savor and celebrate this outstanding win for Denver.
Here is who we have given our game balls out for Week 9.
Justin Simmons & Shelby Harris
With the Von Miller trade last week, it was going to be on other veterans on the defense to step it up and bring the intensity against a team like the Cowboys. Justin Simmons and Shelby Harris did just that. Simmons was flying all over the field and you could just see early on that he was bringing the heat. Then, of course, there was Shelby Harris who definitely took issue with the tank talk all week after the Miller trade. He made sure to let everybody know after the game that there would be none of that! - Tim Lynch
Fangio just got the signature win of his head coaching career. To not only get the showing out of the players but the game plan from the coaches is impressive. And to do it on the road against a legitimate Super Bowl contender makes this damn impressive. - Ian St. Clair
Javonte Williams rushed the ball 17 times for 111 yards. Averaging 6.5 yards per carry, Williams is a special talent. Watching him run the football is as exciting as anything else in football right now. He blows guys up. He fights for every yard. He breaks tackles, makes guys miss, and is always fun to watch. When defenses see him with the ball, you know there are business decisions being made. He is becoming a staple on Good Morning Football’s Angry Runs segment. - Adam Malnati
The 41 rushing attempts yesterday by the Broncos was the most by a Bronco team since the 2017 Broncos ran the ball 46 times in a 25-13 win @ IND. The 190 rushing yards is the best for a Broncos team since 218 @ CIN in 2018.— Joseph Mahoney (@ndjomo76) November 8, 2021
Teddy Bridgewater’s never going to win over some parts of Broncos Country and his play isn’t stopping George Paton from scouting first round quarterback prospects, but he’s quietly doing his part to lead this team to the playoffs. He did a masterful job spreading the ball around to take advantage of holes in the secondary as they cropped up, and six of Bridgewater’s 19 completions helped the Broncos move the chains on third down. - Joe Rowles
The quarterback with the 3rd-highest EPA/play through 9 weeks is.... .. . . .. .— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) November 8, 2021
Teddy Bridgewater??? pic.twitter.com/J7CYp0MBGU
In a game where the Broncos did not have Von Miller (trade) or Malik Reed (injury), I feared that the defense was not going to be able to generate any pressure on Dak Prescott. Jonathan Cooper stepped up and showed that he can bring the pressure when called upon to do so. He finished the game with two sacks, two QB hits and two tackles for loss, but honestly he could have had about three or four sacks since he missed Dak on multiple occasions. It’s looking like the 7th round pick may have been a steal by the Broncos. - Joe Mahoney
Jonathon Cooper with a second sack on Dak Prescott.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 7, 2021
2nd sack of his NFL career pic.twitter.com/VF6DCjeklc
Garett who? Calvin Anderson gets my game ball. The Broncos needed to win up front if they were ever going to have a chance against the red-hot Dallas Cowboys. Anderson played the best football I’ve seen on the left side of our line this whole season. He held down the edge, opened up holes, and helped the line do a really good job of giving Teddy Bridgewater time to keep the offense humming. - Sadaraine
Fangio: Calvin (Anderson) ensured me that he played good (laughs). #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) November 7, 2021
When Tim Patrick stepped into the void left by Courtland Sutton’s injury last season and thrived, becoming one of the NFL’s most reliable WRs, many of us reasonably expected that it would be the high water mark of his career in Denver. With Sutton back, and Jeudy and Hamler going into year two of their careers, the past offseason included a good bit of trade speculation by fans, bloggers, and pundits who all thought Denver’s WR/TE groups too crowded for Patrick to sustain his production. But the Broncos were happy to keep Patrick around, and week in and week out he’s demonstrating why that was an excellent decision.
Patrick’s 4 catches on 5 targets for 85 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys make for a great stat line, but they don’t tell the whole story of his contributions to the game. They don’t give quite enough credit to plays like the 3rd and 8 Denver faced at the Dallas 49, during the 1st drive of the 2nd half. Patrick caught the ball short of the sticks, threaded his way past 3 defenders, and gained a total of 11 yards to keep the drive and the Broncos’ fragile momentum alive. A few plays later Brandon McManus was able to make the score 19-0, and Denver never looked back from that 3-score lead. - Taylor Kothe
Teddy Bridgewater with a 44-yard checkdown for a touchdown to Tim Patrick.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 7, 2021
Broncos with a two score lead over the Cowboys pic.twitter.com/v4P2gViNNK
The Broncos offensive line came in banged up and left even more so, but that let rookie Quinn Meinerz step in at right guard and deploy his version of bully ball and what a sight it was. Whether it was keeping Teddy upright in the pocket or spring boarding big runs with his blocking, Meinerz shined through in a big way against Dallas. The play of him pulling around and smashing through the linebacker and then mauling three more defenders to open up one of Javonte Williams’s big runs was the single best play from the Broncos OL this season. It’s time for ‘The Gut’ in Denver. - AJ Schulte