The death of Demaryius Thomas shocked us all and was heartbreaking for both fans and his former teammates. This game was always going to be an emotional one, but the Denver Broncos channeled that emotion into a dominating 38-10 win over the Detroit Lions. The loss of such a great former player and person still hurts, but Denver certainly paid homage to him in the best possible way today.
The game began with DT chants and ended with DT chants. Not a Broncos fan in the world not moved by this display of love and appreciation for Thomas.
After that emotional opening for Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos marched down the field behind 48 yards rushing from Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams. It was Williams who would power his way into the end zone for the early lead over the Lions to cap a 14-play scoring drive.
The Lions first possession ended in a three and out with Dre’Mont Jones getting a third down sack to get the ball back to the Broncos offense.
Javonte Williams ran five straight times to open the drive to net two first downs, then Bridgewater hit Noah Fant on a deep vertical route for 32-yards to set the Broncos up in the red zone.
Bridgewater finds Noah Fant down the sideline. pic.twitter.com/cpIJut4ViJ— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 12, 2021
Melvin Gordon took over from there capping the Broncos second drive of the game with a one yard plunge into the end zone with just over a minute left in the first quarter.
Broncos 14, Lions 0. Full first quarter recap.
The strong first quarter defense by the Broncos completely vanished in the second quarter. The Lions converted a third and eight on the first play and broke loose with some big plays from there on their way to a touchdown drive.
Craig Reynolds with a big run after he broke a Kenny Young tackle pic.twitter.com/2SlyxRaVKY— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 12, 2021
The Broncos ran the ball just three times in the second quarter despite gashing the Lions defense throughout the first quarter. That led to very little success as the Lions added another field goal to cut the Broncos lead.
However, the Broncos were able to put together a late drive with 1:15 left in the half that ended with a 52-yard field goal by Brandon McManus to get back up by a touchdown heading into halftime.
Broncos 17, Lions 10. Full second quarter recap.
All momentum for the Lions evaporated on the first series of the second half when the coughed the ball up and the Broncos recovered. The march down the field culminated with a second Javonte Williams touchdown. Here’s a look at the touchdown from our own Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann’s vantage point in the stands.
Desperation sunk in for the Lions, but they did get the ball out near midfield. They were faced with a fourth and two, but a batted pass caused another turnover on the wrong side of the field for Detroit.
The Broncos offense took the field and was able to put another touchdown. Melvin Gordon got his second touchdown on a wide open hole for a 15-yard scamper.
Broncos 31, Lions 10. Full third quarter recap.
The Lions had a chance early in the fourth quarter to put up a touchdown, but the Broncos put together a goal line stand to preserve Denver’s three touchdown lead. After a quick three and out, the Lions had another chance to score when they got inside the red zone. Justin Simmons made a spectacular diving interception to get the ball back for Denver again.
After the turnover, the Broncos offense got moving and running the clock out on this win. Their 15-play, 88-yard drive would result in nowhere near enough time for the Lions to come back in the game as the Broncos put up one final score to close things out. Albert Okwuegbunam made a fantastic effort to score with 1:51 left in the game to put the Broncos up 38-10.
The win moved the Broncos to 7-6 on the season and solidly in the AFC playoff hunt. They have a tough schedule against AFC teams also in the playoff hunt, so they certainly hold their destiny in their own hands.
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