What a way to begin the season.
The Denver Broncos came out to play to start the season. The offense overcame some early miscues to explode in the second half to get a 27-7 lead that lasted until the final play of the game, while the defense just did their job for nearly the entire 60 minutes against the New York Giants.
The result is a big road win to start the season and a huge confidence boost for a team looking to turn the page on the last five seasons. There were plenty of game ball worthy performances, but we did our best to each pick one to give out.
There is a lot I could say about Teddy Bridgewater’s performance on Sunday and almost all of it good. His final stat-line of 28/36 for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns was respectable and would have been even better had KJ Hamler not dropped that 50-yard touchdown.
For me, it was Bridgewater’s pocket awareness and improvisation that impressed the most. It is something no quarterback in Denver since Peyton Manning has shown any kind of ability in those areas. In fact, the biggest play of the game was a busted play that would have resulted in a sack or a turnover in years’ past. Instead, Teddy turned it into a game-changing touchdown.
This might have been the biggest play of the game tbh. https://t.co/io8ptVNVSM— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) September 13, 2021
If the quarterback competition between Bridgewater and Drew Lock was truly close then Lock has likely come a long way from his disappointing 2020 season. Perhaps he can continue to develop into a starting quarterback, but for 2021 this is clearly Teddy’s team. - Tim Lynch
Von Miller returning to the field would have been more than enough for me. After missing all of 2020, it was just nice knowing he was healthy and ready to play. Then he went out and did Von Miller things. He disrupted the run game. He demanded double teams. He harassed Daniel Jones. He came away with two sacks. And he danced. He celebrated. He smiled, and he made us all smile with him. What a great way to start the season. - Adam Malnati
The conversation about Vic Fangio was destined to swing heavily one direction or the other depending on the outcome of this game. Fangio, rather than staying conservative, responded by giving that pendulum a healthy shove- going for it not once, not twice, but three times on fourth down. Teddy Bridgewater & Company rewarded Vic’s aggressiveness and faith by converting all three and putting up arguably the greatest two minute scoring drive we’ve seen from the Broncos since the Manning era.
As a result, Fangio has an offense who knows he believes in them. He has a defense that knows they no longer have to shoulder the weight of winning alone. And he has an offense that believes in themselves.
Oh, and he has his first W as a head coach in September. Here’s to you, coach. Well done. - Taylor Kothe
It’s easy to forget Noah Fant missed practice time with a knee injury over the last two weeks with the way he was involved tonight. Bridgewater hit him for the first completion of his Broncos career and went back to him often. The 2019 first rounder wound up with six receptions on eight targets including a nice 25-yard completion off play action. With Jeudy out for some time, I expect his role to expand. - Joe Rowles
Teddy Bridgewater with a PA shot to Noah Fant for 25 pic.twitter.com/Ez0vsCWufQ— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 12, 2021
Thank you that your bones are made of rubber and are able to bend but not break. That looked like a for sure broken ankle but while a high ankle sprain is rough, it’s a lot better than it looked. - Scotty Payne
My game ball goes to Melvin Gordon. While he only touched the ball 14 times (Williams had 15 touches), his 70 yard TD run in the 4th quarter was what the Broncos needed to break the spirit of the Giants and put the game away.
Melvin Gordon with a 70-yard touchdown.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 12, 2021
Broncos up by 20. pic.twitter.com/3YcvFm7rmP
I was really impressed not only by his speed on that run (he outran Adoree Jackson who is really fast), but also his vision. The combination of Gordon and Williams will give the Broncos some really nice numbers this season. The Giants have a strong front seven and they are generally stout against the run. They were 9th in the league last season in YPC allowed and the Broncos offense finished the game with 165 yards on 28 carries (5.9 ypc). Gordon contributed the lion-share of that with 110 on 11 carries. - Joe Mahoney
Tim Patrick only had four catches for 39 yards, but it was his touchdown that showcased why Patrick is so valuable to this offense. And with Jeudy now out with a high ankle sprain, that value will only increase for an offense that will look to build on a strong 27-point showing. - Ian St. Clair