Shutouts are hard in the NFL. In fact, the Denver Broncos 26-0 drubbing of the New York Jets on Sunday is the only the fourth shutout by Denver since 2000. Three of them actually have come against the Jets.
Our game balls were heavily focused on the defense this week, but one consistent guy on this game ball post is Teddy Bridgewater. His leadership and play on the field has been a big part of the Broncos 3-0 start. But that defense completely shut down the Jets for the franchise’s fourth shutout of the century.
Here is who we have given our game balls out for Week 3.
The best defender on the field on Sunday was undoubtedly Alexander Johnson. He finished with two sacks, was seemingly all over every single run play, and even added a pass breakup to his final stat line. There was just no way I wasn’t giving a game ball to a defensive player after a shutout. Oh, and Von Miller also added another sack to his list. He’s up to four sacks in three games now. - Tim Lynch
The numbers don’t jump off the page. He didn’t throw for any touchdowns. But Bridgewater is exactly what this Broncos team needs. He is the leader on offense (and in the locker room) and he’s the main reason the Broncos are 3-0. However, Bridgewater did make some throws that were highlight-reel worthy against the Jets. And once again, he didn’t turn the ball over. Now comes the first real test of the season and Steady Teddy 2 Gloves is the man to help them get the passing score. - Ian St. Clair
According to the charts https://t.co/wJ2LvHoJ0j Teddy Bridgewater is now 10/22 on passes that land 15 or more yds from LOS. On the season he's completed 66/75 (88%) throws that landed less than 20 yds from LOS. pic.twitter.com/ivewX3hK6H— Joseph Mahoney (@ndjomo76) September 27, 2021
Melvin Gordon continued to be a consistent performer for the Broncos. He wasn’t flashy. He just ran the ball well. In a game where the Broncos seemingly had a win from the start, Gordon was there to make sure it was true. He led the team in rushing, and he scored a touchdown. His ability to be a steady presence on the field was a boon to the offense. It will be something that Denver will lean on throughout the season. - Adam Malnati
Justin Simmons got paid as a top NFL safety for good reason. He showed why in this game against the Jets. He’s a willing and dangerous tackler against the run and is always looking for those little mistakes that he can key in on in order to get a pick. Zack Wilson made it easy with a stare down to his primary read in the middle of the field and Simmons made him pay. You gotta love having such a superb safety playing in orange and blue! - Sadaraine
Vic Fangio & company indicated early that they thought highly of 5th round pick Caden Sterns, and that they thought he’d contribute in his rookie year. Sterns has justified that faith in him so far, immediately stepping in as the Broncos’ 3rd safety and often as their dimebacker. Losing Josey Jewell last week added some pressure in that regard, putting Sterns in a position to see more snaps and more attention from opposing quarterbacks. He responded excellently in week 3, capping it off with a game-sealing interception with 39 seconds left to play. It doesn’t get a whole lot sweeter than securing a shutout victory in your home opener with the very first pick of your NFL career. Through 3 weeks, Sterns is looking like one of the steals of the 2021 NFL Draft. - Taylor Kothe
The Broncos lost another starting wide receiver yesterday when KJ Hamler injured his knee. So another receiver needed to step up and step up he did. Tim Patrick caught all five of his targets for a team high 98 yards. Three of those five catches were high degree of difficulty catches. Tim Patrick has always been really good at coming down with 50/50 balls, much like Courtland Sutton.
In 2020 he filled Sutton’s role in the offense. This season he might have to do so again if we are without Jerry Jeudy and Hamler for an extended period of time. We may need to send Sutton deep as he will be the fastest of the regular wide receivers. Diontae Spencer and Kendall Hinton might actually have more straight-line speed than Sutton, but neither has proven that they can make catches on deep throws in the NFL. So Tim Patrick’s role in the offense will be enhanced and crucial until (and probably after) we get Jeudy and/or Hamler back. - Joe Mahoney
Malik Reed / Justin Strnad
It doesn’t seem right to keep game balls from Malik Reed or Justin Strnad, to be honest. Reed did a nice job setting the edge when New York tried to run his way and he’s a problem on stunts. Strnad’s was quietly a standout in run defense and looks comfortable out in space. Next week is a big test for both, but I’m optimistic. - Joe Rowles