All it took to turn things around for the Denver Broncos was a trip to London.
Honestly, all the questions surrounding the future of this team made it a pivotal game for several players and coaches.
We will discuss whether the team can build on this success later. For now, let’s do some celebrating.
It has been a tough start to Wilson’s career in Denver. Too many mistakes, not enough urgency, and questions about whether his abilities have dropped off this year make him an easy target. However, aside from a bad interception while trying to force a ball into Courtland Sutton, Wilson had a good game. He connected with Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler on big plays. He led methodical drives that resulted in red zone touchdowns. It was far from perfect, but it was the win he needed.
With all the problems on offense, and the issues with game management, Hackett has found himself in the cliched hot seat. There are some who believe (me!) that losing this game should have resulted in immediately moving on. He saved his job for at least a little while. He was so excited, he almost called timeout too quickly on the last drive with 4th and 1 coming up. It was probably his best game as a head coach, and something he can use as a jumping off point to further this team’s success.
It was only two catches, but they were huge. With the Broncos trailing by 3 late in the 4th, Wilson hit Hamler for 47 yards. Massive play to get the offense rolling. They built on that momentum and took the lead. His 9 yard run on an end around could have ended in disaster, but he made a nice move to put the Broncos in good position on the same drive.
Jeudy had his best game of the season. 6-63-1 is a nice line, but it was the fact that he and Wilson seemed to finally be on the same page that stood out. He was the possession receiver he needed to be, and had a nice play to get into the end zone on the quick pass in the red zone.
He led the team in receiving yards, and has become an excellent target for Russ. As a rookie, he is making his mark on this team, and let’s never forget the hair.
Latavius Murray and Melvin Gordon
I’m putting them together because they both scored in the red zone. Their stat lines were similar. Their impact on the game was huge. Gordon was good early, and then Murray was good late. Again, it wasn’t as if they blew anyone out of the water, but they did exactly what was needed in the moment.
What a game. Disruptive, harassing, menacing, scary. Jones was a force up front. He sacked Trevor Lawrence once, but was constantly in the backfield. The defensive line was good all game, and Jones seemed to be a nightmare for the Jaguars offensive line.
Patrick Surtain II
PS2 is the best corner in the NFL. How do I know? The Jaguars refused to throw it his way. Still, he had an impact on the game with his tackling. At one point Louis Reddick said on the broadcast that Surtain, “is not having it.” He makes big tackles, and essentially shuts down half the field.
Simmons made one of the best interceptions I have seen all season. With Jacksonville on the doorstep he followed Trevor Lawrence as he rolled right, and as the ball was thrown Simmons jumped up and snatched the ball out of the air on the goal line. It was early in the game, but turned out to be one of the most important plays. He continues to be one of the best safeties in football.
His interception at the end of the game sealed it for the Broncos. Playing with a cast on his right hand, Williams jumped the route and came down with the ball. He also had two passes defensed.
Jewell played a great game. He led the team in tackles, and anchored the defense. 9 tackles, 7 solo and 2 for a loss, Jewell’s play was paramount to the success of the defense.
I hate to do this. It was a big win that can hopefully propel the Broncos to the season we all thought they would have. Still, Sutton was almost non-existent. Wilson’s INT was a short throw in front of him, and I am not blaming Sutton for that, but it was pretty indicative of his day. And the most memorable play he had all day was the drop on the second play of the TD drive to win the game. It was a disappointing day for the veteran receiver.
What did I miss. Probably a ton of defensive players. Who are your winners and losers Broncos Country.