What. A. Win.
Who cares about aesthetics after a huge victory like that for the Denver Broncos.
What matters is the Broncos found a way to get the 11-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers. No doubt there are some issues on this Denver team right now, especially offensively. But to improve to 2-1 on a day when every team in the AFC West loses is big. The Broncos are also now tied for the division lead.
Per the usual, I’m bound to forget someone, leave them off or put them in the wrong category, so please mention them in the comments.
The Broncos defense
Everyone on the Denver defense is a winner. And this defense is legit. In three games, this unit has given up 36 points. On Sunday night, the Broncos were unreal defensively. They held San Francisco to 1-for-10 on third down. Forced three turnovers. Had four sacks. And Denver held one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL to 88 yards on the ground.
Helluva gameplan for the first-year Broncos defensive coordinator. He just matched wits and beat one of the best offensive minds in the NFL right now. Well freaking done.
In his first game of the 2022 season, the Outlaw made his presence felt. Jewell finished with a team-high nine tackles (five solo), two tackles for loss, two QB hits and one sack. He also had a fumble recovery. Jewell was all over the field.
The Broncos only had four tackles (two solo) and pass defended, but he came up with a huge interception late in the fourth quarter.
Denver’s safety sealed the game when he forced Jeff Wilson Jr. to fumble. Locked had four tackles (three solo on the night).
Denver’s safety collected the fumble forced by Locke to seal the game and give the Broncos their third turnover of the nigh. Jackson also finished with six tackles (two solo) and one pass defended.
The Broncos edge pressured Jimmy Garoppolo all night. Gregory had three tackles, two QB hits, one sack and one tackle for loss.
Just like his counterpart, Chubb was a beast on Sunday night. Two tackles (one solo), one sack, one QB hit and one tackle for loss.
Phenomenal showing by the Denver defensive lineman. Purcell was getting interior push all night. He finished with five tackles, one tackle for loss and one sack.
Pat Surtain II
This young man is special. The Broncos cornerback did not allow a reception on six targets. As Next Gen Stats pointed out, that’s tied for the most targets without a reception allowed in a game since 2021. Surtain has allowed the fourth-lowest passer rating (59.8) in the NFL since being drafted.
Patrick Surtain did not allow a reception on 6 targets, tied for the most targets without a reception allowed in a game since 2021.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 26, 2022
Surtain has allowed the 4th-lowest passer rating (59.8) in the NFL since being drafted in 2021 (min. 70 targets).#SFvsDEN | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/PWCHAdJaRQ
The Denver running back only had 12 carries for 26 yards, but he scored the game-winning TD. Gordon makes the winners list.
For most of this game, the Broncos quarterback was bad. But when his team needed a drive, we saw classic Wilson. A huge scramble to pick up the first down. An audible that led to a beautiful pass to Courtland Sutton. Here’s hoping Wilson and the Denver offense can use that huge drive to gain some confidence. Wilson finished 20-for-33 passing for 184 yards.
All the Broncos receiver did was haul in a game-high eight catches for 97 yards.
The fact Denver’s punter makes the winners list in a win speaks to this game. But the Broncos do not win this game without Waitman. He punted the ball 10 times for an average of 47.6 yards and had six inside the 20. That flip in field position is a huge reason why Denver won this game.
Denver’s head coach has taken a lot of flack to start the season. At least on Sunday night, there were no clock and game management issues. Plus, he just led his team to a big win.
Shawn Hochuli and his officiating crew
I don’t usually put officials on this list, but Hochuli and his crew were horrid on Sunday night. Just some brutal, easy calls that were missed. Thankfully it didn’t hurt the Broncos.
Loss Vegas Raiders
Denver may be painful to watch right now offensively.— Nick Kendell (@NickKendellMHH) September 26, 2022
But let’s all take a moment to laugh at the Raiders (and all the people who hyped them this season) https://t.co/iVrrxvD6Va
What a start to the Josh McDaniels error in Loss Vegas. Now Denver heads to the desert to face the 0-3 Raiders. #LOLRaiders.
On a side note, since the Broncos got the win, no one from the team makes the losers list. What a hard-fought win. But Wilson and Denver’s offense better get it figured out. Thankfully they play a bad Raiders defense in Week 4.