What a great win for the Denver Broncos.
In need of a big road win, the Broncos stepped up and got it done on Sunday. Denver not only beat the Los Angeles Chargers 24-7, it flogged them,.
The Broncos improved 7-6 on the season to remain in the AFC playoff hunt. And don’t look now, but the AFC West is in play for Denver.
Here’s what we learned from Denver’s win on Sunday.
Vance Joseph deserves a ton of credit
Even when Justin Herbert was in the game, Denver’s defense was phenomenal.
A ton of credit goes to Joseph for how well this defense has played in the last seven games. The game plan on Sunday was excellent. I especially love how Joseph blitzed linebackers and the secondary throughout the game.
The Broncos defense was dominant
It would have been nice to see Denver’s defense get the shutout, but chef’s kiss to that showing on Sunday in Los Angeles.
The Broncos held LA to a combined 1-for-18 on third and fourth down conversions. Denver got six sacks and nine QB hits. The Broncos also forced two turnovers, with another being taken away on review that would have been a touchdown.
For the game, the Broncos defense held the Chargers to 283 yards of total offense and kept Austin Ekler and Keenan Allen pretty much in check.
Ja’Quan McMillian is a Pro Bowler
What a game. And what a story McMillian is turning into.
The Broncos cornerback is seemingly all over the field and makes plays when they’re needed.
McMillian finished with five tackles, two tackles for loss, two QB hits, one sack and one pass defended. And he was a review away from a remarkable strip-sack TD.
Get McMillian into the Pro Bowl.
Sean Payton is a helluva coach
For sticking with Joseph after the Week 3 debacle, to where the Broncos currently are, Payton is responsible.
Some of the play designs, especially the game-sealing touchdown after one of the best drives Denver’s offense has had since Peyton Manning retired, Payton was on-point on Sunday.
Also, for the first time in four years, the Broncos have won back-to-back AFC games.
Courtland Sutton is him
What. A. Catch.
Sutton is proving to be one of the best wide outs in the NFL. And the catches he’s piling up this season are insane. The most recent was the 46-yard one-handed catch at the end of the third quarter. It was also a great throw and protection.
For the game, Sutton had three catches for 62 yards.
Russell Wilson leads an incredible fourth-quarter drive
The drive Denver’s offense put forth after the Chargers scored their lone touchdown was a master class by all involved.
But the plays from Wilson to keep the drive alive and the touchdown pass to seal the game were some of the best quarterbacking we’ve seen in these parts since PFM.
Wilson finished the game 21-for-33 passing for 224 yards, two touchdowns and one pick.
Mile High Salute to Javonte Williams for getting a rushing TD
The Broncos running back finally got his rushing touchdown.
And he was a running back on a mission on Sunday. Williams would not go down without a fight. He finished with 17 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown.
On top of that, Samaje Perine was huge for the offense. It’s clear Wilson trusts Perine in key moments with dump-off passes to pick up yardage to keep the drives alive.
Jerry Jeudy is a JAG
Steve Smith Sr. was right about the Denver receiver.
I don’t want to waste time on Jeudy, but his time with the Broncos can’t end soon enough.
The playoffs are still alive, as the AFC West
Not only did the Broncos keep the playoffs alive, they’re one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC West lead. And with how that game ended for the Chiefs against the Buffalo Bills, it certainly looks like they’re in meltdown mode.
While it’s unlikely based on KC’s schedule, the last four games will be incredibly interesting for the Broncos.