What a Barn burner this game was. The Broncos pulled it out at the end on a big defensive play by Linebacker Danny Trevathan, but with the score going back and forth the way it did, it was hard to be absolutely sure “Our Boys” would beat the Cowboys. Whether you want to call this a gritty game like John Fox did, or an ugly mistake-laden contest, it’s another win and it doesn’t really matter now what the score was.
Peyton Manning continued making history. He threw 20 straight Touchdown passes before Morris Claiborne Intercepted a pass intended for Eric Decker with seconds left in the 3rd Quarter. Those 20 TD’s are the most in the first five games in league annals. Manning also passed Dan Marino (61,361) for the 2nd most passing yards in NFL history.
In all, Peyton passed for 414 yards and 4 Touchdowns in the Broncos’ 51-48 Road win in Dallas. But it wasn’t without a price. During the game, 3 Defensive starters went down with injuries. Defensive End Robert Ayers (shoulder) was seen wearing a sling after the game. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard (shoulder) and Chris Harris Jr. (concussion) were also lost. It was evident just how much these three meant to the team as the Cowboys were able to have a fairly easy time moving the ball. In fact, there didn’t appear to be much defense from either squad (hence the astronomical score).
Knowshon Moreno continues to impress with his determined running and excellent pass blocking. KnoMo had 93 yards and a Touchdown on 19 carries (4.9 avg.) along with 5 catches for 57 yards.
Julius Thomas had another outstanding game, with 9 catches (on 12 targets) for 122 yards and a pair of Touchdowns. JT is rewarding the Broncos patience with a pleasant return on their scouting investment with a breakout year. He is 4th on the team in catches (27), 3rd in receiving yards (359) and 2nd in Touchdown catches with six after 5 games.
Defensively, Chris Harris was the highest rated player on the Broncos and he only played 33 snaps. He finished with 4 Tackles and 2 TFLs. He allowed 2 catches for 17 yards, 5 of which came after the catch before leaving in the 2nd Quarter. Robert Ayers had 2 Tackles, a Sack and a Quarterback Hit before leaving early in the game. Wesley Woodyard had 2 Tackles before he left soon after Ayers went down. There is at least 10 Tackles and a few pass Breakups and Quarterback pressures that were lost to injury.
Danny Trevathan picked up 5 Tackles and had the game changing pick, but was otherwise a victim of freewill by Tony Romo. With Woodyard’s injury, Trevathan now leads the team in Tackles with 35.
Malik Jackson picked up 2 Tackles, 1 TKL, 2 QB Hits, 2 Hurries and a Sack while taking the rest of Ayers’ snaps. Shaun Phillips made 3 Tackles, 2 TFL’s, 2 Hurries and 2 Sacks for the contest.
As I said, we found out how important Ayers, Woodyard and Harris are to the Defense, especially with Champ Bailey and Von Miller both sidelined. We also found out that Omar Bolden isn’t ready to step in as the next man up. The Safeties seemed to be too deep or caught to far up in the play. The middle of the field was wide open for Tony Romo to exploit with the absence of Woodyard and even though the Defense earned 4 Sacks, they didn’t get effective enough pressure. Derek Wolfe was nearly invisible because the referees sure missed Dallas’ Offensive Line Holding him, Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton.
The Special Teams held up their end of the deal. Matt Prater scored 15 of the 51 points on 6 Extra Points and three Field Goals; 48, 50 and the Game winner from 28 yards out. Punter Britton Colquitt held for all nine kicking attempts, but didn’t punt once during the game. Return man extraordinaire Trindon Holliday was held to 9 yards on his only punt Return chance, but had everyone standing with a 40 yard Kickoff return. Holliday ended up with 87 yards on 3 Kick returns, a 29 yard average. Malik Jackson also had a 6 yard kick return in the game.
If I had to choose Game Balls, Knowshon Moreno and Julius Thomas would have a claim on Offense, despite the history made by Peyton Manning. Danny Trevathan would get one on Defense for the game changing play and Matt Prater going 9 for 9 on his scoring attempts would take the Special Teams honors.
The Broncos have scored 230 points, the most by a team through the first five games of a season in NFL history. They are one of three undefeated teams left in the league after 5 games. The other two 5-0 teams are the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints.
On to Week 6 and a visit from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Sportsbook odds already have Denver favored by 4 Touchdowns. It should be another fun time. Enjoy this winning streak while you can, because you never know when it will end.
– Kaptain Kirk