Just as the Colts spoiled Peyton Manning’s homecoming, the Denver Broncos showed former head coach Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins no mercy in a come from behind 45-21 victory on Orange Sunday. After a Touchdown drive on their first possession, Peyton Manning generously spotted the Redskins 21 points before reeling in the win with 38 unanswered points in the final 23 minutes of the game.
The Broncos have scored 343 points, the most by a team through the first eight games of a season in NFL history. Wes Welker tied his single-season career high with his 9th touchdown on the Broncos opening drive. Wes leads the league in touchdown catches through eight weeks. Denver Quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 354 yards and four Touchdowns in the win and now has 2,919 passing yards this season, the most through the first eight games in NFL history. Manning also threw 4 Interceptions and had a Fumble in the contest.
In the 2nd Quarter with the game tied at 7, Washington scored twice in a span of 80 seconds. The first came on a strip Sack of Manning by Ryan Kerrigan. Brian Orakpo recovered the ball and was held by Peyton. 3 plays later, Alfred Morris scored from the 1-yard line. After the Redskins Kicked off, Manning threw a ‘Pick Six’ to DeAngelo Hall on a pass intended for Demaryius Thomas.
It was all Broncos after that. Rookie Running Back Montee Ball got his first career Touchdown at the 7:57 mark of the 3rd Quarter and in the final frame, Manning threw TD passes to Joel Dreessen and Knowshon Moreno, Matt Prater kicked a 19-yard Field Goal and Demaryius Thomas took a screen pass to the house from 35 yards out to cap the scoring.
Knowshon Moreno was the workhorse in this game. He ran for 44 yards on 14 carries and caught 6 passes for 89 yards and a Touchdown. Moreno also accounted for 5 first downs and had his best game of the season. No question the Game Ball on Offense goes to him.
Denver’s Defense only gave up one Touchdown in the game. The other two resulted from Turnovers at the short end of the field. Von Miller stepped it up after a less than spectacular (for Von) showing last week and Wesley Woodyard’s return proved how vital these two players are to the team. Brandon Spano tweeted that the Broncos gave up 22.75 points per game with Woodyard in the lineup, and 35.3 without him. I would add Von to that as well, since he basically had a warm-up game last week.
Peyton Manning’s 4 Interceptions were offset by the Bronco Defense getting 4 of their own.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had a 75-yard ‘Pick Six,’ while Rahim Moore, Shaun Phillips and Chris Harris Jr. each Intercepted Robert Griffin III. Of course, the front seven pressured RGIII 18 times on 33 dropbacks, registering 3 Sacks, 12 Quarterback Hits, 14 Hurries and 1 Batted Pass.
Danny Trevathan led the team with (10 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 PBU, 1 QB Hit). Derek Wolfe had 2 Tackles, a TFL, a Sack, and Hit RGIII twice. Wolfe also recovered the Strip-Sack by Von Miller. Terrance Knighton (2 TKL, 1 TFL, 3 QB Hits) picked up the other Sack. Malik Jackson put a helmet on the Redskins QB twice and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had 5 TKL, 1 TFL and 3 Pass Breakups. Von Miller could easily take the Defensive Game Ball this week, but I choose the entire Bronco Defense, for pulling it together and having their best performance of the season so far.
Matt Prater hit his only Field Goal Attempt, all 6 Extra Points and didn’t allow any Kickoffs to be handled. Britton Colquitt punted 3 times, with a Gross average of 49 yards and a Net of 37 yards. The coverage teams allowed Josh Morgan a 2-yard return and a 34-yard return. Nate Irving made one stop and Jacob Tamme made the other. Tamme also downed one of Colquitt’s punts at the 5 yard line. Trindon Holliday had two chances. He returned a Kickoff 30 yards and a Punt 10 yards. I’m giving the Special Teams Game Ball to Jacob Tamme for the hustle.
Duke Ihenacho and Julius Thomas (sprain) left with ankle injuries. Peyton Manning and Orlando Franklin played with sore ankles as well.
As I stated after the game, the Bye Week couldn’t come at a better time. Our boys in Orange need some R & R to heal up and prepare for the next 4 contests, which should be the toughest stretch. Of course, December is when I’d like to see them playing some of their best Football.
– Kaptain Kirk