The Denver Broncos finished the 2013 regular season with a 34-14 stomping of the Oakland Raiders to bring their record to 13-3, clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs and establish some new NFL records in the process.
Total Touchdowns – 76, breaking the old record of 75 (’11 Patriots)
They also became the 1st team to score over 600 points in a season (606), breaking the old record of 589 (’07 Patriots).
Denver (37.9) also had the 2nd-highest scoring average per game of any team in NFL history, trailing only the 1950 Los Angeles Rams (38.8).
Single-season Touchdown Pass record (55)
Single-season Passing yard record (5,477)
First-Down completion record (289)
Tied DREW BREES, BRETT FAVRE and Pro Football Hall of Famers LEN DAWSON, JOHNNY UNITAS and STEVE YOUNG for the most seasons leading the league in Touchdown passes in NFL annals (4).
Peyton is the first player to set both the single-season passing yardage and Touchdown records in the same season since Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO in 1984.
Longest Field Goal record (64 yards vs. Tennessee)
Most PAT’s in a single-season – 75 for 75. old record Stephen Gostkowski’s 74-for-74 (‘07 Patriots).
Most Touchbacks on Kickoffs this year – 81 breaks the old NFL record of 68.
What else is there to say about PEYTON MANNING? The Broncos $20 Million MVP Franchise Quarterback/Field General/Offensive Mastermind/Detail-Oriented Perfectionist just finished the most prolific season by an NFL Quarterback and established career highs in Completions (450, Tied in 2010), Passing yards and Touchdowns (as previously noted), Interception percentage (1.5%) and Passing yards per game (342.3).
KNOWSHON MORENO was a man on a mission this season. He eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in rushing and had career-highs with 1,038 rushing yards, 10 rushing Touchdowns, 548 yards receiving with another 3 Touchdowns. Combined yards from scrimmage were 1,586 and 13 Touchdowns. Moreno touched the ball 301 times with only one Fumble all season.
MONTEE BALL had a rough beginning at the onset of the season, but to be fair, the Broncos threw everything but the kitchen sink at him. 95% of all rookie Running Backs entering the NFL have an adjustment period in learning how to Pass Block. This is due to the fact that they don’t learn this aspect of the game in college. The Bell Cow Running Backs get away with it mostly due to their role in the Offense, but those teams usually have to rely on the Run because they don’t have a franchise Quarterback and end up being 75% or more of their team’s Offense. The Denver Broncos have never had to use a Running Back quite that much. Even Terrell Davis and Clinton Portis required a learning curve for theor Pass Blocking. That said, Montee Ball got over the hump and finished the season on a positive note. He has progressed and the team has had the luxury of sitting him when he needed it due to Knowshon Moreno’s performance this year. Still, Ball finished the regular season with a complimentary 559 yards rushing, 4 Touchdowns and a 4.7 average. Montee also caught 20 passes for 145 yards. Half of those catches went for First Downs.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN
DEMARYIUS THOMAS finished Sunday’s victory with 6 receptions for 113 yards, 18.8 avg and 2 TDs. His totals for 2013: 92 catches, 1,430 yards, a 15.5 avg and 14 Touchdowns. The TD catches were a career-high for Demaryius and tied the franchise record for most receiving TD’s in a single-season (14) with Anthony Miller, who accomplished the feat in 1995. Demaryius had an efficient 633 Yards After Catch and produced 66 First Downs, or 72% of his receptions moved the chains.
ERIC DECKER caught 4 balls for 27 yards and a Touchdown in Sunday’s game, capping off a career year. Eric set career highs in receptions (89), yards (1,288), average (14.8) Longest catch (61 yards), receptions a game (5.4) and yards per game (80.5). Decker also had a team-high 1st down production on 72.4% of his catches.
WES WELKER did not play on Sunday due to the NFL Concussion protocol. However, he did obtain clearance for the postseason, which is welcome news. Wes finished 3rd on the team in catches, with 73. If you were expecting a sixth 100+ catch year from Welker, don’t be disappointed or believe that he wasn’t worth the money. He drew a $2 Million salary this season and that is a bargain for probably the most prolific slot Receiver that the league has ever seen. Breaking it down, Wes played 13 games in 2013. That works out to 5.6 receptions per game, again not his highest output. His 778 yards translated to 10.7 yards per catch, which is consistent with his career average of 11.1 yards per catch. 67.1% of Welker’s receptions resulted in a First Down. Wes had a career-high 10 Touchdown grabs this season, which may be his best contribution to the Broncos next to being Peyton Manning’s relief valve.
JULIUS THOMAS had a coming-out party in 2013. After 9 game appearances and one start in 2 seasons, Orange Julius showed why the Broncos were so high on him, with Julius 65 catches for 788 yards, a 12.1 average and 12 Touchdowns. Those TD’s represent the most by a Tight End in franchise history. Julius produced a 1st Down on 63.1% of his receptions and had the 3rd-most (348) Yards After Catch behind Demaryius Thomas (633) and Knowshon Moreno (418).
Upon realizing this exercise was getting rather long-winded, I have decided to produce a second part, which will be forthcoming soon as we patiently wait for the Broncos first postseason opponent to emerge.
– Kaptain Kirk