Denver Broncos: Five Stars From Monday’s Win
Peyton Manning Leads Broncos to Amazing Comeback
It’s the day after the Denver Broncos thrilling comeback victory over the San Diego Chargers, and yes that did happen. When a comeback of that magnitude happens, there are a lot of players who contribute. We’ll get to all of them in a minute but none of it is possible without a guy named, Peyton Manning.
Sandy Clough, a local sports talk show host in Denver put the best when talking about Manning.
"The Broncos finally have an adult at the quarterback position."
What does that mean? It means that when things are going bad, Manning isn’t going off on his teammates or coaches and he is going to do everything in his power to turn things around. Even when the Broncos were behind 24-0 at halftime, there was no panic from Manning and he got the comeback started with an 85-yard touchdown drive to begin the second-half.
Manning had plenty of help but make no mistake, if he’s not the quarterback of the Broncos then there is no comeback in San Diego. As fun as the ride was last season was with Tim Tebow, Manning’s performance on Monday night dwarfs anything that Tebow pulled off in 2011. At one point in the second-half Manning had completed 13 straight passes including 3 touchdowns. It took an awful offensive pass interference call on Eric Decker to stop Manning; otherwise he may have thrown for four touchdowns.
Denver Broncos owner, Pat Bowlen probably woke up today and thought to himself “We paid 18 million for Manning and got a bargain,” and he would be right. After six games, Manning is second in passer rating to Aaron Rodgers and is only 4 tenths of a point behind. It took six games but Manning is back among the game’s elite, and the Broncos have him.
We had an Elvis sighting on Monday night in San Diego, Elvis Dumervil finally decided to join the party that is the 2012 NFL season. Dumervil made the play that may have changed the game when he stripped Chargers quarterback, Phillip Rivers. The fumble was returned for a touchdown and it while it wasn’t known at the time; the Broncos were never going to lose after that play. In addition to that play, Dumervil was all over Rivers all night and also did a great job versus the run. If Dumervil continues to play at that level, then the Broncos defense will only get better.
When Tracy Porter was ruled out of the game versus the Chargers, maybe some people were nervous. Chris Harris might be a better player than Porter and he was fantastic on Monday night. Harris was all over receivers all night and turned in the play that ended the game. With the Chargers driving for a potentially game winning score, Harris picked off Rivers and returned it for a touchdown. Harris was an undrafted free agent a year ago, and now he is one of the best players on the Broncos defense.
In addition to Harris, fellow defensive back Tony Carter was equally as impressive. Carter returned the fumble that Dumervil caused for a touchdown and had an interception later that gave the ball back to Manning. Both Harris and Carter were handpicked by John Elway, and both came through with huge nights. Carter was in the receivers back pocket all night and will be a major part of this defense going forward.
The offensive line featuring; Ryan Clady, Orlando Franklin, Zane Beadles, Chris Kuper and Dan Koppen was terrific on Monday night. Manning was not sacked, he was barely touched. That’s impressive by itself but when you consider that the Chargers knew the Broncos were going to throw, and they still could not get to Manning. There was a lot of concern about the Broncos offensive line and if they could protect Manning? Those questions have been answered and on Monday night, they were terrific.
Keith Brooking maybe a little long in the tooth but he still has some game left. Brooking started for Joe Mays and played very well versus the run, and had the defense lined up right. Brooking also brings leadership to the defense and accountability, and you saw that on Monday night. He may not be able to make the great play anymore but he makes all of the routine ones, and he is always in the right place.
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