Perhaps even more promising than the fact that Denver won the game and drew even with the Chargers for the division lead, is the fact that they were able to have both sides of the ball contribute to their success in the second half by taking advantage of opportunities. This isn’t something they had been able to do in past weeks.
To this point in the season, the Broncos losses have all come in more or less the same format. Early deficits followed by near comebacks by Peyton Manning and his offense were all indicative of the Denver losses this year. However, Monday night against San Diego is the first time they’ve had a successful effort put forth by the entire team, and not just Manning, to come back late in a game.
To be certain, Manning did his part and he did it well. However, the Broncos showed that they have tremendous strength lying in areas other than their passing game. It’s something Broncos fans have all seen and hoped for, but it had just never quite shown itself on the field until the second half of Monday night’s game.
Big plays were made all the way up and down Denver’s roster, from Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller, Chris Harris, Tony Carter, Eric Decker, and the list goes on. Everyone did their job to get the win, and it couldn’t have looked better if it had been scripted by John Elway himself.
In addition to turning out big plays on both sides of the ball, the Broncos were quick to capitalize on late chances. Taking advantage of those opportunities was something that Denver had struggled with in the late stages of the games they had played prior to last night’s matchup. The Broncos had on three occasions stormed back to cut deficits to single scores, only to see their effort wasted by a missed third down stop or a needless turnover.
None of that was an issue during the second half against the Chargers, as Denver executed flawlessly in nearly every aspect of their game.
Can the Broncos continue this kind of success after their bye week against the New Orleans Saints? The toughest part of their schedule is for all intents and purposes over, as the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens are the only two playoff teams on their schedule after the Saints. If the Broncos can get past New Orleans, look for them to make some waves in the AFC and threaten for a lot more than winning their division.