Denver Broncos: Five Best First Half Moments
The Brain Trust
It’s hard to believe the NFL season is half over but as they say; time flies when you’re having fun. The season to this point has been filled with ups and downs for the Denver Broncos. They are trending upward now as they take a three game winning streak into their game with the Carolina Panthers. Time will tell if the Broncos can continue to build on their recent momentum.
The season started with a lot of excitement and uncertainly as the Broncos took the field versus the Pittsburgh Steelers with Peyton Manning at quarterback. It wasn’t always pretty but they managed to get out of the opener with a win.
The next two weeks showed everyone that it was not going to be a smooth ride as both the offense and defense struggled in back-to-back losses. Manning himself threw three interceptions in one quarter versus the Atlanta Falcons, and the doubters were coming out of the wood work. There were even more skeptics when Manning and the Broncos looked completely outclassed in a home loss to the Houston Texans.
Following another loss to the New England Patriots and a 24-0 halftime deficit to the San Diego Chargers, the season was slipping away from the Broncos. It was at the point that something clicked; the Broncos scored 35 unanswered points in San Diego on that Monday night and haven’t been challenged since.
It’s been an interesting first half and in case you missed them, here are the top five moments through the first eight games of the season.
Just Win Baby! The Broncos Take it to the Raiders
The Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders as home for the first time since 2007 and did it in dominating fashion. They only led 10-6 at halftime but scored 21 points in roughly five minutes during the third quarter. It was the Broncos most complete game to that point of the season. The offense was clicking and the defense shut down the Raiders offense. The Broncos, for the first time in four seasons versus the Silver and Black, sent their fans home happy with a 37-6 win.
Many Happy Returns
Trindon Holliday was signed during the season to spark the Broncos return game and he did just that versus the Cincinnati Bengals. With the Broncos leading 10-3, Holliday took the second half kickoff back 105 yards for the longest kickoff return in team history. The Broncos still had to win the game in the fourth quarter after falling behind but Holliday’s return was one of the most exciting moments from the first half of the season.
A Happy Opener
The Broncos were leading the Steelers 25-19 with just over two minutes to go in the opener and it was nervous time in Denver. The Steelers had moved out towards midfield and it looked like Ben Rothlisberger might ruin Manning’s debut in Denver. That’s when Tracy Porter came to the rescue; he intercepted Rothlisberger, and returned it for the clinching score. Porter has had a rough go with some health issues in the past few weeks, but he made one of the biggest plays of the season.
The Seaon Changes in One Half
It was 24-0 and the Broncos were in real danger of falling to 2-4, and two games behind the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West. Manning led the Broncos on an 80-yard scoring drive to start the second half; that’s when everything changed. The defense scored on the Chargers next possession and the comeback was on. Manning was unbelievable in the second half and the only thing that stopped him was a bogus offensive pass interference call. He put the Broncos in front to stay with a gorgeous touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley. The Broncos won the game going away, 35-24 and have not been stopped since.
He's Really a Bronco!
September 9th, 2012 is a day that Broncos fans will remember forever especially if this era of Broncos football results in a Super Bowl Title or two. That was the date that Manning took the field for the first time as a Denver Bronco, and it was almost a surreal event. Yes he was out there in a Broncos uniform, leading the offense but was this really happening? It was and after sputtering through the first half, Manning got it going in the second half and led the Broncos to an opening night victory. Peyton Manning was really a Denver Bronco and as we have now seen, his presence has changed everything.
The victory over the New Orleans Saints also has to be mentioned as one of the best moments through the first eight games. It was the Broncos most complete victory of the season; the offense rolled and the defense completely shut down a high-powered Saint’s offense.
The Broncos are considered by many as one of the favorites in the AFC heading into the second half of the season and if that ride is anything like the one in the first-half of the season, then hang on tight. It’s going to be a wild ride!
Follow me on Twitter @Jemorrone7