The Denver Broncos played host to the San Diego Chargers today in a game that virtually decided the AFC West division. This game here deserves to put the AFC on notice as the playoff picture starts to unravel.
To put it mildly, this was a very ugly game from start to finish from the Broncos. The coaching staff came out with a game plan that was conservative and several key players were put into the witness protection program for most, if not, all of the game. Where was Eric Decker and the tight ends early on? Why was Matthew Willis and Lance Ball getting the bulk of the targets in the first half? What was Mike McCoy thinking? Why did John Fox allow him to think?
If it wasn’t for the resurgence of the Orange Crush defense, this game might have ended up looking like the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts with Phillip Rivers looking like Tom Brady. But Von Miller showed the NFL and its fans just why he should be the front-runner for defensive player of the year recording 3 sacks, two forced fumbles and six tackles.
Peyton Manning had to pass 42 times to make up for the first half loss of Willis McGahee to a knee injury, and the inability of Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball to keep the run game moving. CB Omar Bolden left early with a concussion, and even WR Demaryius Thomas needed breaks and the bicycle on the sideline to loosen up his hindered knee. This was an all-out team meltdown helped only by the Chargers ineptitude on offense and scared play by a once top ten QB, Rivers.
The Broncos defense was purely fanatical while attacking the Chargers offense. Led by Von Miller, Derek Wolfe, Wesley Woodyard and Champ Bailey, who actually had to work today because Rivers was delirious throwing the ball his way, the Chargers could do nothing for the first two and a half quarters.
But because of an interception from Manning, a safety, an onside recovery by the Chargers and a fumble by Ball, the Broncos allowed the bolts to hang with them and make it interesting in the fourth quarter. Until Doom reigned for Norv Turner and his team as Elvis Dumervil came around the edge for a sack to seal the win. That has been the staple of the Broncos all year. No matter what, they never quit, and are always attacking until the last play of the game.
So this is a warning to all AFC contenders going forward. This is for you Houston Texans. And for you Baltimore Ravens. And yes, even for the mighty Patriots offense led by Gisele’s husband. The Broncos are a team to be reckoned with and not to be ignored. With Manning at the helm, this defense will give him all the opportunity to win. The Orange Crush is back and just as good as any that have worn the orange and blue in the Mile High city, and we all know that defense wins championships. Just ask the New York Giants.
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