The Denver Broncos clinched their second straight AFC West Title with Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While Peyton Manning and the offense did their thing, it was the effort by the defense that has to be applauded.
The Buccaneers went into Denver with an offense that was a hot as anyone in the league, and the Broncos defense shut it down. Sure there was the one long touchdown drive in the first half and some garbage points late in the game, but when it counted the defense was terrific. The talk for the Buccaneers coming into the game was all about sensational rookie running back, Doug Martin. That talk is warranted; Martin is a great player but the Broncos completely shut him down on Sunday. Martin’s longest run of the day was nine yards and he did not have any of the explosive plays that he has had all season.
The Broncos were coming off of a game where they gave up too many rushing yards to the Kansas City Chiefs, and that had people concerned especially with Martin coming to town. The defense struggled early, as we said, but made the adjustments, and was really never threatened again. In the third quarter, the offense got it rolling but it was the defense that put away the game. Von Miller returned an interception for a touchdown to make it 28-10, and put away the AFC West for the Broncos.
It wasn’t there most complete game of the season but fans saw what the Broncos are capable of in the third quarter. The AFC West is in the bag but the Broncos have bigger things on their minds.
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