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Published on 11/11/2012 at Sun Nov 11 14:43.
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Veteran wide receiver Brandon Stokley caught his fourth touchdown of the year early in the game, helping Denver to a 36-14 victory. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Now that was a team victory.

The Denver Broncos (6-3) defeated the Carolina Panthers (2-7) by a score of 36-14 on Sunday, despite scoring only two offensive touchdowns.

Led by a defensive unit that recorded seven sacks, two interceptions and scored nine points, the Broncos’ offense was merely a compliment to their explosive special teams and defensive performance on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte.   The offense and quarterback Peyton Manning were solid once again, as Manning went 27-of-38 for 301 yards and a score and rookie running back Ronnie Hillman added a five-yard score late in the game.

On the defensive side of the ball, outside linebacker Von Miller led the unit with six tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble, while limiting Carolina quarterback Cam Newton to just seven yards rushing.  As promised, Miller performed Newton’s famed “Superman” celebration after taking down the second-year quarterback behind the line of scrimmage early in the game.

Meanwhile on special teams, kicking specialist Matt Prater and Britton Colquitt contributed by going 2-of-3 on field goal attempts and averaging 46.3 yards per punt, respectively.  Second-year returner Trindon Holliday scored for the second time in two weeks, returning a punt for seventy-six yards for a score in the second quarter, beginning Denver’s thumping of Carolina.

While the game ended positively for Denver, who will take on the 4-4 Chargers at home next week in Denver, the Broncos did have a few alarming moments.  Running back Willis McGahee, who rushed 14 times for 56 yards, fumbled twice, bringing his season total to five, which has to be frustrating for Denver’s coaching staff.  Defensive end Elvis Dumervil also left the game with an apparent shoulder injury and did not return.  While Robert Ayers played well in Dumervil’s absence (three tackles and a sack), Dumervil is not a player Denver’s defense can afford to lose.

It feels great to celebrate a Denver Broncos victory!  Who gets your Game Ball this week?  Let us know in the comments below!

  • TheTroglodyte

    Great game! Time to sit McGahee for Hillman/Ball combo

  • Jon Broncos Heath

    That’s a bit premature, in my opinion. Maybe give him fewer carries, but I don’t think it’s time to flat out bench him, yet.

  • Nic

    the Superman parodies with the sacks, pick 6, and safety… priceless :)

  • TheTroglodyte

    He has yet to run well against any good run defenses. He potentially cost us the game against NE. He has almost no big play left in him. Ball runs with as much power and is every bit as fast (and probably a better blocker).

    Why keep playing a very average RB that can’t hold onto the ball? We have another average RB that can.

  • anthony33

    While I agree that while McGahee has created major cause for concern, Hillman has not shown me anything that lead me to think he would be better than Willis.

    To me, RB is the weakness on this offense,

  • Big_Pete

    McGahee is more of a liability (fumbles) than he is an asset (stability)… Time to start limiting his carries until he proves that he can go the rest of the season without fumbling. I mean, how many does he have? Isn’t he averaging 1 per game? That’s unacceptable, regardless of who/when/where/what era the game is played.

    I told my friend when Simms commented “people might ask why they are throwing the ball at this point in the game… it’s because that’s who they are”… I told my friend “we’re throwing it cause McGahee will fumble it if we hand it off”… sure as shit, the next series McGahee fumbled it. I mean, if you can’t even hold onto the fucking ball to ice the game, what business do you have handling the ball when we need to trust you during the course of the game?

    Unfortunately, I don’t think Ball is worth the dye it takes to color his jersey, so we’re in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” position.

  • Big_Pete

    “Everybody here tonight (except McGahee and Decker) get’s a game ball.”

  • Jim_Jebow

    I thought Ayers played great and should be involved at DE more than Wolf right now. He was creating havoc back there

  • Jim_Jebow

    I thought Ayers played great and should be involved at DE more than Wolf right now. He was creating havoc back there

  • Jon Broncos Heath

    Granted, it was against a woeful Panthers’ offensive line.

  • anthony33

    Von Miller is starting to take it to the next level. He will just continue to get better and better too. I wish he would cool it on the post sack antics. That will come in time, I hope. I just favor the Urlacher type that just keep it coming with no fan fare. Perfromance speaks much louder than the performance afterward.

  • Bryan

    Holliday is starting to look like the best FA signing not named PFM. It was also nice to see him catching some passes on offense.

    One stat here really sticks out for me this week however. Carolina on 3rd down..0/12. ZERO conversions! Awesome!

    Willis’s fumbling has gone from an issue to a major problem. 5 fumbles through 9 games. Not good. What’s even worse is the rest of our RB group doesn’t look like it can carry the work load that WM can. I feel it’s safe to say that the RB position is going to be addressed this offseason. Until then, if I’m WM, I’m keeping both hands on the ball at all times.

  • Jim_Jebow

    True, but wolfe was playing against that same line and was not nearly as disruptive

  • Josh Temple

    As much as I cringe making this comparison, Ayers may be a lot like Tebow in that you can’t gauge him off of practice but what he does on the field.

  • Benjamin DeRita

    there is no way in hell that Lance Ball is a better blocker than Willis… and I would argue Ball went through a spell of fumbles of his own a short time ago….

  • TheTroglodyte

    Hanging onto the ball is better if he can do that.

  • TheTroglodyte

    There is a way in hell. They were putting Ball in on 3rd downs until Hillman caught up to the offense. There is a reason Ball played over Willis on 3rd downs. The kid is a good blocker.

  • areferee

    Couldn’t agree more, Ant. Miller needs to play it cool when he does his thing on defense. After all, it’s his job and we expect him to excel. Leave the “rah rah” for the college boys and play the sack like it’s customary to do so and no big deal. We the fans will take care of dancing in the streets and acting like idiots.

  • TD30isMVP

    Over a ten year career McGahee has averaged 1 fumble for every 81 carries, he is a great power back, you can’t arm tackle him and all I am hearing is calls for his head…relax, he is a pro and will fix the issue. I love Lance Ball, but c’mon, he in no way is better than McGahee.

  • TD30isMVP

    Why Ref? I love to see his excitement, I love that he works on new “dances” because that means he is sacking the QB so much he is tired of the old dance…Dance away Von, kick them heels up!

  • TD30isMVP

    He outplayed a Rookie second round pick? Ayers looked good, true enough, but he wasn’t going against the same guy and he may not have had the same game plan ie., Wolfe was supposed to mush rush and contain instead of pinning his ears back.

  • Gary_in_SD

    A great win!… I predict a move up to #6 in the NFL power rankings this week. Von was THE man this week and looking every bit like the Defensive Player of the Year at this point. I don’t really care for his sack dances, but wouldn’t tell him not to do it if that’s what gets him fired up!

  • Speer999

    He did stop celebrating toward the end of the game. He just shook his head instead.

  • Jim_Jebow

    I was thinking of that same comparison after the game.

  • Jim_Jebow

    Yes he outplayed a Rookie second round draft pick by huge margins. I’m not saying that I don’t think that Wolfe can’t become a force of destruction someday, but as of right now, I feel Ayers is a better option at DE than Wolfe. The last three games that Ayers has had significant playing time ( Pittsburgh playoff game, Patriots playoff and against the Panthers) he has had monstrous results. And besides, this is the time of year where rookies usually start hitting the rookie wall anyways, let Wolfe rest up for the playoffs and lets see what Ayers can do.