Denver Broncos blog, news and rumors


[hype it up!]
[Share with Yardbarker]

Published on 11/18/2012 at Sun Nov 18 19:37.
Tagged: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

On a day when the stands at Sports Authority Field were filled with orange jerseys, it was the Blue Crush defense that turned heads—and frequently planted San Diego quarterback Philip River‘s head into the turf.

The Broncos’ (7-3) defense, led by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Von Miller, sacked Rivers four times while forcing three fumbles and two interceptions.  In the first half, the Chargers (4-6) averaged 1.9 yards per play—the game was already decided by halftime.

Denver’s defense was on a roll, allowing 0-of-26 third down conversions dating back to their Week 9 match in Cincinnati.  It wasn’t until the Chargers’ twelfth third down of the game that San Diego was able to convert for a first down.  

Miller recorded three sacks on the day, bringing his season total to 13, which already tops his 2011 total of 11.5.  Paired up with his pass rushing teammate Elvis Dumervil, the Dynamic Due has combined to record 20 sacks and 8 forced fumbles this season, helping the Broncos defense to lead the NFL with 35 sacks.

Official tackle for losses statistics are not yet available, but by our unofficial count Miller notched four today, bringing his season total to 26—a league high. Over the past two seasons, Miller has recorded 46 tackles for losses, more than any other player in the NFL.  After surpassing Houston’s J.J. Watt (11.5) as the league’s sack leader with 13, Miller appears to be the front runner to win Defensive Player of the Year.

Meanwhile, the Broncos offense was not up to their usual standard, as quarterback Peyton Manning threw a pick six and was sacked in his own end zone for a safety while overthrowing receivers throughout the game.  Manning and the offense were not on the same page throughout much of the game, but still managed to hold onto a 30-23 victory as Manning went 25-of-42 for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The victory was Manning’s 148th of his career, tying him for the second-most all-time alongside the legendary John Elway.  Only Brett Favre (186) owns more victories than Manning, who owns a better career win percentage (.679) than Favre (.624).

At one point during the game, starting running back Willis McGahee appeared to have injured his knee and the Broncos’ offense was forced to turn to rookie Ronnie Hillman.  Struggling in pass protection, Hillman showed flashes of explosiveness (rushing 12 times for 43 yards) but proved incapable of being an every-down back this early in his career if McGahee is going to miss significant time.

Per reports, McGahee will receive an MRI on Monday, but expects the results to be negative.  If McGahee is more than just dinged up, expect the Broncos to explore bringing in a veteran back, or at the very least activate Knowshon Moreno next week against Kansas City.  McGahee has helped the Broncos’ offense stay balanced this season and the team cannot afford to become one-dimensional on offense.

The Broncos defense certainly outplayed the offense today.  If the team is going to make a run deep into the playoffs, however, the offense must capitalize on opportunities and eliminate the little mistakes moving forward.  A Week 12 game against the 1-9 Kansas City Chiefs next week will provide the offense the perfect opportunity to get back on the right track—building on their four-game division lead in the AFC West.

  • Nikulás Snær Magnússon

    von miller has 13 sacks this season

  • Jon Broncos Heath

    Typo, thanks for pointing that out. Fixed.

  • Jay shows watt with 11.5 sacks

  • Jon Broncos Heath

    I don’t believe those have been updated to reflect the one sack he recorded earlier today.

  • Jim_Jebow

    All of the linebackers were on fire. Irving, Trevathan, Woodyard, DJ, Miller, and Brookings all contributed. We are deep in LB talent right now

  • Steve Smith

    going into this week Watt was leading Miller 10.5 to 10, so now Miller is ahead 13 to 11.5

  • Benjamin DeRita

    It was great seeing DJ step in and make some significant plays in the first game back. Not to mention Woodro who has been balling a lot like – the old DJ – wearing that 52 – with his speed and play making ability. As for Lance Ball… I think it would be fitting to have Knowshon come back vs the team he got injured against, if needed

  • Jay

    Lets hope DJ doesnt go out tonight and drinks and drives

  • Jon Broncos Heath

    Correct you are, updated the numbers.

  • dogheadbrew

    Isn’t nice to say the offence has a tough day, and they still put up 30

  • Speer999

    The offense needs to take their head out of their colons.

  • Doom92

    I agree they all played well. I find it a little hard to cheer for DJ as I think he is inevitably going to screw up again, but he made some nice plays, but they all did. Brookings continued to show his savvy, clearly all the other guys are faster and younger but his football IQ is what is making plays for him right now, its clear that he is an experienced NFL LB with ability left.

  • Doom92

    Well but they did have a tough day at times. This FUMBLING has got to stop. We cant hang onto the football as a whole for anything. The only RB that we have that doesn’t fumble is the 3rd string guy, give him more carries and you get no where fast, keep giving it to the other guys and its not a matter of if they will fumble but When! AND how much will it cost at the time.

    No fumbles yesterday and the game is not even close. I know Peyton has a tendency to through some picks this year, but at least he more than makes up for it. QB’s throw picks, all of them, but not all RB’s have fumbleitus. 1st in the league in a category we don’t want to be first in.

  • Doom92

    Any win is a great game, even though, I had my critiques below I believe this. With that said I’d like to make a couple comments on your mentions Jon (not bad ones ;-)).

    Miller and Doom together are simply stupid good, either starts on any team in the league, period.

    Peyton and the offense for sure has its struggles but I think Peyton should absolutely be the front runner for league MVP hands down. Remember it what a guy does for his team not for the league, he just happens to lead that as well, but if not for Peyton we are the same ole. Had we had to go with Tebow we all know that would have been figured out around the league. The Jets are not playing Tebow, not because Rex is hard headed, its because Sanchez (who is not good) is better. I’ll say here Peyton for MVP.

    Our RB situation is bleak at best. Yep Willis has been carrying us with out question. Having to go to a veteran out side is scary but not as scary as having to count on Knowshow. That makes me cringe. Jon you are ever so right, if we go one dimensional its over, period. The running game has so been Peyton’s best friend and has allowed him to return to form and have this success, clearly a team thing.

    I know what “if’s” don’t mean any more than that Madden crap in reality, but “what if” we had taken Doug Martin instead of Wolfe? I think the D would be just as good with out Wolfe (thought he does contribute at times) but the O would be hand over fist better with Martin. For the first time in a long time I will pull to draft a top RB prospect. I was against drafting Martin, but I was wrong and so will be the top dogs if they don’t go for it next year.

  • anthony33

    Well said Doom. I know many were calling out McGahee after his fumble last week, but I think it’s now clear just how important he is to this offense. They were a totally diffent O without him back there. IMO Hillman has a LONG way to go. At least NoShow can block.

  • Big_Pete

    The score of this game was far closer than the actual game itself.
    Even though I was there, and drank wayyyy too much, the thing that stuck out in my mind was that we handled DJ’s playing time perfectly! We used him perfectly! He was a sub. He didn’t replace Brooking or Woodyard, who continued to shine bright, but instead, was a substitution who was fresh and hungry. It was a thing of beauty!

    Von Miller is/was an absolute MONSTER!!! He is a special player who has to be considered the front runner for defensive player of the year. Miller appears to be as important to our defense as Manning is to our offense.

    Another thing that sticks out in my alcoholic haze is how great Harris and Carter continue to be. We are actually seeing Champ get thrown on because there is simply no better option for opposing QBs. I mean, who would have ever thought that? It isn’t that Champ is declining, it’s just that Harris and Carter are that good! What a nightmare scenario for QBs. Who do they throw at? Champ? Harris? Carter? In the time it takes for them to pick their poison, they are getting sacked by Miller, or pressured by Doom, Ayers, or Woodyard. Man, we are clicking at just the right time.

    Our offense seemed to be a bit off. Manning didn’t have his best throwing game last night, but hey, his receivers didn’t help him much either (I’m looking at you Tamme). The good thing though is that we still have Manning, so I’m confident that this is a slight hiccup along the way. I’m not worried in the least. We are now 7-3 and in serious contention for a 1st round bye. Lets keep steam rolling teams and get this thing done!!!


  • Jon Broncos Heath

    Could have scored 50, but yes, it is nice to say.

  • Big_Pete

    I still think that unless there is an Adrian Peterson RB in the draft, you don’t draft a RB in the 1st round unless there are no other holes to fill with 1st round talent. Revisionist history says Doug Martin, but hey, we can do that pretty much every year. I just think that RBs, however valuable, aren’t worth a 1st round pick unless they are ADP type RBs. Otherwise, you are pretty spot on with your post.

  • Bryan

    Division games..The SD season likely hanging on the outcome…I expected a much better showing from SD. The defense completely shut down Rivers. At one point in the 3rd, SD had mustered up only 51 yards for the ENTIRE game! Dom-i-nation at its finest. Of SD’s 14 possessions, the first 9 ended by sending the punting unit out, 8 times they went 3 and out. If it wasn’t for SD’s defensive points, this game was a blow out. SD is playing their worst football this year than I can remember in a very long time. And I Love It!

    Two weeks in a row the offense has looked decent at times, and pedestrian most others. I think it’s pretty clear how much we actually need a game changing RB. Willis is clearly the best RB we have, beyond him, we’re in trouble. Lance Ball is looking like the best of the rest only because he can pick up the blitz. Hillman can’t and quite honestly, he hasn’t done much of anything to impress me.

    Jim Leonhard’s bone headed INT kind of bothered me alittle bit. 4th and 14 from midfield, and you pick a pass off inside your 30. Great job with the pick, but how about we bat it down and take the ball at midfield instead.

    Von Miller…What a monster this guy is. It’s really hard to continue finding words that describe this man’s game.

  • Big_Pete

    I’m still calling out McGahee for his fumbles. I don’t think most people believed that McGahee wasn’t our best option, we were just saying that McGahee needs to fix his fumbling problems or we need to start looking at other options. I still contend that if you can’t be relied on to hold onto the ball in order to run out the clock, you can’t be relied on during the course of the game. Lance Ball sucks, but I’ve been saying that for a few years now. Hillman is a poor man’s Tatum Bell. Knowshon can block and catch, but he can’t run to save his life, AND he fumbles just as much as McGahee…. Where does that leave us? It leaves us with McGahee being the best we have; but the best we have isn’t very good. And for the record, I don’t think Jeremiah Johnson is all that much better than Ball, but hey, we may need to give him a serious look, cause anybody is better than Ball.

  • Bryan

    I’m just as frustrated with these fumbles as anyone else. Here we are, 10 games down, 6 to go. And they’re still trying to figure it out. I’m just going to embrace the fumbles as our way of trying to keep the other team in the game.

  • Bryan

    Carter and Harris are playing really well. But Rivers was 6/6 when throwing in Champ’s direction yesterday. QB’s have been testing him a decent amount this year and Champ has been giving up alot more completions than he typically has in the past.

  • Big_Pete

    Yeah, division games are tough regardless of any outside motivations such as hanging on for your playoff life. To be able to dominate all of our divisional games so far says something about how good we really are.

    My buddy and I were baffled at that pick as well, but I was quick to point out that in the heat of the moment, only a savvy vet like Champ would be thinking “just knock it down, don’t pick it” in order to give us field position. So I let those type of things pass. Hey, it’s better than letting SD convert, so I’ll take anything I can get. Plus, I think a pick is more motivating than batting down a pass for a turnover on downs. I like the ball hawking mentality we have, so I’ll take picks that cost us 20 yards over changing our defensive mentality.

    And yes, we need better RBs, but I addressed that already with a post of my own.

  • Big_Pete

    Yes he has, but that’s still a dangerous decision for QBs. Besides, the thing with Champ isn’t that he’s always gonna get a pick 6, it’s more that he’ll break up a pass down the sideline, or he’ll tackle the guy immediately on a quick slant/out. That’s what separates Champ from most other CBs. A WR on a slant is pretty much impossible to cover, so you just hope your CB can tackle them immediately to keep them from running up field. Champ does that. Same with quick outs, although those are easier to pick off than slants.

    I think it’s just that Harris and Carter are so ridiculously dangerous to throw at because of the pick 6 probability that QBs are kinda forced to throw at Champ because they know he probably won’t pick 6 it even though he will probably break it up or allow the catch, but nothing extra. At this point, it’s actually safer to throw at Champ than away from him. Again, I never thought I’d say that until his skills declined so much that he is converted to safety. This is a great problem to have.

  • Bryan

    Round 1 RB’s…If it’s the final cog that will put you over the top, OK but there are always other positions I would prefer to use a 1st round pick on. And to draft ‘those’ types of RB’s you need to be picking pretty early in Round 1. Trade the farm or have a bad season..2 things I also don’t want to see happen in Denver.

  • Big_Pete


  • Bryan

    No doubt..A stop is a stop. But I think it’s something you need to tell you’re team. Hey..don’t bury us 20 yards farther than you have to. If the situation arises that we need points to win, it’s easier to go 15 yards, than 35 yards, to give Prater a look. Just sayin…

  • Big_Pete

    I agree. Its something that has to be said by someone in the huddle right before the play. Kinda like a QB saying “don’t go out of bounds no matter what” to the WR/RB in the last few minutes. Someone like Champ needs to say “remember, it’s 4th down. If you can, knock it down, don’t catch it.” However, it’s probably harder for someone on defense to say that only because if you pick it, you have the opportunity to return the pick and possibly score. That’s probably why such things aren’t said in those situations. The ball comes flying, and I bet everyone has the endzone in their eyes even though the smart move would be to just bat it down.

  • dogheadbrew

    That was not meant to be tongue-in-cheek. The O was stagnant. Turnovers are concerning and there wereany missed opportunities. All of that said, to be good enough on both sides of the ball, to look lack-luster, relatively, and still hang 30 on a talented, if dysfunctional, team is nice.

  • Doom92

    I agree that I don’t get the whole Ball thing either, I don’t hate him as much as you do but he is nothing more than an average SPT player. I also agree about taking a RB in the lower first round but do not have a problem at the end of the first round and that is exactly where we would have gotten Martin.

    Clearly the coaching staff doesn’t like Johnson more than Ball either or he’d already be playing. But if this fumbling thing doesn’t stop we will not last a game in the AFC, imagine a playoff caliber team getting the ball handed to them like that, D or not we’d be done.

  • Big_Pete

    Agreed on all points.

  • Gary_in_SD

    Something I’ve noticed about this team that I haven’t seen since the Superbowl years, is that this defense is not missing many tackles. It very well may be the best pass rushing season we long time Bronco fans have ever seen too. Von is incredible, maybe the best defensive player to ever wear a Bronco uni and there have been some great ones. Time will definitely tell that story.

  • Gary_in_SD

    Only Derrick Thomas had more sacks through as many games as Von Miller has played in the NFL.