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Published on 12/18/2012 at Tue Dec 18 11:10.
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Broncos 34, Ravens 17 – You know what a victory means! Time for BT’s Week 15 Game Balls.

Knowshon Moreno: During this game, I started getting this odd feeling inside of my head. No longer was I expecting and waiting for Moreno to fumble, or have 5 runs in a row produce zero net yards. No, instead, I started wanting to see him run. I wanted to see what was next. I stopped saying “please don’t fumble, please don’t fumble” when he got hit. Yes BroncoTalk faithful, I started trusting Knowshon and started thinking “we NEED him”. Add on top of that a RIDICULOUS hurdle of a Hall of Fame safety in Ed Reed, combined with 118 yards on 22 carries (5.4ypc) and a TD, and stellar pass blocking, and it’s easy to see why Knowshon Moreno receives the first gameball this week.

Chris Harris: I am still shaking my head at how all 32 teams passed on this kid for 7 rounds. Yes, I’m a KU guy, but man, Chris Harris isn’t just an undrafted gem, he’s looking like that big Hope Diamond hanging down the middle of Kate Winslet’s chest. That pick 6 at the end of the half totally changed the landscape of the game. Not only was it a 14 point swing, but it completely crushed the will of the Ravens. You could see it in their eyes and in how they came out to play in the 3rd quarter. They were finished, and they had lost confidence in Joe Flacco. What is more crazy than that is that Chris Harris is playing so good, that teams are actually throwing at Champ Bailey!!! How insane is that? I have a funny feeling that Harris is going to get a shiny new contract at one point in the offseason. He better get one anyways, because the longer we wait, the more he’s going to cost us. Chris Harris, you my man, get a gameball.

Jack Del Rio:  I’m almost at a loss for words when trying to write about the job JDR has done for this team. He took a train wreck of a coordinator position, and emerged from the rubble like a pheonix. He transformed a bottom dwelling defense into the #3 defense in the entire NFL. Unlike in 2005, this defense isn’t a bunch of smoke and mirrors. When Mike Shanahan was asked if his Redskins blitz pressure plan was the best plan for the Broncos to beat the Ravens, Shanahan said that the Broncos didn’t have to blitz him, because we can generate that type of pressure in our base defense. How prophetic does he look now? I have also noticed an upswing trend of people wanting to watch the defense on the field. While everyone loves seeing Manning on the field, when the defense trots on, it is no longer an opportunity to grab more beer or head to the bathroom. The defense is what makes our team so dangerous and good. Sure, we can hang points on anybody, but when our defense dominates everybody game after game after game, and can score with decent frequency, it is no wonder why we are 1 of 2 AFC teams predicted to make the super bowl.

Honorable Mentions: Von Miller will always have a spot on the gameballs list. Without him, our entire defense would start falling apart. Peyton Manning was |thisclose| to a few more long scores. Our entire defense once again played lights out, and welcome back Wesley Woodyard, you are a difference maker on this team.


  • Paradisimo

    While Prater did miss a meaningless field goal at the end of the game I have to give him and Colquitt game balls for their terrific open field tackles. Far too often you see kickers make a limp-wristed effort at tackling whereas Prater and Colquitt both showed good technique and wrapped their men up.

  • Pete Baron

    You know what? When they did that, I tried making a mental note to include them in the game balls. I usually have a notebook to make sure I don’t forget anything, but I didn’t for this game.

    Great catch though, they definitely deserve game balls, cause that is easily 14 points for the Ravens.

  • Jason Holm

    Cheers for the defense. This year I feel like no matter which team has the ball, the Broncos are in possession of it. Pick-sixes, fumble returns, strip-sacks and the old fashion tee-off on the QB, who says defense doesn’t sell tickets?

    I wonder if this is what Ravens fans have felt like for the last decade?

  • Roberto Patiño

    keep in mind that Chris Harris kept Boldin without a reception this game, thats incredible, I think that is the first time since 2005 that someone did that to Boldin. Kudos to Harris.

  • anthony33

    Well written BP.

    I would agree whole heartedly, especially JDR.

    However, one cautionary note, and not trying to pour cold water on anything, but we have not faced an elite QB since Brees, Before that we saw Ryan put up 27, Schaub and Brady each put up 31. Granted those were games very early in the season, and well before this defense had time to marinate. I do believe it will be a different story in the next go-around, but I have to admit there is a little wondering if they are really ready to compete against the truly elite. Nonetheless, Del Rio was perhaps the best off-season move the Bronx made, especially if he decides to stay here for a good while.

  • MeOMy

    3 teams have held Saints to under 24 points, Falcons, 49ers and Denver. I think that puts Denver in pretty good company.

    Since Harris replaced Porter and Brookings (Defensive MVP for Denver) replaced Mays, Denver has been elite on Defense. What Manning does to set the players on Offense Brookings does the same on D.