A breakdown of Broncos’ players participation in Sunday’s Week 9 win at Cincinnati
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYS
A breakdown of Broncos’ players participation in Sunday’s Week 9 win at Cincinnati
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYS
Any historian will tell you that history is never final, but that we are able to make sense of it by identifying eras.
So too, every National Football League team writes a new season of history every year, and each season is not final until February.
But the Denver Broncos have hit the halfway point with some great moments and an extremely positive feeling among all fans.
These are just some random thoughts that I have had with the statistical support having come from Broncos Media Relations Coordinator Erich Schubert.
One of the most positive signs that things are going in the right direction is when there are so many positives happening all at once that we begin to take them for granted.
Over the past two games, Broncos opponents have returned four punts for a total of -2 yards. Punter Britton Colquitt ranks third in the NFL with a 43.1 net-punting average this season, and is one of five players to post 15-or-more punts inside the 20 with three-or-fewer touchbacks. Colquitt leads the league with opponents averaging just 3.6 yards per punt return in 2012.
The Broncos offensive line didn’t allow a sack for the third consecutive game, marking just the fourth time in team history that the line has kept the quarterback clean for three straight games. It is the first such streak since the 2008 season.
Linebacker Von Miller set a career high with three sacks against fellow second-year player Andy Dalton. Miller is now tied with Texans defensive end J.J. Watt for the NFL lead with 17 tackles for a loss through Week 9 of the 2012 season.
Wide receiver Eric Decker is tied for first in the NFL with seven receiving touchdowns since Week 4 of the 2012 season. He caught eight passes for 99 yards with two touchdowns at Cincinnati, tying for the most receptions and touchdowns among AFC players in Week 9. Sunday marked the fifth consecutive contest with at least one receiving touchdown for Decker, which is one shy of the Broncos’ all-time record. He now has 16 career receiving touchdowns, which ties him for the most receiving scores by a Bronco during his first three professional seasons (Lionel Taylor, 1960-61).
Wesley Woodyard finished with a game-high 14 tackles in Denver’s win at Cincinnati. Woodyard now has 72 tackles on the season according to press box totals, which ranks eighth in the NFL through Week 9.
One of the most anticipated matchups on Sunday was between two former Georgia Bulldogs — Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green and Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey.
Having watched Green play since his days at Sanford Stadium, Bailey expected a busy day.
“I expected it, and he didn’t let me down,” he smiled.
Green was targeted nine times, and for the majority of the game, Bailey was matched up in man coverage on the second-year receiver.
The 14th-year cornerback said it was “definitely” the most times he has been thrown to in a game this season.
“I like that, though,” he said. “I love to put myself in position to get the ball thrown my way, whatever it takes.”
Third-and-4 from the Denver 26: Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense set the tone early, converting their first third-down attempt of the game on a 5-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas. The team would also convert its next third-down attempt with a 7-yard completion from Manning to Lance Ball. That drive culminated in a 43-yard field goal by Matt Prater.
Third-and-2 from the Denver 28: Tied 3-3, the Broncos were looking to get some momentum on offense on their first drive of the second quarter. Manning delivered a strike to Thomas and the third-year wideout fought off Bengals defenders to gain three yards for the first down.
Second-and-7 from the Denver 34: Manning dialed up his first deep ball of the day and found Thomas streaking open down the left sideline. Forty-five yards later, the Broncos were in business and ended up taking a 10-3 lead later in the drive when wide receiver Eric Decker caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Manning.
First-and-10 from the Cincinnati 23: With Cincinnati looking to cut into Denver’s 10-3 lead with a two-minute drive at the end of the first half, linebacker Von Miller sacked Andy Dalton for a 3-yard loss. The play kept the clock ticking and stopped the Bengals from getting momentum going to end the half. Kicker Mike Nugent missed a 46-yard field goal attempt as time expired to keep the score 10-3 in favor of the Broncos at the intermission.
HEAD COACH JOHN FOX
On if he’s proud of how the team persevered
“Yeah, we knew this was going to be a tough game and a team that is (coming in) on three losses in a row and had a bye week. You’re kind of coming into a hornets nest, and they’re a talented football team. You saw examples of that out there today. (They are) well-coached, I think Marvin (Lewis) had them ready to play. I was proud of our guys just to hang in there and find a way to get that score at the end.”
On Manning keeping his composure despite two interceptions
“He’s special. As far as having a guy under center in that fourth quarter when a lot of games are won and lost in this league, he finishes the race pretty well.”
On using Miller creatively leading to success
“He does a lot of it on his own too. He is a very gifted player. We’re proud to have him here with the Denver Broncos. He came up big. We had our moments defensively as well, and he was part of those positive moments, along with Champ getting that big interception late.”
QUARTERBACK PEYTON MANNING
On keeping his composure
“I’ve certainly been there before. My dad always talked about, ‘You have to get back to level 0. You have to erase the play from your mind – a good play or a bad play – and move on to the next one. Not the scenario that we wanted. Any time that you’re on the road and you have a chance to put a team away, you’d like to. You hate to give them a little life, which we did, and give credit to them for responding. But, when we had to, our team responded as well and that was important.”
On common traits that good fourth-quarter QBs have
“I don’t know. I think all football players, when the fourth quarter comes around, the pressure is on – that’s when you want to rely on your fundamentals and techniques. I had an old coach tell me, ‘That’s why you treat practice like a game. Put yourself in those pressure situations during the week, so when those fourth quarters come around, you feel like you’re prepared.’ I think we can draw on this type of game today. We knew it was going to be tough and we have another tough road game next week, so it was good to come out with a win today.”
BRONCOS AT BENGALS:
Stay tuned to DenverBroncos.com throughout the day and night for all of the latest coverage on the win.
BRONCOS ON TWITTER: Follow the action on Twitter, as well, via the Broncos’ official gameday account. @BroncosGameday will keep fans updated with live, in-game updates throughout tonight’s matchup. To chime in with your tweets, use #DENvsCIN.
BENGALS EVEN SCORE AT 3-3: On a drive highlighted by a long pass from quarterback Andy Dalton to wide receiver A.J. Green, the Bengals moved into position for a game-tying 28-yard field goal by kicker Mike Nugent.
HOLLIDAY GIVES DENVER 14-POINT LEAD:Wide receiver Trindon Holliday returned the opening kickoff of the second half 105 yards for a record-breaking touchdown.
BRONCOS REGAIN LEAD: Denver is back in front after an 80-yard scoring march that ended with quarterback Peyton Manning finding tight end Joel Dreessen open in the end zone for the 1-yard, go-ahead score.
PICK SETS UP SECOND STRAIGHT BRONCOS TD: After an interception by cornerback Champ Bailey, quarterback Peyton Manning and the offense took over in Bengals territory and stretched the lead to 11 points on a short TD pass to wide receiver Eric Decker.
BENGALS PULL WITHIN 31-23: Quarterback Andy Dalton led the Bengals down the field for a last-minute field goal to cut the lead to 8 points.
The Broncos leave Cincinnati with a 31-23 victory against the Bengals after another strong fourth quarter.
Denver jumped out to a 10-3 first-half lead with a 13-yard touchdown connection from quarterback Peyton Manning to wide receiver Eric Decker.
With the touchdown, Decker became the fifth player in team history to catch a touchdown in five straight games.
Wide receiver Trindon Holliday put the Broncos up 17-3 with a 105-yard kick return touchdown to open the second half, but the Bengals rallied to score the next 17 points and take a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter.
But from there, it was all Denver as the Broncos scored the next 14 points of the game on touchdown passes to tight end Joel Dreessen and Eric Decker.
Manning finished with 27-of-35 passing for 291 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Denver defense put forth a five-sack effort led by linebacker Von Miller who had three of them.
Cornerback Champ Bailey made his first interception of the season and tied former Bronco Mike Harden for the fifth-most interceptions in team history with 33.
Taking over at their own 30-yard line with 3:32 to play, Cincinnati moved into field goal range, and kicker Mike Nugent booted the ball through the uprights from 41 yards out to make it 31-23, Denver.
The drive covered 47 yards in 12 plays and saw Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton complete a number of short passes, including a 10-yarder to tight end Jermaine Gresham to get the ball past midfield. Green also completed passes to running back Brian Leonhard and wide receiver A.J. Green to get into field goal range.
Denver holds a 31-20 advantage with 3:31 remaining after capitalizing on good field position. The drive culminated in a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Peyton Manning to wide receiver Eric Decker.
The Broncos defense found itself in a favorable down-and-distance situation after linebacker Von Miller drew a holding penalty that made it 3rd-and-25. Needing a big play, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton looked deep for wide receiver A.J. Green, but was picked off by cornerback Champ Bailey.
The pick is Bailey’s first of the season and 33rd as a Bronco, tying him for fifth all-time in franchise history. For his career, Bailey has 51, which is third-most in the NFL since he entered the league in 1999.
Taking over in Bengals territory at the 46-yard line, the Broncos moved the chains on third-and-5 when Manning found Brandon Stokley, who turned the short pass into a 15-yard completion.
Facing another third down after two runs by running back Willis McGahee, the Broncos gave it to McGahee again, with McGahee bursting up the middle for 12 yards, giving Denver first-and-goal from the Cincinnati 5-yard line. That made Denver 9-for-14 (64 percent) on third downs.
Two plays later, Manning found Decker in the corner of the end zone, who made the catch despite defensive pass interference against the Bengals.
It marks Manning’s fifth consecutive game with three touchdown passes.