The Denver Broncos’ team that showed up today was in hiding for the past five weeks. The squad that everyone knew was there finally emerged from the depths of Broncos’ hell at just the right time.
The Broncos got out to an early 35-0 lead a quarter and a half in the game, and never looked back. They beat the Kansas City Chiefs 49-29 under a bright sky that was constantly filled with orange and blue fireworks.
The team that saw Jamaal Charles rush for 259 yards and 2 TDs in their last meeting held Charles and Thomas Jones to 44 yards on 18 carries combined. That’s the 31st-ranked rushing defense against the 1st-ranked rushing offense. Either the Days of Our Lives of the run defense has taken a major turn or the Raiders put a spell over Charles and Jones during an overtime loss last week.
The Broncos’ offensive line was in fine form not giving up a sack and enabling the ground game to finally get going. The Broncos had 153 yards on 31 carries with Knowshon Moreno tallying 106 yards on 22 carries.
Kyle Orton managed the game well and didn’t turn the ball over. Even though Matt Cassel had a career day with 469 yards on 33-for-53 passing and 4 touchdowns, Orton was the superior QB. He finished the day with an offense that scored 49 points going 22-for-34 for 296 yards and 4 touchdowns of his own.
The Broncos had the balanced offense and the defense to halt the Chiefs on the ground. The Chiefs turned the ball over once, but that fumble led to an immediate touchdown by defensive end Jason Hunter. The Broncos were able to get to Matt Cassel four times for a loss of 36 yards. Mario Haggan came up big with three of those sacks.
The Chiefs were a quarter or two late and a dollar short when they started to get their offense going. There wasn’t a period in the game where the Chiefs were within striking distance. In what had become a cardiac event breeding ground, the fans of Denver could finally kick back and get a kick out of the game in front of them.
The excitement only grew when Tim Tebow threw his first NFL pass in the third quarter that went for a touchdown. His QB résumé thus far (rushing excluded): 1-for-1 for 3 yards and 1 TD. Tebow also ran into the endzone in the second quarter pushing the Broncos’ lead to 28 points.
The only negative to Josh McDaniels’ day was when Chiefs’ coach Todd Haley refused a post-game handshake infront of cameras. McDaniels can only smile and carry the gesture (or lack thereof) to Kansas City when the two teams meet again on December 5th. Whether their instant replay system will work for the Broncos is questionable, but one thing is certain: The amount of animosity between the two teams has only grown.
Just like milk, the bye seems to have done the Broncos’ bodies good. The week off not only gave them time to reflect on the 2-6 start, but it gave them time to think about what can be made of the rest of the season. The team has four division games remaining where winning once is essentially like winning twice.
The life and times of a 3-6 team has never looked so good.
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