Broncos’ defense finishes at or near top in every category
While much is made of the prolific passing game that the Denver Broncos have, the season wouldn’t stand where it is today without the lofty efforts of the defense.
Currently ranked 1st in sacks (48.0), 3rd in interceptions returned for a touchdown (5), 3rd in forced fumbles (18), 3rd in yards allowed (302.2 per game), and 5th in points per game (19.1), the Broncos haven’t had a defense this stout in over a decade.
The Broncos held the Kansas City Chiefs to just 119 total yards and 3 points in week 17.
Without a doubt the defense will play a role in whether or not the Broncos in a championship.
“If we can put it in anyone’s hands, we want it,” Von Miller said of the defense. “We want to be in the situation where we can make plays for our team.”
With one sack agains the Chiefs, Miller finished the season with 18.5 sacks, good enough for 3rd in the league. His right hand man, Elvis Dumervil, finished the year with 11.0 sacks.
Enjoying the bye week
The Broncos won’t find out who their next
victim opponent is until next week. They will take on the lowest seeded team that emerges from the AFC wildcard round. That means they will face either Indianapolis, Baltimore, or Cincinnati.
With the top seed in the AFC, the Broncos will get the chance to rest and study up, and for the first time this season, they’ll be able to relish in a victory for a little bit.
“I think it’s because we have a week off,” Champ Bailey said of being able to enjoy this win. “If we didn’t have a week off, it’d be right back to business, but we have a little time to breathe and reflect, and really evaluate ourselves.”
Peyton Manning in on a tackle
It won’t show up on the stat sheet, but Peyton Manning helped bring Brandon Flowers down late in the first quarter. Running back Ronnie Hillman fumbled the ball, Flowers picked it up and ran 64 yards before being taken down by Joel Dreessen. If not for Manning making Flowers cut back, and throwing his body in front of him, however, Flowers would have run in for the score to tie the game 7-7.
“I didn’t get the tackle,” Manning questioned after the game. “Dreessen hit him? It was a good play by them…I knew if I at least made them cut back, I thought there was somebody that would be there. I thought I got a hand on him though. Maybe a half…Can I get a half?”
Broncos to enjoy the home crowd throughout the playoffs
Historically, the Broncos win most of their playoff games if played at home, so home field advantage until the Super Bowl bodes well with both players and fans alike.
“I’ve always thought playing here in Denver is a tough place to play,” Manning said. “I’ve played here as an opponent, and our fans have been outstanding all season long. I truly feel like there is a “12th man” advantage here, and that’s what you want.”
AFC divisional playoff tickets go on sale Monday
Single game tickets will be available for purchase starting at noon on Monday. The game will be played either Saturday, Jan. 12, or Sunday, Jan. 13. You can call Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000) or visit Ticketmaster to purchase online. Tickets will only be available to those with a billing address in the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota, and Wester Kansas. Tickets won’t be available at the Broncos Ticket Office until Wednesday (if there are any left).