Oct 5, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) pulls in his second receiving touchdown past Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos improved their record to 3-1, while handing the Arizona Cardinals their very first loss of the 2014 season! As week six quickly approaches, I’m taking one last look back on the Broncos third season of the victory and all the records set on a gorgeous day in Denver. In addition to the Broncos-Cardinals game, I’ve also included my brief thoughts on the other two games in week five featuring AFC West teams.
Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos: Due to my nephew’s wedding, I was unable to attend this game in person and unfortunately missed a number of record-setting performances. Peyton Manning started the record-breaking Sunday with a seven-yard strike to Julius Thomas, giving him 500 career touchdown passes, which is second behind Brett Favre. Manning went on to throw a total of four touchdown passes on the afternoon, bring him up to 503, only five behind Favre. It is very likely Manning will break the record in October, I just don’t know when? The Broncos face the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Diego Chargers to close out October. See below for list of all the records that were broken or tied on Sunday as the Broncos went onto beat the Cardinals 41-20. If the Broncos continue to play like this both offensively and defensively, they will compile many more lopsided wins I am sure. As Stated in my AFC West preview prior to week five, I was concerned about the Broncos running game or lack of running game. My concern was justified as it appeared the Broncos were struggling to move the ball via the ground game. Montee Ball, who only had six carries for seven yards, injured his groin in the third quarter Sunday and is expected to miss several weeks. After the injury to Ball, Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson combined for a total of 79 rushing yards; Thompson added an eight-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. I have been a fan of Juwan Thompson after watching him in the preseason so I hope he gets more playing time over the next few weeks. I wouldn’t feel right if I completed this post without mentioning the defense! Von Miller looked like the Von from a couple of seasons ago, logging two sacks and Demarcus Ware made definitely made his presence felt with another sack. The entire defensive unit held the Cardinals to a total of 178 net passing yards and 37 net rushing yards (215 total).
Records set or milestones achieved on Sunday, October 5 2014 against Arizona: (Courtesy 9news.com)
- Peyton Manning threw for his 500th career touchdown, becoming just the 2nd quarterback all-time to reach this milestone (Brett Favre holds the record at 508, Manning is now five behind at 503)
- Peyton Manning completed his 13th game of his career with at least 400 passing yards, tying Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the most all-time by a quarterback
- Peyton Manning set a career-high with 479 total passing yards in a single game
- Peyton Manning had his 87th three passing-touchdown performance, which is the most all-time by a quarterback in NFL history. (Favre is the next-closest player with 72)
- Peyton Manning now has 43 consecutive games with a touchdown pass, which is the 4th longest streak all-time. (Drew Brees holds the record at 54 games)
- Wes Welker became the all-time leading receiver that came into the league as an undrafted free agent with 854 total catches. (surpassed former Bronco Rod Smith, who compiled 849 career catches)
- Demaryius Thomas set an all-time Broncos receiving record with 226 yards in a single game (surpassed Shannon Sharpe who had 212 at Kansas City in 2002)
- Demaryius Thomas set a career-high with 226 receiving yards
- Demaryius Thomas recorded his 4th TD pass of at least 70 yards, tying a franchise record with Rod Smith
- Emmanuel Sanders tied the lead in the NFL with 4 catches of at least 30 yards
- Julius Thomas caught his 6th TD pass of the season, tying Wes Welker and a Broncos record for the most in the first four games of a season
- Demarcus Ware recorded a sack, moving him to 17th all-time with 120.5 for his career
- Undrafted rookie running back Juwan Thompson scored his first career touchdown on an eight-yard run
- Terrance Knighton recorded his 300th tackle of his career
- Brandon McManus scored 11 points in the contest, the most of his career
- Broncos compiled 568 yards of total offense, the most in a single game in franchise history (567 vs. Atlanta in 2004)
Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers: Since the Bronco game was on local television where I live I chose not to watch the Chiefs-49ers game obviously. I was somewhat curious however to see how Kansas City would perform against the 49ers on the road considering that the Chiefs thoroughly beat the Patriots on Monday Night Football a week earlier. The Chiefs defense deserves a bit of credit in this one because they held the 49ers to five field goals and a touchdown. Anytime you can keep a team out of the end-zone it is a minor victory. Unfortunately for the Chiefs and their fans, the Chiefs offense wasn’t able to produce enough points to keep up with the 49ers. Even though the Chiefs lost, the score was somewhat respectable (22-17) and the Chiefs did have the ball at the end of the game with a chance to go ahead, but Alex Smith threw his first interception of the game, ending any chance of a Chiefs victory. The loss drops the Chiefs to 2-3 on the year and in third place in the division. The Chiefs have a bye in week six and return to action in week seven against the San Diego Chargers.
New York Jets at San Diego Chargers: I know the Chargers were only playing the New York Jets but San Diego got another impressive win. The Chargers improved their record to 4-1 with a 31-0 drubbing of the Jets. The Chargers only loss came in week one against the Cardinals by one point on Monday Night Football (18-17). If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that in five weeks the Chargers would be two points away from being undefeated, I wouldn’t have believed you. It certainly appears the Broncos and Chargers are on a collision course, considering the way both teams have started the season. As I’ve stated before, much of the Chargers quick start has to be attributed to quarterback Philip Rivers. Against the Jets, Rivers completed 20 of his 28 pass attempts for a total of 228 yards and three touchdowns. Rivers did have an interception on Sunday but still finds himself with a quarterback rating of 116.3, which is second in the league. If you’re wondering, Manning is ranked sixth with a quarterback rating of 109. The Chargers start a three-week span where they face each AFC West team – Oakland, Kansas City, and then Denver on a Thursday night. I will keep one eye on the Chargers over the next couple of weeks because they have proven they can come to Denver and win. Assuming Denver and San Diego win the next two weeks, it will be quite a matchup in week 8 with the division lead at stake.
Oakland Raiders: Bye
Go Broncos – beat the Jets!