Broncos Cap Regular Season With Confidence-Boosting Win


Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) makes a play action move next to running back C.J. Anderson (22) in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 47-14. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos scored 47 points.

Peyton Manning didn’t throw a touchdown, but Brock Osweiler did.

That’s the best way for this season to have finished.

The Broncos proved once again they don’t need Manning to carry them to a win. They need an offense that can effectively run the football, a dominating defense and special teams that wins field position.

It doesn’t matter what team you face, if you win 47-14, hold your opponent under 200 yards of total offense and rack up 451 yourself, you dominated.  Even if it is the hapless Oakland Raiders.

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Not only that, the way Denver played is how they will beat anyone who comes to Mile High for the Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs. The Broncos will play at 2:40 p.m., Jan. 11.

To score 47 points and not have Manning throw a single touchdown is absurd. But it’s also perfect.

You get the aspects mentioned above, but it’s how teams send a message.

The defense rolls into the playoffs with the confidence of playing its best game of the season. The confidence this gives the unit is monstrous, just as defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said after the game. Asked about his confidence level on a scale of 1 to 10 he said, “12.”

Some will poo-poo this performance since it is the Raiders.

Ignore those people.

Again, 199 total yards, 10 first downs and seven points. This Denver defense also finished No. 1 in yards allowed and yards per play in the AFC.

Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) sacks and causes a fumble by Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This is without question the best performance of the season for the defense. And the Broncos did so without linebacker Brandon Marshall and safety T.J. Ward. If that doesn’t put a hop in Broncos Country’s step, nothing will.

And did I mention 47 points without a single touchdown from Manning?

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  • In one of the toughest schedules in the NFL, Denver finished 12-4.

    Still not convinced it was a good season?

    The Broncos are only the 16th team in the Super Bowl era (1966) to finish unbeaten at home and in the division. It’s actually the second Denver team to do it – the 1998 Broncos also did it. What happened with that team?

    The Broncos finished with two receivers who had over 100 catches with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. It’s also the second time Denver has had that happen. Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey did it in 2000.  The last time in it happened in the NFL was 2009.

    And Denver gets a first-round bye. Compared to the last two years, this Broncos team is in much better shape health wise (knocks on wood). In fact, Denver will actually get players back – Marshall, Ward and Paul Cornick, who will help out the offensive line in a big way.

    The Broncos are a better team than they were the last two years. They can run the football. They can play physical, shutdown defense. Special teams is still iffy, but if it plays the way it did against Oakland it is better, far better than the last two years.

    The biggest way this team is better than the last two years is Denver doesn’t force Manning to do it all to win games.  Case in point: the Broncos scored 47 points and Manning didn’t throw a single touchdown.

    Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green (85) makes a catch in front of Oakland Raiders defensive back Ras-I Dowling (36) for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 47-14. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports