Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive back Darian Stewart (26) pulls in a interception over Baltimore Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore (80) and Broncos strong safety David Bruton (30) late in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Ravens 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The first game of the 2015 season is in the books. And was I at the edge of my seat for the final quarter. Darian Stewart intecepted a Joe Flacco pass in the end zone with just seconds to go as the Denver Broncos win their first game in the Gary Kubiak era with a final score of 19-13.
This game featured quite a bit of defense, with both defenses not allowing a single touchdown. However, the opposing offenses allowed a pick six each. Jimmy Smith for the Ravens recorded a pick six early in the second half while Aqib Talib scored the go ahead touchdown with ten seconds to go in the third quarter.
The other story for the game was the struggle of the Broncos offense. The team accumulated only 219 yards on total offense. Those numbers are hard to believe for a Peyton Manning offense. Then again, the Broncos are getting used to a new offense.
It was quite an entertaining game as the defenses were solid on all fronts. Here are the three stars from the game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) is congratulated for his fifty seven yard field goal in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Third Star- Brandon McManus
If it was not for Brandon McManus golden leg, the Broncos might not have been able to escape. McManus went 4/4 on his field goals today. He converted two field goals from 57 and 56 yards. Those field goals would have looked good from 70 yards.
The final field goal put a lot of pressure on the Ravens offense as his field goal made it so that the Broncos would need a touchdown to win the game. For one game, we are glad that he won the kicking competition.
Aug 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) prior to the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Second Star- Aqib Talib
The Broncos were trailing 13-9 with the third quarter winding down when a Joe Flacco pass intended for Steve Smith Sr. was jumped by Aqib Talib and returned it 51 yards for the pick six.
The touchdown ended up becoming the game winning one, as the Baltimore Ravens’ scoring ended after a field goal by Justin Tucker put the team up 13-9.
Aqib Talib has a knack for the football and whenever he gets his hands on the football, he can make plays.
Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive back Darian Stewart (26) is congratulated for his interception of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (not pictured) by outside linebacker Danny Trevathan (59) and cornerback Aqib Talib (21) late in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Ravens 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
First Star- Darian Stewart
It was difficult picking between him and Talib. However, Darian Stewart’s interception sealed the Broncos win. With the Ravens in the red zone, the Ravens attempted to get the football to Crockett Gillmore but was taken away by Darian Stewart with 28 seconds left to go in the game.
Stewart did a solid job in the secondary and it appears that he could be solid in the free safety position as he looks to fill in the shoes left by Rahim Moore. There should be many more to come from the former Raven.
Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) reaches for a pass as Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) defends in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Honorable Mention- Emmanuel Sanders
Whenever a conversion on third down had to be made, Emmanuel Sanders stepped up to the plate for the Denver Broncos. He helped the Broncos convert the first three third downs. He appears to have developed into Peyton Manning’s security blanket.
The Broncos start the season 1-0. They have a short week ahead of them as they travel to Kansas City for Thursday’s game.