Oct 18, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) kicks the game-winning field goal out of the hold of punter Britton Colquitt (4) in overtime against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Denver defeated Cleveland 26-23. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
Are you Broncos fans alive out there? I for sure might have died and came back to life. And for those who are doubting Brandon McManus now should not, but more on that later.
The Denver Broncos were pushed to the absolute limit against the Cleveland Browns today, but some key runs and a Brandon McManus game winning 34 yard field goal brought the Broncos to 6-0 on the season with a 26-23 overtime win.
There was a whole wave of emotions for the Broncos faithful this evening. And I will not sugar coat it, but Peyton Manning was really off of his game. It is so uncharacteristic for him to throw three interceptions. His totals now sit at seven touchdowns and ten interceptions. I have no doubt that he will be getting a lot of grief this week.
But how about the Broncos defense. They did break a little bit, but they have shown once again that they are going to carry this Broncos team for the long haul.
Let’s take a look at my three stars for the game against the Browns. It was difficult, but here they are.
Oct 18, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) tackles Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson (29) during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
3rd Star- Aqib Talib
This should not come as much as a surprise. His pick six early in the second quarter gave the Broncos a 10-0 lead. This would be Talib’s third interception of the season, and his second that was returned for a touchdown.
Hopefully he continues the pace and puts quarterbacks on notice. I would not want to throw his way either with those numbers.
Sep 3, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Shaquil Barrett (48) sacks Arizona Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas (6) during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Cardinals won 20-22. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
2nd Star- Shaquil Barrett
Without Demarcus Ware, Shaquil Barrett got the start opposite of Von Miller. And did he come to play this afternoon.
Barrett recorded 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble from Josh McCown, which he recovered. He also recorded nine tackles in the game and seemed to be all over the place on the defensive side of the field. We can probably agree that he should be the successor to Ware. Maybe a bit too early, but he showed what he can do in extended time.
This Colorado State Ram sure has a lot of potential and should continue being a force for years to come.
Aug 14, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) kicks a 52-yard field goal against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter in a preseason NFL football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
1st Star- Brandon McManus
Now, raise your hands if you believe in the Temple Owl now? Despite the missed 51 yard field goal near the end of the first half, Brandon McManus was solid, going 4-for-5 on the day, including the game winning field goal from 34-yards out to win the game.
His game moved him to 16-of-17 for the season and clearly is the best weapon the Broncos have on special teams. If anyone is doubting McManus now, I would be shocked. The game winner was perhaps the biggest kick of his career. And did he come through in a big way.
The Broncos will go to the bye week before they host the Green Bay Packers in Week 8 on Sunday Night Football. Go Broncos!