Believe it or not, the Denver Broncos have now moved to 3-1 on the season after a huge home victory over Oakland Raiders, as the defense dominated. Both sides of the ball dominated, as the Broncos efficient paved the way for a win. However, the defensive dominance authored a path forward for the Broncos to win a championship. Although only a quarter of the season down, the model of the Broncos defense has shown the 2017 Broncos could be championship contenders.
Denver Broncos Defense – A Championship Model
Denver’s Offense Wins Games
The Denver Broncos didn’t make it look easy on both sides of the football, but they did, however, improve to 3-1 with a huge AFC West victory over their divisional rivals Oakland Raiders.
To begin, the Broncos led most of the game, taking an early 7-0 lead that was added to with a field goal to extend the lead to 10-0. Yet, the pesky Raiders hung around all game, putting the score within three points at 10-7 just before the Broncos added another pair of field goals to give them the 16-10 victory.
Sunday was, without a doubt, an inconsistent game for the offense after a touchdown drive in the first quarter, with some untimely penalties, overly conservative play, and poor pass protection (yet again).
The defense, on the other hand, was dominant. Von Miller and the Broncos defensive front line were absolutely outstanding in this game, holding the Oakland Raiders to a whopping total of 24 rushing yards in the game.
It was a performance that should have paved the way for a 20-plus point victory, but the offense couldn’t get out of its own way in this game.
Denver’s Defense Wins Championships
As mentioned earlier, the run defense was masterful yet again. No matter what the Raiders did, they couldn’t get anything going on the ground in this game. The passing game was shut down as well, save for a broken coverage on their lone touchdown and a field goal drive led by E.J. Manuel in the final quarter.
Although heard all over the top communication channels in sports, for Raider fans, this was a scary sight to see, as quarterback Derek Carr spun around on a sack and appeared to overextend his back. Fortunately, although visibly in pain, he walked off the field, but couldn’t manage to stand up straight. It looked as if every step was aggravating his injury.
Generally speaking, most Denver Broncos fan don’t like the Raiders, but Carr is a good guy; regardless of rivalries are awful to see. Hopefully, his recovery process won’t be too long and he’ll be back on the field in no time.
Justin Simmons has had his fair share of misuse early on in the first quarter, but he came up with a big interception to end the game. Leaping over the top of Amari Cooper, Simmons did his part in advancing the Broncos secondary dominance.
However, not all was perfect as Denver’s kicker, Brandon McManus missed a 29-yard field goal. It was a critical miss at a critical point in the game, giving the Oakland Raiders a chance to continue hanging around. As inefficient as the offense was despite their favorable field position all game, this was an inexcusable miss on a chip shot, and McManus knows it. Going into their fifth game of the season, McManus now has three misses under his belt – all at home.
At this point, the Broncos know they can win most games if they win the turnover battle. Luckily, the missed field goal doesn’t go into the books as an official turnover, so the Broncos game-ending interception won them the turnover margin battle.
Winning the turnover battle was essential, and nearly not the case. Trevor Siemian was sacked and stripped by none other than, Khalil Mack. The sack was ruled a fumble on the play before officials gathered and determined that Siemian’s knee was down before he fumbled the ball.
The bottom line is that Denver is now 3-1 with a chance to be first in the AFC West by the end of the upcoming week. They took care of business against the Raiders and now will watch as teams play this Sunday to see where they stand.
The Broncos are now going on a bye week before taking on the New York Giants in week six. They are, however, scheduled to play the Oakland Raiders again on Sunday, November 26th in Oakland, California. So don’t be surprised if to see the rivalry between the two teams get a little more personal.