The Broncos made a valiant effort, but they just put themselves in too deep a hole against too good of an opponent last night, falling to the Falcons 27-21 in Atlanta on Monday Night Football. Peyton Manning had unquestionably the worst first quarter of his entire career, tossing three interception in his first six pass attempts on the Bronco’s first three drives, which put Denver in an early 10-0.
The second quarter didn’t go any better for Denver, as after the Falcons tacked on another field goal, Manning and the offense responded with a quick three and out. The Falcons next drive was a little more productive, as Matt Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for a 1 yard score to extend Atlanta’s lead to 20-0. With the team reeling, Manning finally got into a groove, guiding the Broncos on a 14 play drive which ended with a nifty catch by Demaryius Thomas in the end zone to cut the deficit to 20-7 going into the half.
After punts by both teams to start the second half, Matt Ryan and Roddy White picked apart the Denver defense, with White hitting paydirt to once again put the Falcons up 20 and seemingly put the game out of reach. However, the Broncos weren’t going to go down without a fight. On their first possession of the 4th quarter, Manning led the offense on an epic 14 play, 96 yard drive ending with a Willis McGahee touchdown run to cut the lead to 27-14. Two drives later Denver started with great field position, and the offense made sure not to waste it. McGahee scored his second TD of the quarter, this time on 4th down, to make it a six point ballgame. The Bronco defense, which had played very well for most of the second half, just couldn’t make one last stop to give Manning and co. one more chance. They had their opportunity on 3rd and 5, but Julio Jones fought through a tackle to just barely get the first down. Michael Turner took care of the rest, as he ran out the rest of clock to give the Broncos their first loss of the season
While Bronco fans have every right to be upset with how they started the game, I think it says a lot about this team that after staking the Falcons to a huge lead, they came within a whisker of giving Peyton Manning a legitimate shot to win the ballgame. I’m not saying accept the loss, because you shouldn’t, if the Broncos play well this is a game they probably win. But to play so badly on the road against one of the better teams in the NFL and to still only lose by six tells me, and should tell you, that this is a solid football team.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Broncos next week, as they host another Super Bowl contender in the Houston Texans next Sunday
About the Author
Written by Alex Summers
Lifelong sports fan, love the NFL, and big fan of a basketball and baseball