That game was far from pretty, and as usual, the Broncos made it a lot harder on themselves than it should have been, but a win’s a win, and Bronco nation will take it. Denver pulled out a W in Cincinnati yesterday against a feisty Bengals squad to improve their record to 5-3 and remain in first place of the AFC West at the midpoint of the season; pretty much where everyone expected they’d be in early November. Manning broke Dan Marino’s record for career 4th quarter comebacks, notching his 48th in yesterdays win. Although for a while, it looked like the 4th quarter heroics wouldn’t be necessary.
After a slow first quarter that saw Denver take a 3-0 advantage, the Broncos responded to a short Bengals field goal with a score of their own, with Manning capping off the drive hitting his new favorite target Eric Decker with a 13 yard score to take a 10-3 lead. After 4 punts in a row by both teams, Mike Nugent missed a field goal at the gun to preserve the Denver lead at 10-3 going into the half.
Denver got the second half off to a rousing start, as Trindon Holliday ran the opening kickoff deep in the end zone and took it a Denver team record 105 yards for an exhilarating score, giving the Broncos a two touchdown edge just seconds into the 3rd quarter. Cincy responded right back, as A.J. Green beat Champ Bailey in the end zone to haul in a 10 yard strike from Andy Dalton to cut the deficit back to seven. Manning and the offense drove inside the Bengal’s 10 yard line on their next drive, and just when it looked like they were about to put the game away, Manning threw a shocking interception to Terrence Newman in the end zone; snuffing out a scoring opportunity and giving new life to the Bengals. Cincinnati added a field goal on their next drive, cutting the Bronco lead to four. On the ensuing kickoff, Lance Ball misplayed the ball, and ended up being touched down at the one yard line. On third down deep in their own territory, Manning threw a horrible pass that Newman caught for his second interception of the quarter. The Bengals took advantage of the gift field position, as Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis punched it in from the two to give Cincy a surprising 20-17 lead early in the 4th.
It seems like I write this every week, but it’s worth mentioning again, this Bronco team has a lot of fight in them, and seems to handle adversity very well. Yesterday’s game was no different. On a key 3rd and 3, Manning hit Decker for a 30 yard pick up to keep the drive alive. After a pass interference penalty in the end zone brought the ball to the goal line, Manning found Joel Dreessen for a 1 yard score to give the lead back to Denver. The Bengals self combusted on their next drive, committing three penalties that all wiped out first downs. On 3rd and 25, Dalton threw a pick to Bailey, his first of the year, to give Manning and co. great field position. The offense took care of the rest, as Manning hit Decker for his second score of the game, Manning’s third, to essentially put the game away and give the Broncos a 31-20 lead. The Bengals would tack on another field goal, but Denver recovered the onside kick to cap off a hard earned 31-23 victory.
It was far from pretty, but a win’s a win, and I’m sure the Broncos will take it. They just really could have made that one A LOT easier on themselves. I’ve got to give out a couple of game balls for their efforts yesterday. My first goes to Eric Decker, who’s continued his breakout season with an 8 catch, 99 yard, and 2 TD effort. While my other goes to budding star linebacker Von Miller, who took down Dalton 3 times yesterday. Denver takes their 5-3 record to struggling Carolina next week, to take on Cam Newton and the Panthers
About the Author
Written by Alex Summers
Lifelong sports fan, love the NFL, and big fan of a basketball and baseball