Denver went down to Carolina on Sunday and took care of business against an inferior opponent in Cam Newton and the Panthers, as John Fox gained a victory against his former team, where he previously spent nine seasons as the head coach. Manning turned in yet another 300 yard game, and the defense was dominating, sacking Newton seven times. Manning also threw his 420th career touchdown pass, tying him with Dan Marino for second all time; he’s still got a while to go however until he can catch Brett Favre, who sits at 508.
After punts by each team to start the game, Cam Newton and co. made quick work of the Bronco defense. After consecutive completions of over 20 yards, Newton found tight end Greg Olsen for a 4 yard score to give Carolina an early 7-0 advantage. After both teams punted again, Manning and the offense answered with a score of their own. After Peyton hit Demaryious Thomas with a 32 yard strike, he finished off the drive with a TD pass to Brandon Stokley to knot things up at 7 a piece.
After forcing a three and out, the Broncos began the second quarter with a bang, as Trindon Holliday found the end zone for the second week in a row, this time on a punt return, to put Denver up by 7. However, this play really shouldn’t have counted for a touchdown, since Holliday appeared to pull a Desean Jackson and let go of the ball just shy of the goal line. I don’t get it, how hard is it to hold onto the ball until you’ve reached the end zone? The rest of the 2nd quarter saw more Denver defensive domination, as well as a Matt Prater 53 yard field goal to give Denver a 17-7 lead into intermission.
After several punts to start the second half, on the Panther’s first play of their next drive, Newton was picked off by Tony Carter, who ran it 40 yards back for six to essentially put the game away and give Denver a commanding 24-7 lead. The rest of the quarter was again controlled by the defenses, as that 24-7 score remained entering the final quarter.
After a short field goal padded the Bronco lead to 20 points, the Panthers found themselves pinned deep in their own territory. Mike Adams sprung through and sacked Newton in the end zone, putting two more points on the board and giving Denver a 29-7 lead. After a Bronco punt, the Carolina offense was finally able to do something positive, as Newton found Olsen again near the goal line to cut the deficit to 15. After the Broncos recovered the ensuing onside kick, they made quick work of the short field, as backup running back Ronnie Hillman punched it in from 5 yards out to put Denver back up by 22. Rahim Moore capped off the tremendous defensive performance by picking off Newton, putting an emphatic stamp on a dominating performance.
The Broncos actually made things relatively easy on themselves yesterday, which has not been a consistent theme this season. As for my game ball, I think I have to give it to the entire Bronco defense. The numbers are simply astounding, just 250 yards allowed, less than 4 yards per play, 7 sacks, a safety, and a pick six. After this impressive performance, the Broncos head back to Denver to host the reeling Chargers. If Denver wins next week, as ridiculous as it sounds, barring any significant injuries, a victory on Sunday will wrap up their division before Thanksgiving.
About the Author
Written by Alex Summers
Lifelong sports fan, love the NFL, and big fan of a basketball and baseball