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Sunday, November 11, 2012
Wrap-up: Broncos 36, Panthers 14

By Bill Williamson

A look at another impressive outing by the Denver Broncos:

What it means: Denver is rolling. It is now 6-3 and has won four straight games. Denver has a two-game lead in the AFC West over the San Diego Chargers, who have a 4-5 record.

Road warriors: The Broncos won in Cincinnati last week and have back-to-back road wins. Neither team is a killer, but going East and winning is something good teams do. With seven games remaining, there is little doubt Denver is a good team. The Broncos have been a dominant team since scoring 35 points in the second half against San Diego to win 35-24 on Oct. 14.

Good win for Fox: Denver coach John Fox marked his Carolina return with a big win. He was the Panthers’ coach for nine years and was fired after the 2010 season. Denver is pleased he was given the boot in Carolina. He has done a terrific job with the Broncos.

Miller shines: Denver linebacker Von Miller won the battle of the top picks in the 2011 draft. Miller had his 10th sack of the season and had four tackles for loss as he harassed Carolina quarterback Cam Newton all game. Newton was the first pick in the 2011 draft, and Miller was the second.

Oh yeah, him: Peyton Manning is playing so well it’s almost not news anymore. He just rolls along. Manning continued to make his case for being the NFL MVP in his huge comeback season with 301 yards and a touchdown pass. It was his 420th NFL touchdown pass, tying him with Dan Marino for second on the all-time NFL list. Manning hooked up with Demaryius Thomas nine times for 135 yards as Thomas continues to make a huge push for the Pro Bowl.

Trindon Holliday is a weapon: Everything is working for Denver, including the return game. Holliday was claimed off waivers last month to give life to one of Denver’s few weak spots. It is no longer a problem. He returned a punt 76 yards for a score Sunday. Last week, he had a kickoff return for a touchdown.

So is Tony Carter: The young cornerback returned an interception for a score. It was his second touchdown in four games. Carter and starter Chris Harris are both playing very well as Tracy Porter deals with the effects of a seizure.

Controlling line of scrimmage: Denver had seven sacks on defense and allowed just one sack Sunday against a team that had 10 sacks in the past two games. It dominated the line of scrimmage, another sign of a team that is clicking.

What’s next: The Broncos host the Chargers. If Denver wins, it will have a three-game lead with six games to go. It also holds the tiebreaker over San Diego because of the two wins over the Chargers. If Denver wins next week, this division race could be very close to being done.