Sunday, November 4, 2012
Wrap-up: Broncos 31, Bengals 23
By Bill Williamson
A look at a solid road win for the first-place Broncos:
What’s it mean: Denver is alone in first place in the AFC West at 5-3. Denver has won three straight games and continues to jell.
No complete game: The Broncos continued to dominate in the fourth quarter. The Broncos watched a 17-3 lead turn into a 20-17 deficit early in the fourth quarter. Yet, Denver came back to score two touchdowns to win the game. This wasn’t a complete effort like last week’s win over New Orleans. Giving up 17 straight points in the second half is clearly not good. But the fact that Denver marched back on the road is a fine sign.
Mostly magic for Manning: Peyton Manning’s MVP march continued. Yes, he threw interceptions on back-to-back series in the second half, but he rebounded to engineer a fourth-quarter comeback. Manning completed 27 of 35 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns. He did snap a five-game streak of throwing for 300-plus yards.
Receivers shine: Denver receiver Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas are really playing well. Decker had eight catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas has six grabs for 77 yards.
Nowhere to run: Both teams had trouble running the ball. Denver running back Willis McGahee had 66 yards on 23 carries.
Big day for Miller: Denver second-year linebacker Von Miller had three sacks Sunday. He has nine on the season. He now is a half-sack away from tying Elvis Dumervil’s mark of 21 sacks in his first two NFL’s seasons.
A Holliday in Denver: This is why Trindon Holliday was claimed off waivers last month. Holliday opened the second half with a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to give Denver a 17-3 lead. The return game was one of the Broncos’ bigger flaws.
Good protection: The Bengals can get sacks in droves. They did not record a sack Sunday. Denver’s offensive line is really starting to play well.
What’s next: Denver coach John Fox goes back to Carolina to face the Panthers in his first return there since he was fired after the 2010 season.