Denver Broncos’ defense shines Week 1
With great anticipation, the Denver Broncos welcomed the Peyton Manning era to Mile High Stadium. He did not disappoint. Throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns and a two-point conversion, Manning was his masterful self. The long layoff due to his neck injury didn’t deter him one bit.
But equally as important in this victory was the Denver defense. An oft-abused unit last year, they were stellar, especially against the run. Last year offenses ran against this defense at will. Pittsburgh ran for 75 total yards for a scant 2.9-yard per carry average.
Their pass defense wasn’t bad either. Denver allowed 279 passing yards but had four sacks and one gigantic interception by Tracy Porter that put the game out of reach. Von Miller added two sacks, Derek Wolfe one and Wesley Woodyard added another in addition to ten tackles.
But the day belonged to Manning. He ran the Broncos’ no-huddle offense to perfection. Keying on Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh’s all-pro safety, he called for running plays when Polamalu stayed back and passed when he moved up to the line of scrimmage. Peyton clearly won this chess match.
Next week the Broncos will face the explosive Atlanta Falcons in what shapes up to be another exciting match-up. One would expect that Denver will improve on both offense and defense as the season progresses. And after watching them dismantle the Steelers, that could be scary for the rest of the NFL.
Hans Benes is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at HBenes@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.