Everything I wrote last week was right on – not that it was a stretch. The Denver Broncos are in fact better than they were the past two seasons, and their season opener win at home over the Colts 31-24 proved just that. The first half was all Broncos with almost 300 offensive yards including three Manning-Thomas touchdowns – that’s tight end Julius Thomas. This was Orange Julius’ first career game with three touchdowns. This was also the 40th straight game Peyton Manning threw a touchdown pass. This is the longest active streak in the NFL. Unfortunately, Julius Thomas did nothing the second half. Thomas missed the onside kick and then got the ball stripped from him. The second half was all Colts – the Broncos barely had 70 offensive yards.
Until late in the second quarter, Denver led 24-0. Indianapolis scored a touchdown right before the Half making it 24-7 at Halftime. The Broncos did nothing offensively in the third quarter while the Denver defense held the Colts to just a field goal making it 24-10 after three quarters. The Broncos finally scored early in the fourth quarter with a rushing touchdown by Montee Ball increasing their lead 31-10. The Colts scored two more touchdowns closing in on the Broncos 31-24 with three and half minutes left. Luckily the newly improved Denver defense were able to hold off the Colts giving the Broncos a win in their season opener in front of the home crowd. With this win, Peyton Manning joined Brett Favre as the only NFL QBs with wins against all 32 teams. Manning’s usual humble response, “That just means I’m old.”
The new and improved Denver Defense did not disappoint last night, although there is always room for improvement. We should have never allowed Indianapolis back in that game. DeMarcus Ware had a great game with two key sacks, one in the third quarter preventing the Colts from scoring. Welcome to Denver cutie! Aqib Talib also had a great first game as a Bronco, deflecting Luck’s passes. Rahim Moore had two interceptions in his first game back since that frightening leg injury last year against the Chiefs. Unfortunately, Von Miller was not much of a factor, but I think that will change once he is truly 100% healthy.
Watching last night’s game, it occurred to me that 31 years ago this week the Broncos played the Colts in Baltimore on September 11, 1983. It was my very first NFL game. It was John Elway’s second NFL game. I have been a Denver Broncos fan every since. If last night’s win was any indication, this is going to be a great a season! #UnitedInOrange