There were so many questions going into the Denver Broncos opener about which Peyton Manning fans would see this season. Would it be the five-time MVP and future Hall of Famer, or the wounded warrior who sputtered down the stretch in 2014? Following the Broncos 19-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens, those questions still linger.
Manning and the Broncos offense struggled throughout the game, failing to score a touchdown on any of their offensive positions. Manning went 24-of-40 for 175 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception, and led the offense to just less than 250 yards of total offense. However, they didn’t need him to put the team on his back.
Sunday’s game was all about the Denver Broncos defense. It was a game that did not feature an offensive touchdown by either team, and Denver’s defense forced two key second half interceptions, including a game-changing Aqib Talib pick-six and a game-sealing grab from safety Darian Stewart.
If there was ever a game the defense won, this was it. The Broncos defense carried the team to Denver’s fourth consecutive win in a season opener, and looks to be an elite unit this season. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' defensive unit kept relentless pressure on Joe Flacco throughout the game, forcing multiple sacks.
“We have the players to play great defense,” Marshall said.
There are still serious questions about the Broncos offense, however. Head coach Gary Kubiak was concerned about the offense’s performance.
“We’ve got to be better than we were today,” Kubiak said. “We battled, grinded it out, but we’ve got to be better.”
This opener was the first time that the entire starting offense had played together, and it will have to put the pieces together soon, as the Broncos will play again in just four days on Thursday night against division rival Kansas City.
Injury Report via Gary Kubiak
“Coming out of the game, [S] Omar's [Bolden] got a foot we're checking out. [DE] Malik [Jackson] is being evaluated for a concussion and [S] David Bruton's got a hip. That's where we're at.”
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