Toss out the heat, the humidity, the short week and the Florida Curse – today the Denver Broncos came to play.
Despite a sluggish start in which Jason Elam missed two consecutive field goals, the Broncos offense manhandled Jacksonville on the ground as Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell combined for 175-yards rushing.
Jake Plummer added 136-yards through the air, hitting on 19 of 26 passes including two first half touchdowns to Dwayne Carswell. Both scores came off impressive drives, covering 80 and 64-yards respectively.
Defensively the Broncos continued their momentum from Monday night, holding Jacksonville to a franchise low twelve-yards rushing. The pressure on the front line forced Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich into several miscues, including two interceptions, one by Domonique Foxworth and one by Nick Ferguson.
Leftwich finished the contest going 20-of-34 for 240 yards and one touchdown, the lone highlight for Jacksonville, a 45-yard completion to wide receiver Jimmy Smith. He was also sacked twice, bringing his total to thirteen – four games into the season.
Key Stats for the Broncos:
1st Downs – 24
Rushing – 9
Passing – 12
Total Net Yards – 306-yards
Net Yards Rushing – 188-yards
Total Rushes – 44
Avg. Per Rush – 4.3-yards
Net Yards Passing – 118-yards
Sacked-Yards Lost – 3-18
Yards Per Pass - 4.1-yards
Had Intercepted – 0
Red Zone Efficiency - 2-4-50%
Goal To Go Efficiency - 2-2-100%
…With Champ Bailey and Darrent Williams sidelined with injuries the Broncos countered with Dominique Foxworth and Lenny Walls in the defensive backfield.
…Bailey's deactivation snapped his streak of 99-games as a starter. Bailey had started every regular-season game since entering the league in 1999.
…For the second time this season Jason Elam missed two consecutive field goals. With Jake Plummer as holder, Elam's first attempt sailed wide left while his second attempt was blocked by Rashean Mathis. Elam found better luck in the second half connecting on one from 33-yards and one from 42-yards.
…The win improves Denver's record to 3-1 for the season, first place in the AFC West. It also marked the first win for Denver in Jacksonville, having lost the last two previous games.
The Broncos return home to face the Washington Redskins on Oct. 9.
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