NFL Recap: Denver Broncos upset by St. Louis Rams on the road, 22-7.


Nov 16, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein (4) celebrates with punter Johnny Hekker (6) after kicking a 55 yard field goal during the second half against the Denver Broncos at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 22-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

There’s nothing you can really do except tip your cap to the St. Louis Rams and their football team for playing a fantastic football game. The Denver Broncos suffered their third loss of the season as the Rams came away with the upset win, 22-7. On top of that, players such as Montee Ball (groin), Julius Thomas (ankle), and Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) were all injured in the losing effort.

45. Final. 22. 51. 7

It was an ugly game for the Broncos to say the least. In a crowd filled with orange and blue at the Edwards Jones Dome, they just couldn’t get anything going. The offensive line looked at its worst Sunday afternoon, allowing the St. Louis Rams to put four hits on Peyton Manning. Manning had been ‘trying’ to scramble around in the pocket to avoid pressure, but his passes were either airmailed or off the mark.

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Manning has looked shaky the past couple of weeks as he threw two interceptions Sunday afternoon – making that three-straight games with 2+ interceptions. Manning’s TD-to-INT ratio is sitting at 8-to-6 over the past three games, resulting in a 1-2 record.

It was all St. Louis in the first quarter as the Rams mounted an 11-play drive, driving 61 yards to set-up a 37-yard field goal attempt from Greg Zuerlein which was good. Later in the first quarter, Shaun Hill connected with Kenny Britt on their first play of hat drive, a 63-yard pass to the house which made it 10-0 Rams after one.

After St. Louis tacked on another field goal from Zuerlein, making it 13-0 Rams, Denver responded with their only scoring play of the afternoon. Peyton Manning connected with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a 42-yard catch and pass, trailing St. Louis by just six points. An easy marginal comeback from the Broncos, right? Wrong.

Greg ‘the Leg’ Zuerlein as they call him, finished an 8-play drive with yet another field goal – this time from 22-yards out to make it 16-7 Rams as the window of opportunity started to close for the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning just didn’t look like himself as he threw another pick in the fourth quarter, finishing the day completing 34-of-54 passes for 389 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

This afternoon belongs to Rams’ kicker Greg Zuerlein. He accounted for 15 of the teams 22 points on the afternoon, collecting two more field goals in the fourth quarter. If you had him in fantasy, lucky you.

A reason why St. Louis was so successful attributed to their front-four on the defensive line. They got into the face of Peyton Manning and collected 12 pass deflections on the afternoon – three alone from defensive end Robert Quinn. A player on the offensive side of the ball who gave Denver fits was running back Tre Mason. Mason ran for 113 yards on 29 carries; 3.9 yards per attempt.

Despite a lackadaisical performance from the Broncos, one thing that went unnoticed was the play of Demaryius Thomas. Thomas collected his seventh-straight 100+ yard receiving game, catching 7 passes for 103 yards on the afternoon. Before getting hurt in the third quarter, Emmanuel Sanders caught 5 passes for 102 yards – including the touchdown noted above.

As a fan watching the game, the team looked unprepared and almost as if they didn’t want to be there – that’s on the coaching. The play-calling was horrific yet again. Also, by not electing to go with your kicker (Brandon McManus) to kick a 54-yard field goal, not only are you taking away an opportunity to put points up on the board, you’re probably altering the kid’s confidence. It’s time for the coaching staff needs to put the blame on themselves.

The Denver Broncos (7-3) return to action next Sunday afternoon as they host the Miami Dolphins at Sports Authority Field. Kick-off is scheduled for 4:25 PM EST, 2:25 PM MST.