The Good and the Bad in the Denver Broncos Win Over the Miami Dolphins


The Denver Broncos showed some heart and guts in coming from behind to get a much needed win over the Miami Dolphins. Was it pretty? No. Are there still reasons to be concerned? Yes. However when a team is in a slump like the Broncos have been over the past month, sometimes it’s a win like the one on Sunday that turns everything around.

The Broncos were down 11 late in the third quarter, facing the prospect of losing their second straight and their third in four games. Then they did something that some people said they couldn’t do, they showed some mental toughness and won the game.

Time will tell but the fourth quarter on Sunday could be the moment Broncos’ fans look back on and say that saved our season. Plenty to like and plenty not to like in Sunday’s win.

What I liked:

The Broncos showed some guts: See above. The Broncos had every reason to fold after being down by 11 at the end of 3, and nothing seemingly going their way. Instead they dug deep and found a way to get it done.

The running game: The Broncos said all week that they wanted to be more effective running the ball, and they had their best game of the season. CJ Anderson was terrific all day and the Broncos had over 200 yards rushing as a team. You want balance, 35 runs and 35 passes. If the Broncos can maintain the running game and that balance, then the wins will continue.

The offensive line: They responded to a week full of criticism with their best game of the season, by far. The Broncos ran the ball exceptionally well, and Peyton Manning had a clean pocket for most of the day. Not only did the offensive line block well at the point of attack, they were very effective at getting to the second level and blocking the linebackers. Keep in mind, the Dolphins have a very good front seven. Very impressive effort.

CJ Anderson: I know I mentioned him already but his play deserves to be noted again. He ran for 164 yards, caught some passes for a few more yards and secured the victory when he recovered the on sides kick. The Broncos have their starting running back.

Emmanuel Sanders/Demaryius Thomas: The two receivers were nothing short of terrific on Sunday. Thomas scored three times and Sanders turned in several big plays at crucial points of the game.

Peyton Manning: It wasn’t a game that people will talk about but Manning was very efficient all day. He made the right decisions and led the offense to 22 fourth quarter points.

What I didn’t like:

The game management: The management of the game by John Fox and the rest of the coaching staff was awful. From the ill-advised challenge to not having enough men on the field during a key defensive sequence is unforgivable. Combine that with the Broncos being completely unprepared to play at the start, and it is fair to question if Fox is the right coach for this team.

The defense: There’s no way around it, the defense was atrocious on Sunday. They got no pressure on the quarterback and it was the worst exhibition of tackling I’ve seen in a long time. Defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio has to let these guys play. He’s handcuffing them with the lack of blitzes and creativity. The players weren’t great on Sunday but they are getting no help from the sideline.

The pass rush: The Broncos were facing a beat up Dolphins offensive line that gave up six sacks last week, and they could not get one. As a whole, they need to get more pressure and Von Miller has to be more of a factor.

The Kicker: The Broncos obviously need a new kicker, there are veterans out there who would at least be reliable inside of 45 yards, go get one.

The penalties: The Broncos continue to be their own worst enemy with the number of penalties. That’s yet another sign of a team that is poorly coached.

There are obviously still things to correct and areas to improve but the Broncos got a win they had to have. The Kansas City Chiefs await in a huge game next Sunday night.