Can you feel that? That feeling of pure, unadulterated joy deep in your bones. What is this feeling? It’s the feeling of a Broncos victory in week five against the Chargers! I know that I was not personally involved, but I feel like all Broncos fans can (and should) celebrate this victory. How did they win? Well, that’s what we are here to discuss. Per usual, we will discuss the five takeaways from the game, which are mostly positive for once. So, let’s get it!
Feed Phil More!
If you are a return reader to the Mile High Review, there are always a couple of things we include in the previews of each game. It’s one of the keys to the game from this week’s preview. It seems simple, but the Broncos struggle to accomplish this simple task: FEED PHIL MORE! The Mile High Review calls for it every single week. Still, it hasn’t happened until week five. For the first time this season, the Broncos leaned on the running game and Phillip Lindsay in week five.
In week five, Lindsay had a total of 19 touches, which equaled 147 total yards. Phillip averaged 7.6 yards on 15 carries for 114 yards. Also, Lindsay caught all four passes in his direction for 33 receiving yards. Phillip’s momentum from last week is alive and well. If the Broncos learn one thing from week five, it has to be this: FEED PHIL MORE!
Did Someone Say Turnovers?
Another constant plea each week in the Mile High Review is for the Broncos to get some turnovers. In week five, that wish finally is a reality. The Denver defense forced three turnovers Sunday (two interceptions and one fumble). Also, the No-Fly Zone appears to be back in action. On 48 pass attempts, Philip Rivers only had 211 passing yards. More importantly, the secondary put the clamps on Keenan Allen. On ten targets, Allen had only four receptions and 18 yards. Yes, the No-Fly Zone still lives!
Keeping the Ball Out of Flacco’s Hands
The week five win is not possible without a balanced offensive effort. When I say balanced, what I mean is not giving Joe Flacco too many opportunities to screw it up. Boy, did he try? Of course, he did! Mr. Flacco still had an interception and a lost fumble, but the Broncos only attempted 20 passes, which is around all they need each game. The running backs are the stars today, which is our next takeaway.
The Two-Headed Monster
One of the critical points of the previews in the last couple of weeks is the use of the pass as an extension of the run. In week five, the Broncos stayed on that path. Six of Flacco’s pass attempts went to the running backs, which is 30% of his attempts. Still, it wasn’t just the pass as an extension of the run. No, it is much more than that. The Broncos ran the ball well in week five.
“Rolls” Royce Freeman was not just a spectator Sunday. Getting in on the action, Freeman rushed 13 times for 61 yards, which is suitable for 4.7 yards per rush. Indeed, it’s not the 7.6 of Lindsay, but it is very respectable. If the Broncos can keep that up, they will be a tough time to defeat.
Because there are still flaws with this team, we will discuss special teams. Typically, it’s Travis Benjamin that is a throne in the side for Broncos on special teams. In week five, Desmond King had a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown. At this point, I’m just trying to find something to knock them on. At least, trying to find something different to beat them on besides the offensive line and Flacco turnover because those will always be issues.
That’s all we have for this week in the Mile High Review. Just in case it’s not clear, the Broncos won in week five. It’s more pleasant to write after a win than four losses in a row. So, here’s to hoping the Broncos punish the Titans next Sunday. We’ll see you later this week for the preview of that game.