2014 Broncos Season, Week 15
Here's your fearless Denver Broncos recap for the week.
Week 15: Broncos 22, San Diego Chargers 10
Season Record: 11-3 (7-0 Home)
Key Play: In the third quarter, leading 9-3, Peyton Manning connected with Demaryius Thomas on a 28-yard touchdown strike. It was the Broncos' lone touchdown of the game, giving them a 16-3 lead. The Broncos used that lead, patient running, and two fourth-quarter interceptions to win the AFC West for the fourth straight season.
Recap: The AFC West is won. The Denver Broncos will be in the playoffs and will host at least one game. The team beat San Diego, improving to 5-0 in division games, to move to 11-3 and remain in second place in the AFC. The team remains in the driver's seat for a first round bye (owning the tie-breaker over the Colts) and remains alive for the top seed. If the Broncos win out, the team will finish the regular season 13-3 for the third straight year. If they win out and the Patriots lose, the team will have the top seed in the AFC for the third straight year. Sure, the Broncos might not be no the record pace they were a year ago, but the team is still stout and manages to find ways to win. CJ Anderson looks like the real deal at running back, and the team's offensive pass weapons are rounding into health. As a plus, the Broncos' defense looks better than it has in the past couple of years, giving them new ways to beat opponents. Manning was sick yesterday, but he still managed to do enough to help the Broncos win. All the team needs is to beat the Bengals and Raiders to end the season on a high note.
* Demaryius Thomas. Thomas clearly wasn't 100 percent last week, but he made the plays needed to win this week. Thomas caught six passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.
* Derek Wolfe. Wolfe doesn't get as much acclaim as Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, but he's been a force on defense. He also swayed the game yesterday with his block of Nick Novak's first field goal attempt, helping Denver build a lead.
* Rahim Moore. Moore has been maligned in the past, but he's developed into a great starting free safety. He sealed yesterday's win with a savvy interception of Phillip Rivers in the end zone late in the game.
* Connor Barth. All he's done since joining the Broncos is be perfect kicking field goals. Barth nailed five yesterday to help the team win.
* Health. The Broncos were a deep team to start the season, but that's been tested. They have lost a lot of role players on defense, particularly at linebacker. Health will be an issue if they want to go deep into the playoffs.
* Offensive consistency. The Broncos have developed a strong run game, but the passing game has looked off at times throughout the season. The Broncos need to right the ship in the pass game.