Welcome to Quarter Calls, DHF’s quarter-by-quarter breakdown of each Denver Broncos game. Instead of a live game thread, Quarter Calls is a quick-hit summary of the big story of each quarter. It can be a general mood or theme, play, penalty, injury, whatever.
If you prefer real time analysis and commentary, follow Denver Horse Force on Twitter. As always, I’ll be tweeting throughout the game.
(7:04 p.m.) The term “utter dominance” comes to mind. The Denver Broncos moved the ball at will on offense. Peyton Manning seemed to be able to target any receiver he pleased. The result…a 10-0 Denver Broncos lead. The offense in this quarter was really efficiency defined. The only thing holding the score down was a blocking miscue that led to a sack of Manning in the red zone.
The defense staggered slightly when Carson Palmer came up with a big find downfield and then promptly threw an interception to Champ Bailey. Typical Raiders this season. Oakland’s running game has been a non-factor once again.
If the Broncos can keep up this pace this one should be close to finished by halftime.
(7:47 p.m.) So…no, the Broncos could not keep the 1st quarter pace. All Denver could muster in this quarter was another Matt Prater field goal.
The Broncos were driving midway though the 2nd quarter when Manning underthrew a pass intended for Matthew Willis. Instead of the surefire touchdown that would have extended Denver’s lead and all but closed out this game, Manning’s pass was picked off by Phillip Adams.
That interception not only killed the Broncos drive, it resulted in what was easily Oakland’s best drive of the game. Palmer put it together – with the help of Rod Streater – to engineer a 14-play, 6:33 touchdown drive.
The Broncos still lead at the half, 13-7, but better be angry, plenty angry, and come out fighting in the second half.
Oh, and Demaryius Thomas hasn’t played since leaving the game with a shoulder injury. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
The Raiders offense seems to have adopted the Kansas City philosophy: “Don’t give your quarterback a chance to mess up.” Palmer and the Raiders offense were most successful when they shifted to a philosophy of three-step drops and quick passes. If the Broncos defense continues to sit back in coverage the Raiders could find more opportunities.
(8:47 p.m.) Von Miller, this is your moment.
After a disappointing Broncos drive – a drive that had Denver with a 1st-and-goal from the one yet could only muster a field goal – Miller forced a Palmer fumble, which was recovered by Mitch Unrein.
With 1st-and-goal from the two, the Broncos offense didn’t squander the gift this time. Moreno’s touchdown extended Denver’s lead to 23-7.
But back to Miller; it was his sixth forced fumble of the season.
(9:31 p.m.) That wasn’t a particularly thrilling final quarter, but it really didn’t matter.
The Denver Broncos are winners of eight straight.
Now at 10-3, Denver has ten days to rest/prepare for a trip to Baltimore to face the Ravens. And that’s the most important takeaway.