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Historic Third Quarter Fuels Broncos’ Win

Posted Sep 29, 2013

The Broncos outgained the Eagles 214-20 and outscored them 21-0 in the third quarter.

DENVER – Whatever adjustments Head Coach John Fox and his coaching staff have made in the Broncos locker room at halftime this season seem to be working.

Denver is outscoring opponents 59-14 in the third quarter and 76-38 in the second half this season with those 76 points tops in the league by a wide margin.

The Broncos’ 26.8 second-half points per game this year are more than 25 teams entered Week 4 averaging for an entire game.

“I thought we made good adjustments at halftime and I thought our guys responded with those adjustments in the second half,” Fox said after Sunday’s 52-20 win against Philadelphia.

The Broncos didn’t waste any opportunities in the third quarter, with all three of the team’s drives ending with touchdowns.

Denver gained 214 yards on offense and picked up 18 first downs without even having to attempt a single third down in the quarter.

“Guys are doing a good job,” quarterback Peyton Manning said. “We’re playing fast, we’re getting a lot of plays in, very few third downs today, which means we’re doing a good job on first and second down. Receivers are doing a good job with the ball after the catch, getting first downs, getting touchdowns. That puts a lot of pressure on the defense.”

Manning had a nearly perfect quarter throwing the ball, as he completed 15-of-16 passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns for a passer rating of 147.4.

Two of those touchdown passes went to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who caught five passes for 56 yards in the third quarter.

“I really don’t know what it is. We come out in the second half, score fast and we put up points,” Thomas said. “I don’t know what it is. A spark or something. I have no idea.”

Manning’s success through the air helped open lanes in the run game and the team’s ability to move the ball on the ground kept the Eagles defense off balance.

Running backs Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman combined for nine carries for 56 yards as the Broncos moved the ball with ease during their nearly 12 minutes of possession in the quarter.

“The running game was really solid in the second half,” Manning said. “You can go from first-and-10 to second-and-3. That makes for pretty good offensive execution and allows you do to do different things in the passing game and the running game.”

Nobody besides the coaches and players know what is said during halftime, but whatever it is has led to the Broncos being able to put the game out of reach in the second half.

“I think you make a few adjustments, I think we find our second wind – and that’s something we train for, to be able to play 60 minutes and to be able to finish in the second half,” wide receiver Eric Decker said. “That’s what we do best. We have a lot of confidence coming into the locker room that we’re going to score, we’re going to shut them down defensively and we’re going to put this game away. We’ve been doing that and we just have to keep with that edge.”