DENVER - Thursday after practice,
It appears that the extra work Manning and Sanders put in during OTAs, minicamp and training camp paid off.
Down 7-3 with 1:41 left in the first half, the Broncos got the ball. On the third play of the drive, Manning found Emmanuel Sanders deep down the middle for a 67-yard touchdown with Eddie Pleasant and A.J. Bouye following close in pursuit. Sanders felt the love from the Broncos fans as he jumped in the crowd during his celebration.
The Broncos defense forced a three-and-out on the Texans’ next drive, giving the Broncos the ball back with 32 seconds left. After connecting with
While Sanders’ five receptions for 128 yards in his Broncos debut was the highlight of the starters’ night and gave them a 17-7 lead going into the locker room,
Ball was very productive during the Broncos’ first drive, his only one of the night. With eight total touches, he recorded four carries and four catches for 34 total yards. But that drive ended in the red zone and the Broncos settled for a 32-yard
The starting offense finished their night with 289 yards on 41 plays.
While two big playmakers on offense made their mark on the game during their returns, so did
While the offense came to life with two minutes left in the game, the Broncos defense remained consistent, only allowing the Texans 117 total yards on offense, including just 37 rushing yards.
But, Jonathan Grimes ran the ball up the middle for a touchdown on the next play.
The defense only gave up one explosive play, a 24-yard pass from Fitzpatrick to Grimes. The defense maintained a tough mentality in limiting Houston’s offensive gains, holding the Texans to one score in the half and preventing big gains with only one play over 15 yards.
While the offense got off to a slow start, it’s clear that the new faces on the Broncos, both those recently acquired and those returning from injury, will make an impact early on this season.