BALTIMORE –With the Broncos ahead 31-3 entering the fourth quarter, the running backs carried the load as the game wound down.
Denver ran the ball 17 times in the final period and threw it just once.
Running back Knowshon Moreno paced the ground game with his second 100-yard effort in as many weeks. He finished with 118 yards on 22 carries and fellow backs Ronnie Hillman and Jacob Hester combined to add an additional 49 yards.
"It starts up front," Moreno said. "Those guys up front, they open up the holes and push those other big guys back. We're just running the ball so it's easy when those guys are doing the job."
Moreno's success came as no surprise to his teammates.
"We all know that he has that capability," wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said. "He had that knee injury last year and before that he was running the ball real hard. He's good to have back. I'm excited for what he's doing because he gets tough yards, he picks up blitz protections. Just happy to see him be successful."
"I've been watching Knowshon since college," wide receiver Demaryius Thomas added. "I played against him. I know what the man can do. It's crazy what he's done since he's been back. I'm happy for him, and I just hope he keeps doing it."
After carrying the ball eight total times during the first two games of the season, Moreno was a healthy inactive for the following eight.
Then, running back Willis McGahee injured his knee and Moreno was given the opportunity to start.
Since then, the fourth-year player has run for at least 85 yards in three of the four games – all Broncos victories.
"I feel like he is," Manning said when asked if he thought Moreno was getting better each week. "I think each week he's gotten more comfortable in the run game and doing some things in the passing game. I thought he and the offensive line really did a good job in the run game today."
Head Coach John Fox credited Moreno's approach during that time when he was helping the scout team defense prepare for that week's opponent.
"He was great during that time and not all players respond that way so that's a tribute to the kind of guy he is," Fox said. "This game's about opportunities, when you're given those opportunities, what you do with them. He had his opportunity after Willis went down. I think he's done a terrific job."