Foxborough, Mass. -- With the elements of a bitter and blustery New England night bearing down on the field, the Broncos looked for a playmaker to carry a lion's share of the workload on offense.
Time and time again, running back Knowshon Moreno answered the call.
Moreno carried the ball 37 times for 224 yards – both career highs – and scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 8:54 to play in the first quarter, giving the Broncos a 14-0 lead.
It was the third-highest rushing total by a player in Broncos franchise history, as well as the fourth-most attempts in franchise history. And despite the heavy burden, Moreno refused to tire as the game progressed to overtime – totaling 54 rushing yards in the game's extra period.
"Knowshon, he brought his A-game," wide receiver Wes Welker said. "You saw it tonight and he's a guy that you love having on your team because that's what he does – he brings it every night and every day in practice. You've got to respect that."
Moreno began the night with an 11-yard rush – the first of the running back's six rushes of 10 yards or longer that he totaled on the evening, and the first of many big plays he provided for the offense
Moreno rushed for 29 yards on the Broncos' 11-play, 70-yard touchdown drive early in the second quarter – culminating in a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Peyton Manning to tight end Jacob Tamme that put Denver out in front 24-0 with 6:10 to play in the first half.
In overtime, Moreno had an 18-yard run in each of Denver's offensive possessions.
Ultimately, his 224 rushing yards were part of the Broncos' 280 rushing yards for the game – a mark that tied for seventh-most in franchise history – as Denver's ground game helped power the offense throughout the evening.
"I thought we ran the ball well all night," Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said after the game. "I mean Knowshon ran for over 200 yards right, so that's pretty good performance. Typically when you run like that, get that kind of productivity you're going to win the ball game."