It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t easy to watch, but it ended with a Bronco win and keeps the Broncos in the hunt for a wild card playoff spot, with their win over the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-10 in Jacksonville last Sunday.
Trevor Siemian was sidelined with a foot injury leaving Paxton Lynch to carry the team. This was Lynch’s second career start and his first career win.
The game was a punt fest through the whole first quarter for both teams. It was 4 minutes into the second quarter before the Jags put the first points of the game on the scoreboard with a 47 yard J. Meyers field goal.
The Broncos answered with an 8 play drive, highlighted by a Kapri Bibbs 24 yard run and a Devontae Booker 6 yard touchdown run.
Brandon McManus finished the first half scoring with a 37 yard field goal with 5 seconds left in the half. Broncos 10 Jags 3.
In the second half the Bronco defense stepped up their attack. On the Jags second possession Bradley Roby added a pick six to his resume by intercepting Blake Bortles. Roby can thank Von Miller’s bull rush that pushed Jags left tackle Kelvin Beachem back into Bortles forcing the bad throw.
The Broncs capped their scoring with a fourth quarter McMannus field goal giving the Broncos a 20-3 lead.
After 2 consecutive fourth quarter breakdowns the Bronco defense held onto the lead this time, allowing only one touchdown that came on a Bortles scramble for a 27 yard touchdown.
As advertised, the Bronco defense snuffed out any hope of a Jaguar comeback. Again it was Von Miller with the game ending heroics. With 1:37 left in regulation, Miller strip sacked Bortles and Shane Ray recovered for the Broncs, putting the game on ice.
Lynch’s performance was less than stellar, but was enough to pull out the W with help from the Bronco defense. Lynch struggled to hit receivers on several deep routes, either completely overthrowing or under throwing the plays. His accuracy continues to be a concern for the rookie.
Looking ahead, the Broncos travel to Tennessee to take on the 6-6 Titans who were blown out by the Packers 25-47 last week.
Despite the loss, the Titans are tied with the Texans for first place in the AFC South. They’ll be looking to put the Broncos out of the playoff picture and take the lead in the AFC South.
I picked the Broncos to beat the Jags, 30-10, but that was before Siemian was declared out for the game.
My earlier pick for the Titan/Bronco game had the Titans winning an overtime nail biter to the Titans 17-14. I’d like to reverse that score now but keep the same scenario. Broncos win 17-14 in OT.