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Broncos rebound from slow start to wrap up second straight win

DenverBroncos.comSeptember 19, 2021

Another road game, another win.

The Broncos overcame an early 7-0 deficit to earn a 23-13 win over the Jaguars and improve to 2-0 on the season.

Denver has won back-to-back games by double digits for the first time since late in the 2017 season.

Keyed by the most-productive game of Courtland Sutton’s career, another strong performance from Teddy Bridgewater and a smothering, two-takeaway day from the Denver defense, the Broncos reeled off 23 unanswered points after the first drive of the game.

These were the plays and players that made the difference in the Broncos’ win.

GAME-CHANGING MOMENT

Just like last week, the Broncos scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half to put the game out of reach, but the momentum of the game shifted shortly before halftime. With the Broncos trailing 7-3 and facing a second-and-16, Bridgewater first found Javonte Williams for a 10-yard gain and then hit Sutton for a 16-yard gain on third down. Two plays later, Bridgewater went back to Sutton for a 33-yard completion. Once the Broncos got into the red zone, Bridgewater found Tim Patrick for the go-ahead score. Bridgewater was an impressive 5-of-6 for 86 yards and a touchdown on the drive, and the Broncos did not trail again. After a lackluster start to the game, it was a drive the Broncos needed — and Bridgewater and Co. delivered.

DEFINING STATISTIC

26.

The Broncos allowed an 11-play, 83-yard touchdown drive to begin the day, and Lawrence looked every bit like the first-overall pick. The Clemson product completed 5-of-7 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown on that scoring drive that gave Jacksonville an early lead. Over the Jaguars’ next seven drives, though, Lawrence threw for just 26 yards as the Jacksonville offense became stagnant.

Denver’s defense applied pressure on Lawrence, forced a slew of incompletions and eventually recorded an interception. After Lawrence’s fast start, he found little success and finished 14-of-33 for 118 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a 37.2 rating. Following the opening drive, Lawrence only completed nine passes for the rest of the game.

The Broncos entered Sunday’s game as a road favorite, and it seemed only a dominant performance from Lawrence could prevent Denver from getting to 2-0. After a tough start to the game, the Broncos’ defense settled in and delivered a dominant performance.

TOP PERFORMERS

Courtland Sutton surpassed his previous single-game career-high on the first drive of the third quarter, and he wound up with nine catches for 159 yards.

Tim Patrick scored his second touchdown of the season and is nearly halfway to his 2020 season total, when he posted six scores.

Von Miller added his third sack of the season and applied pressure on Lawrence all afternoon.

Kareem Jackson recorded his first interception of the season.

Teddy Bridgewater also continued to impress. He led a key drive in the first half, showed off his deep-play ability to start the second half and threw for more than 300 yards for the first time since Week 9 last season. Bridgewater finished 26-of-34 for 328 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

MEMORABLE HIGHLIGHT

Pat Surtain II, the ninth-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, recorded his first career interception on a deep Lawrence pass in the fourth quarter. Surtain showed incredible control as he contorted his body and was able to get both feet in bounds. The Broncos’ cornerbacks tallied just three interceptions last season, so Surtain’s play was a welcome contribution.

“Well, that was a hell of a pick,” Fangio said. “Not many corners can make that play. At best most of them get a breakup, but he got the breakup and the pick, so that speaks volumes about his ability.”

 

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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