Broncos 34, Ravens 17 – You know what a victory means! Time for BT’s Week 15 Game Balls.
Knowshon Moreno: During this game, I started getting this odd feeling inside of my head. No longer was I expecting and waiting for Moreno to fumble, or have 5 runs in a row produce zero net yards. No, instead, I started wanting to see him run. I wanted to see what was next. I stopped saying “please don’t fumble, please don’t fumble” when he got hit. Yes BroncoTalk faithful, I started trusting Knowshon and started thinking “we NEED him”. Add on top of that a RIDICULOUS hurdle of a Hall of Fame safety in Ed Reed, combined with 118 yards on 22 carries (5.4ypc) and a TD, and stellar pass blocking, and it’s easy to see why Knowshon Moreno receives the first gameball this week.
Chris Harris: I am still shaking my head at how all 32 teams passed on this kid for 7 rounds. Yes, I’m a KU guy, but man, Chris Harris isn’t just an undrafted gem, he’s looking like that big Hope Diamond hanging down the middle of Kate Winslet’s chest. That pick 6 at the end of the half totally changed the landscape of the game. Not only was it a 14 point swing, but it completely crushed the will of the Ravens. You could see it in their eyes and in how they came out to play in the 3rd quarter. They were finished, and they had lost confidence in Joe Flacco. What is more crazy than that is that Chris Harris is playing so good, that teams are actually throwing at Champ Bailey!!! How insane is that? I have a funny feeling that Harris is going to get a shiny new contract at one point in the offseason. He better get one anyways, because the longer we wait, the more he’s going to cost us. Chris Harris, you my man, get a gameball.
Jack Del Rio: I’m almost at a loss for words when trying to write about the job JDR has done for this team. He took a train wreck of a coordinator position, and emerged from the rubble like a pheonix. He transformed a bottom dwelling defense into the #3 defense in the entire NFL. Unlike in 2005, this defense isn’t a bunch of smoke and mirrors. When Mike Shanahan was asked if his Redskins blitz pressure plan was the best plan for the Broncos to beat the Ravens, Shanahan said that the Broncos didn’t have to blitz him, because we can generate that type of pressure in our base defense. How prophetic does he look now? I have also noticed an upswing trend of people wanting to watch the defense on the field. While everyone loves seeing Manning on the field, when the defense trots on, it is no longer an opportunity to grab more beer or head to the bathroom. The defense is what makes our team so dangerous and good. Sure, we can hang points on anybody, but when our defense dominates everybody game after game after game, and can score with decent frequency, it is no wonder why we are 1 of 2 AFC teams predicted to make the super bowl.
Honorable Mentions: Von Miller will always have a spot on the gameballs list. Without him, our entire defense would start falling apart. Peyton Manning was |thisclose| to a few more long scores. Our entire defense once again played lights out, and welcome back Wesley Woodyard, you are a difference maker on this team.