The Super Bowl hangover hasn’t hit the Broncos yet and it might not be coming anytime soon if the way they handled business in the fourth quarter against the Bengals is any indication.
The Bengals grabbed a 17-16 lead early in the final quarter after a 15-play drive that took up more than eight minutes ended with a Mike Nugent field goal. The Broncos offense had been quiet since halftime and it looked like the game might be turning Cincinnati’s way.
That was not the case. Trevor Siemian threw two touchdowns and safety Will Parks intercepted an Andy Dalton pass as the Broncos scored 13 straight points to leave Ohio with a 29-17 win. The second of Siemian’s touchdown passes was a 55-yarder to Demaryius Thomas, who finished the day with six catches for 100 yards. Emmanuel Sanders had nine catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns, which should bring an end to frustrations with the passing game in Denver.
Siemian finished 23-of-35 for 312 yards, giving him his first four-touchdown game and his first 300-yard game on the same day. He also avoided throwing an interception for the first time this season, although the Bengals will rue some missed opportunities for them when they review the tape of the game.
Dalton couldn’t do that and he also couldn’t avoid four sacks from the Broncos pass rushers. Shane Ray had three of them, including two on consecutive plays after Thomas lost a fumble to squash what could have become a Bengals scoring chance in the third quarter. Outside of that long scoring drive, the Bengals didn’t move the ball at all in the second half as the Broncos defense continued to be just as thorny an opponent as it was on the way to the Super Bowl last season.
They’ll be in Tampa next weekend as they try to avoid their first loss since last December 20 in Pittsburgh.