Broncos shrug off injuries, Andy Dalton to beat Bengals

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The Broncos were missing a slew of starters for Sunday’s game with the Bengals but it didn’t stop them from finding a way past the Bengals.

It wasn’t easy, though. The Broncos gave back most of a 17-3 lead in the third quarter before Kyle Orton hooked up with Eric Decker on a 52-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. It was Decker’s second touchdown catch of the day and both of them came against Nate Clements who seemed to have trouble picking up what the receiver was trying to do on his routes. Orton’s day wasn’t perfect — he lost a fumble on a sack by Michael Johnson — but his two scoring passes and the 24-22 victory should be enough to quiet some of the Tim Tebow pot-banging that’s been going on in Denver.

Knowshon Moreno might not have as much luck holding off Willis McGahee. McGahee ran for 101 yards and a touchdown in Moreno’s absence and the Broncos were able to establish their running game much more effectively this week than they were against the Raiders. McGahee was particularly effective in close quarters. He also held up well under a heavy (28 carries) workload, something that Moreno hasn’t proven he can do in his Broncos tenure. McGahee kept the chains and clock moving long enough for the defense to hold off Andy Dalton’s second-half charge.

Dalton got off to a slow start with 52 passing yards in the first half, but he found a groove in the final 30 minutes. Dalton completed 19-of-30 passes for 280 yards and two scores in the second half and moved the ball into Broncos territory in the final minute before a Jonathan Wilhite sack sunk the Bengals chances of coming back to win the game. His big half was highlighted by an 84-yard play to Jerome Simpson and touchdown tosses to fellow rookie A.J. Green and Andre Caldwell, but the 17-3 hole the Bengals dug themselves turned out to be too large for them to overcome.

The loss stings, but Dalton’s play is a good sign for the Bengals going forward. The Broncos could find a lot to nitpick about their performance, but they should feel good about winning a game on a day that started with five injured starters and ended with two more — wide receiver Eddie Royal and tight end Julius Thomas — also in the trainer’s room.

30 responses to “Broncos shrug off injuries, Andy Dalton to beat Bengals

  1. Disappointed in the runblocking and result by Dalton looked fantastic. I can’t believe Marvin didn’t go for the 53-yard FG with 2:40 left – I think that was a mistake, especially given the play they chose to call. Couldn’t move the ball on 3rd and 1 all day which was unexpected. Denver did a good job there but I felt like my Who Deys let one get away. But they are fun to watch and it’s nice to see a team-oriented approach as opposed to worrying about egos.


  2. Dalton has quality written all over him with his play so far….. not sure he has the deep arm strength to be elite….but pretty incredible given the short off-season….no Int’s in 6 qtrs…

  3. I am sure they will make mistakes but the young Cincy offense took some big steps today. In a year of re-building and growth…..this was a good game despite the loss!

  4. Anyone have extra tickets to the home opener in cincy next week? I heard they’re hard to come by! ROFL!!!

  5. Bronco fan here. Not pleased albeit a victory. Just more mediocrity. That being said Dalton showed some signs. I just wish we would take a chance on a young QB. Not saying Tebow is the guy, but damn we know what Orton is… completely Ortinary.

  6. Note Marvin Lewis was in his prime today. He came out of a long TV time out and had to call a time out because his TE was lined up in the wrong spot.

    Where Marvin shined was not taking a chance in going for a FG at the 35 yard line in the fourth quarter that, if made, would have given the Bengals the lead at 25-24. I mean, after all, it was in Denver (Mije HIgh), where the football flies at least an additional five yards? Marvin was scared that if missed he would give momentum up and put the ball at the 42, likely leading to another Broncos score.

    I said before the season that Marvin will be responsible for at least two games lost this year. This is the first.

  7. With games against the Browns and the Broncos (without Chanp Bailey) let’s not get ahead of ourselves with Dalton. He looked good, but I’d love to see him against the Steelers or Ravens.

    As for my Broncos, they should all be proud of a victory with so many injuries. It was so nice to see a semblance of a run game, and here’s to hoping we see a lot of Willis and a lot less Knowshow. As for Orton, he lives to see another game.

  8. Decker representing the U of M proudly!!! I said it when he was drafted, and I’ll say it again, He’s going to be Wes Welker light.

  9. Orton still sucks. He is gonna get by on plays he had nothing to do with. It might of been better for them to loose just to highlight his absolute horrible play! So what he has a 52 yard bomb. I am literally tired of watching rookie quarterbacks all over the league play better than orton!

  10. oarangecrush,

    I won’t disagree that Orton is in the bottom half of QB’s in the league, but don’t you think some of that has to do with his coordinators?

    Your head coach was in Carolina last year. Where was Steve Smith (break your nose Steve Smith, not former Giant, now Eagle Steve Smith) last year? He was invisible. QB play has a lot to do with play calling.

  11. I loved watching my Bengals today! Even their loss was better than ANYTHING I watched from them last year. WHO-DEY! Good riddance Quitter.

  12. The passing yards and touchdowns were great to see from Dalton today, but the best thing he did today was show leadership. The Bengals win today if Jerome Simpson catches the 3rd down pass that hit him in the hands on the second to last drive. As soon as that play ended, Dalton was picking up Simpson, pacing the bench and rallying the offense for the final drive. CARSON PALMER NEVER DID THAT. Palmer was never a leader and not even a good quarterback for his last three seasons in Cincinnati. Mike Brown wanted him back, so Carson’s little ploy is the best thing that could have happened to the Bengals. We do miss the Carson Palmer foundation in Cincinnati though… OH WAIT, that doesn’t exist! Carson spent his free time playing video games in his basement with his little brother Jordan… See ya Pick Six, now stay gone.

  13. Only a Bengals fan would give a big, capitalized ‘WHO DEY?” after a loss. Considering the entire slogan is “who dey think gonna beat them Bengals?”, the answer today was the Broncos. Ouch.

  14. LOL!! Your job is safe, Orton – you barely beat the Bengals. With an injured rookie qb. At home.

    Bronco fans must feel so proud.

  15. the ginger can sling it a little bit, and aj green is a budding playmaker.

    having said that…

    next man up. tim tebow at wr, “headbussa”” mays stepping up and other bright spots (decker, ball). the broncos acted like a professional football team with a lot of new faces making an impact. looking forward to seeing this current talent develop.

    yall are all over orton like he’s expected to win the super bowl. temper your expectations, the broncos have two more years at least before they can fully forget about Joshy Mac’s mistakes with some meaningful wins.

  16. Don’t be a hater. Each team has a ‘lil ditty” saying. Some go wayy back as does WHO-DEY. We don’t put that kind of meaning into it, it’s just grown on us. If it doesn’t bother us, I find it hysterical it bothers others! Grow up and have some fun with life!

  17. rexismybff says:
    Sep 18, 2011 11:51 PM
    LOL!! Your job is safe, Orton – you barely beat the Bengals. With an injured rookie qb. At home.

    Bronco fans must feel so proud.


    Dude, the Broncos were missing 5 starters. So yeah, kinda proud today.

  18. Even after Simpson earlier drops a pass hitting him in the hands to sustain the likely go-ahead possession, der Bingles still got the ball back & made another run at it which was cut short when the back judge, even though looking directly at the Donkee DB all over TE Gresham & practically undressing him from the waist up somehow doesn’t call the obvious pass interference, which would have given them another 4 downs to further angle for the potential game-winning FG.

  19. Too close of a game for my comfort, but seeing as how we won without Champ, Doom, Moreno and Lloyd I’m pretty proud of that win. I thought we had zero depth, but some guys stepped up and made some big plays. Decker, Von, Ayers, and Mcgahee all helped us get this W. Well done Broncos.
    Now… all those guys get healthy and let’s see what we can really do!
    And I can’t WAIT to get Demaryius Thomas back!

  20. Sad how this is what Bengals fans enjoy on sundays now. Almost beating an injury riddled less-than-average team…

    It makes me sad, but at the same time I look at the field and think about how great it is to not have Bratkowski calling for 2 yard passes on 3rd and 6. I’m impressed with Gruden’s play calling, it’s much less predictable and it almost looks like the team is going to stop shooting itself in the foot.

    Now I just want to know why they only went to Gresham 3 or 4 times when he was so big for them in week one?

    Oh well, my apathy for the Bengals is slowly turning into a glimmer of hope for a mediocre future thanks to the Red Rifle and a revamped offense.

  21. I still don’t get all of the Orton hate. That 54 yard TD by Decker was thrown to his back shoulder in double coverage… by Kyle Orton. I bet Brandon Marshall misses Orton, and B Lloyd was a confirmed bust before last year.

    Orton has been great in Denver, the ground game has not. Yesterday, we had a ground game and the injury plagued Broncos won.

  22. @ ‘voyager6’…….

    Beg to differ on the go-ahead FG opportunity in the 4th.

    I agree with you that clock-management has been one of Marvins’ weaknesses, but, I guarentee that most NFL HC’s run another play right there to try and get those few extra yards closer for Nugent. You just don’t get sacked on that play, and we did.

    Overall though, we lost the game, but found a QB.

    Dalton just looks so cool back there. He looks completely unflappable. That’ll come in real handy against PIT & BAL.

    Carson who ?

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