The Denver Broncos built off their opening win with a terrific win over one of the NFC’s favourites. The thrashing of ‘America’s team’ certainly made the rest of the NFL sit up and take notice. We breakdown the key plays that earned Denver the win.
Trevor Siemian 10-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders
The Broncos have marched into a 1st & Goal situation early in the game, looking to take an early lead. Demaryius Thomas runs an out route, whilst Bennie Fowler in the slot runs a fade. On the far side, Emmanuel Sanders motions inside five yards, before running a fade. The Cowboys line up with two safeties.
The play is actually a busted play action play, as either Trevor Siemian or CJ Anderson runs the wrong way. Despite this, Siemian has incredible protection to hang in the pocket, with the much-maligned Menelik Watson doing a very good job holding off Demarcus Lawrence. Sanders, one of the best route runners in the league, is able to break in behind the three Cowboys in his area, with Siemian finding him open in the end zone. Watch the play develop below.
CJ Anderson 23-yard touchdown run
The Broncos line up with three receivers, and a tight end in Virgil Green, who is just back from the line of scrimmage. Demaryius Thomas runs inside to pick up a block, as does Bennie Fowler in the slot. Virgil Green comes behind the offensive line to make a crucial block for CJ Anderson.
Garrett Bolles, Conor McGovern and the aforementioned Virgil Green all make terrific blocks to open up a tiny lane for Anderson to burst through. Demaryius Thomas also helps out with a critical block, allowing Anderson to cut outside and dart towards the end zone, outrunning the Cowboys defence. Watch the full play below.
Aqib Talib 103-yard interception return for a touchdown
The Cowboys are seemingly well beaten at this stage, but with their offence baring down on the end zone, a touchdown would at the very least add some respectability to the score. Dallas have Dez Bryant lined up against Aqib Talib and he will run a fade. Cole Beasley in the slot will run a crossing route. The Broncos bring Justin Simmons in a blitz package, and Von Miller comes off the edge unblocked.
The Broncos have excellent coverage on Jason Witten and Cole Beasley, and with Von Miller closing in, Dak Prescott has to release quickly towards his first read, Dez Bryant, who is in a one-on-one situation with Talib. Von is unable to get a hand on the ball to knock it down, with Talib and Bryant left to contest the pass.
Prescott’s eyes never leave Dez Bryant, and the attempted back-shoulder pass is slightly underthrown and Talib is able jump the route. Once Talib has the ball in his hands with nothing but open field there is only ever one result. On this occasion it’s the icing on the cake as Talib’s pick-six puts Denver 42-17 up. Watch the play below.