Broncos Remain Undefeated
Marshall's TD reception late in the fourth quarter boosts Denver to 4-0 record By Mike Klis
The Denver Post Posted: 10/04/2009 05:45:00 PM MDT Updated: 10/04/2009 07:43:26 PM MDT
Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall, left, hauls in a 51-yard pass in the fourth quarter for the game-winning touchdown Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High. (John Leyba, The Denver Post) Related
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When in doubt, throw it up to the $2.2 million man.
Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton looked right and saw Pro Bowler Terence Newman against Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall.
Newman, the Dallas Cowboys' star cornerback, had Marshall, the Broncos' star receiver, well covered. Orton threw the ball perfectly high. Marshall reached up and snagged it with two hands. He cut left toward the middle of the field. Broke a tackle. Then cut right toward the right corner of the end zone.
It was a very happy Marshall who crossed the goal line and gave the Broncos a come-from-behind, 17-10 win against the supposedly mighty Cowboys at Invesco Field at Mile High on Sunday.
It was a very relieved Marshall who watched Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo
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line his team up from the Broncos' 2-yard line with five seconds remaining and throw a pass that clanked off receiver Sam Hurd's hands.
Incomplete. The Broncos are easily the NFL's biggest surprise with a 4-0 record.
Ordinarily, the Cowboys are a three-bill fortress.
From left to right, their offensive line weighs 338 pounds, 307, 318, 353 and 318.
Total weight: .817 ton.
So much girth. All that mass. So many pounds. And they couldn't stop the Broncos defense from penetrating.
The Cowboys may have been massive, but the Broncos often had them outnumbered with their varied blitz packages.
Entering the fourth quarter, the game was an offensive dud. The Cowboys had a couple nice swing passes to their running backs in the first quarter, but their offensive line seemingly spent the rest of the game outnumbered.
Their vaunted running game was only getting 3.0 yards per carry. And they couldn't stop Elvis Dumervil or the Broncos' varied blitz packages long enough to give Romo time to throw.
When Romo did have time, his wideouts couldn't get open against Broncos cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman, or even linebackers D.J. Williams and Wesley Woodyard for that matter.
The Broncos offense,
Broncos coach Josh McDaniels exchanges words with officials in the first quarter Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)meanwhile, often pushed the Cowboys' front back, but penalties and the ill-timed protection breakdowns would conspire to kill their drives.
Orton also struggled to find his receivers, although he did have some success throwing to tight ends Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler.
The Broncos were trailing at the two-minute warning in a hard-fought, defensive tussle with the Cowboys.
At that point, it was a good thing the Broncos didn't give in to Marshall's offseason trade demands. He walked out of his offseason rehab from hip surgery to protest his contract. He walked out of a mandatory minicamp to force a trade. When Marshall pouted during a training-camp practice, the Broncos suspended him for conduct detrimental to the team,
At the two-minute warning, the Broncos were down 10-7. The ball was at the Broncos' 49 when Orton hit Marshall. The once disgruntled star came up with the play of the season.
Romo drove the Cowboys down to Denver's 2-yard. But after spiking the ball to stop the clock, he had nine seconds remaining. He threw two passes to Hurd. Neither was complete.
The Broncos are 4-0.