Broncos game balls and gassers: Justin Simmons seals win with interception after Melvin Gordon’s critical fourth-quarter fumble

Analysis from the Broncos’ 20-13 win over the Dolphins on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High.

Game Balls

Justin Simmons — The safety continued to make his Pro Bowl case with another big game Sunday, which culminated with an interception of Ryan Fitzpatrick in the end zone on Miami’s final drive to preserve the Broncos’ 20-13 win. Simmons also had an interception wiped out in the first half due to a questionable holding penalty on A.J. Bouye. Simmons finished with a team-high seven tackles, including six solo, as well as two passes defensed. He now has four picks in 2020.

Malik Reed — Like the rest of the Broncos’ 3-4 front, Reed turned in a monster game as Denver tied a season-high with six sacks overall. The second-year outside linebacker, who continues to assert himself as an every-down NFL player after going undrafted out of Nevada last year, finished with 1.5 sacks for 12 yards plus three quarterback hits, two tackles for loss and six tackles overall. Reed is not Von Miller alongside Bradley Chubb, but he certainly is an above-grade replacement.

Broncos offensive line — The unit that’s been the subject of much critique this season — especially over the past two weeks as Denver suffered decisive road defeats — pulled more than its weight Sunday. The Broncos set a season-high with 189 rushing yards, and in the second half, the likes of Garett Bolles and Dalton Risner were pulling to perfection as the offense settled in. The Broncos also didn’t allow a sack for the third time this year.

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Melvin Gordon — Yes, Gordon did lead the team with 84 yards on 15 carries, including two touchdown runs. But his fumble at the Miami 1-yard line with 5:13 to play, which set the Dolphins up for a potential game-tying touchdown drive, is inexcusable. All the Broncos needed was a field goal on that drive to ice the game, but instead, Gordon’s blunder put the Broncos in position to blow another game. Simmons’ pick averted that, but Gordon has to take better care of the ball: He now has four fumbles in 141 total touches with Denver.

A.J. Bouye — Bouye had two tackles and one pass defensed, but he also struggled in man coverage against the Dolphins’ top receiving threat, DeVante Parker. Bouye gave up three catches for 25 yards, …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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