Broncos game balls and gassers: Bryce Callahan, Brandon McManus among lone bright spots in blowout loss to Raiders

Game balls

Bryce Callahan — In a stellar comeback season after being sidelined all of 2019 due to a foot injury, Callahan again showed why he’s a linchpin of the defense on Sunday. In the books, the cornerback recorded three tackles and one pass deflection, but his value was much greater while in coverage on the Raiders’ Nelson Agholor for much of the game. His performance following a missed game due to a concussion last week in Atlanta — when the Broncos’ second-string cornerbacks were shredded by Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan — underscored his enormous value in the Denver secondary.

Brandon McManus — It’s never a good sign when your kicker is one of your best players and the most consistent offensive performer through nine games. Yet that was again the case Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, when McManus accounted for half of the Broncos’ points in the 37-12 drubbing. McManus got Denver on the board early with a 50-yard field goal on the Broncos’ second drive, making him 6-of-7 from 50-plus yards this year, with his lone miss coming from 58 yards in Week 2. He also hit a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter to make it 7-6, the closest Denver ever got.

Alexander Johnson — Despite the defense wearing down in the second half as the Raiders ran for 203 yards — Denver’s second-worst run-defense performance of the year — Johnson continues to be a stabilizer at inside linebacker. Johnson led the Broncos with 12 tackles, nine solo, while fellow inside linebacker Josey Jewell had 10 tackles (five solo). With all the injuries and turnover on the defensive line, Denver needs Johnson to continue to play like a franchise linebacker as he did Sunday.

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Diontae Spencer  — Returning from a shoulder injury after missing three games, Spencer put the Broncos behind the eight ball from the opening kickoff. The 28-year-old received that kick in the end zone, but upon bringing the ball out, went backwards and was tackled at the Broncos’ five-yard line. That “poor decision,” as Fangio called it postgame, was coupled with a penalty for an illegal double-team block that set Denver up at its own 3-yard line for the opening drive. Spencer finished with three kick returns …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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