ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Gary Kubiak’s return resonated more in Denver than Brock Osweiler’s.
The Broncos coach put his team through the ultimate reset after taking a week off on doctor’s orders when he suffered a complex migraine Oct. 9. And it showed Monday night when the Broncos overpowered the Texans in the trenches.
“The thing that’s exciting is I think we played some complete football,” Kubiak said Tuesday. “Obviously we still made a lot of mistakes and nothing is perfect.”
He rattled off a list of things that had “been a nemesis for us,” such as winning the line of scrimmage, maintaining that dominant defense for four quarters and having red zone success on both sides of the ball.
“We still had some penalties, but we did overcome penalties better,” Kubiak said. “I think the consistency of what took place, hopefully we can grow from that.”
The Broncos ran for nearly 200 yards and limited Osweiler to 131 yards in the air in their 27-9 victory that ended a two-game losing streak.
They’re hoping Houston is a harbinger, too.
They figure if they can keep running like this, they’ll finally force opponents to send help to the line of scrimmage, setting up more opportunities like Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas had as the game went along.
“Emmanuel and D.T. always make big plays when they get opportunities,” Kubiak said. “It’s going to be important. If we can run the ball, then we can give them a chance to go against some single coverage.”
C.J. Anderson rumbled for 107 yards and a TD in his first 100-yard game before Halloween in his four-year career and Devontae Booker ran for 83 yards and scored his first touchdown after Kubiak said the rookie had earned a bigger role.
“Me and Book, if we can keep this 1-2 punch thing going and help our defense out, we can definitely go as far as we want to,” Anderson said.
Denver’s defense has played well all year but they’ve had a habit of dawdling. After allowing 34 points on the opponents’ first or second series, they held the Texans to three-and-outs on their first two drives.
Osweiler kept getting rid of the ball like it were a game of hot potato and avoided the big hits that most QBs endure against Von Miller & Co. But by getting rid of the ball so quickly, he was only able to stretch the field horizontally and not vertically.
Moreover, the Texans used 310-pound tackle Kendall Lamm as an extra blocker on one-fifth of their snaps, which meant cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. had single coverage much of the game.
“You run two-man routes against me and Aqib, that’s not really what you want to try to do the whole game,” Harris said. “We knew if it was Brock and we take away his first option, he gets kind of jittery.”
Harris said he thinks Osweiler saw him jump a route and was about to pick him off and that’s why the ball slipped out of the quarterback’s hands for a fumble that Harris scooped up in the second half.
WARE BURGLARY: DeMarcus Ware has had a rough season. Not only has he missed every game since breaking his right forearm against Indianapolis on Sept. 18 but he said he returned home Monday night to discover he’d been burglarized .
Ware said on Twitter that he’s more concerned about his safety than material possessions and is grateful for “hidden cameras.”
Denver police spokesman Doug Schepman said the break-in was reported early Tuesday and police are looking for two men who stole undisclosed valuables. They tweeted photos of the suspects taken from the hidden cameras.
FAN DIES: The Broncos said the team and Stadium Management Co. were reviewing a fan’s fatal fall from a railing after the game Monday night “and will continue to maintain all necessary safety measures for our fans.” The fan, 36-year-old Jason Coy, was sitting on the railing when he fell 60 feet to his death.
Notes: MLB Brandon Marshall is day to day with a strained left hamstring and could be replaced by Corey Nelson when the Broncos face San Diego on Sunday on a short week for the second time in 18 days. … Kubiak noted that WR/KR Cody Latimer passed concussion protocol Monday but was a healthy scratch and should be back this week along with Ware, who hasn’t practiced since he got hurt.
By Arnie Stapleton, AP Pro Football Writer
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