They didn’t smash Brock Osweiler, just beat him.
Where the Denver Broncos got physical was with their offensive line, which hammered the Houston Texans’ defense for 191 yards rushing on 5.6 yards per carry.
It was easily the Broncos’ best rushing performance of the season. Running backs C.J. Anderson and
Devontae Booker combined for 190 yards on 33 carries.
“Our offensive line played tremendous,'' Anderson said. "You have to give them all the credit, I just picked the right spots and just tried to run through tackles. I put more on myself to make more plays and we did that tonight.”
The offensive line also helped quarterback Trevor Siemian stay clean as Houston didn’t record a sack.
A huge comeback for a line that was maligned after the Broncos' 21-13 loss nearly two weeks ago at San Diego.
"That's not who we are, that was embarrassing for us putting that on tape and not executing like that,'' said Broncos left guard Max Garcia. "We wanted to get the bad taste out of our mouths and the only way we were going to do that was to approach the game like it was ours. We had to go take it. It wasn't going to be given to us.''
Houston veteran right tackle Derek Newton was backpedaling against a pass rush of Denver’s Von Miller when the blocker collapsed.
Newton was carted off the field with what two NFL Network reports said were torn patella tendons in both knees.
“He hasn’t even had an MRI,'' said Texans' head coach Bill O'Brien. "I heard that someone was tweeting things out and I don’t understand that. I don’t even understand where that comes from. We haven’t even done an MRI on the guy yet. I don’t even know. It’s just amazing to me how that even happens.”
Newton was replaced at right tackle by Chris Clark, who played five season for the Broncos from 2010-14.
Broncos starting inside linebacker Brandon Marshall suffered a strained left hamstring in the fourth quarter and didn’t return.
He was replaced by Corey Nelson. Marshall was limping badly in the locker room postgame and figures to be iffy for the Broncos' next game Sunday against San Diego.
Backup linebacker and special teamer Dekoda Watson left with concussion-like symptoms.
After Houston lost the coin toss, the Broncos again deferred to the second half, meaning they kicked off despite giving up touchdowns on their opening drives in their previous two games against Atlanta and San Diego.
No doubt wanting to set the tone against Houston and former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler, Denver came through with two three-and-outs on the Texans’ first two possessions. …
Broncos’ cornerback Aqib Talib blocked a 34-yard field goal in the third quarter, but he was offside by plenty.
After the 5-yard penalty, Houston kicker Nick Novak made his third field goal. …
After the Broncos scored a touchdown early in the second quarter to take a 7-6 lead, Brandon McManus executed a pooch kickoff to the 1. Kayvon Webster tackled returner Tyler Ervin at the 15.