LONDON — When General Manager George Paton met the media this week, he said the Broncos were still learning how to win.
At least for one week, in front of a record-setting crowd at Wembley Stadium, the Broncos showed signs they’re getting closer to finding that elusive formula.
Latavius Murray scored a go-ahead touchdown with 1:43 to play, and K’Waun Williams’ interception and a strong defensive performance did the rest as Denver rallied from a 10-0 deficit to earn a 21-17 win over the Jaguars and improve to 3-5 on the season.
The Broncos’ trip to London did not solve all of their woes, as the offense continued to struggle early and the defense allowed Travis Etienne Jr. to rush for more than 150 yards.
In a change from previous weeks, though, the Broncos made the plays that winners make. After they surrendered a 14-10 lead late in the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson found KJ Hamler for a 47-yard pass on the go-ahead drive and later scrambled for a first down on third-and-5. Murray rushed into the end zone with 1:43 to play, and Williams picked off Trevor Lawrence to secure the win.
The Broncos’ defense, as always, did enough to give the team a chance. Despite Jacksonville’s rushing success, Denver allowed just 17 points — and seven of those points came on a short field following a Wilson interception on Denver’s second drive.
The Broncos trailed 7-0 and appeared to be heading into a 14-0 hole when the Jaguars faced a first-and-goal from the Denver 1-yard line early in the second quarter. With the way the offense looked early in the game — the unit did not pick up its first first down until later in the second quarter — the Broncos appeared in danger if the Jaguars took a two-touchdown lead. Justin Simmons made sure that didn’t happen. On the next snap, Lawrence rolled to his right and fired a high pass into the end zone. Simmons leapt into the air and snagged the ball to keep Jacksonville off the board. While the Broncos did not turn the next offensive possession into points, it still represented a big momentum shift and kept the Jaguars’ lead in check. Denver still needed to make plenty of other plays in the game — including on the final offensive possession — but that Simmons interception felt particularly important.
Entering their Week 8 game, the Broncos had scored just five points in the third quarter this season — and that included two points that were earned on a safety. That changed on Sunday, as Denver scored its first third-quarter touchdown of the season. Denver took over on its own 2-yard line on that drive and relied on three big catches by Greg Dulcich to move into Jacksonville territory. Melvin Gordon III punched the ball in from the 1-yard line to cap the drive and give the Broncos the lead.
Broncos fans were frustrated throughout the 2021 season, as Denver repeatedly motioned Jerry Jeudy across the formation while rarely, if ever, giving him the ball. On Sunday, the Broncos brought him on a similar jet sweep motion, and Wilson shoveled the ball forward to Jeudy. The Broncos wide receiver followed Gordon, who served as the lead blocker, and worked his way into the end zone.
As previously mentioned, safety Justin Simmons perhaps saved the game with his end-zone interception of Lawrence.
Rookie Greg Dulcich continues to impress, as he caught four passes for 87 yards. Dulcich spurred the Broncos’ second touchdown drive with three catches for 78 yards.
Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy caught six passes, including one for a touchdown that came at he ran a jet sweep across the formation.
Rookie Nik Bonitto recorded the first strip-sack of his career.
Russell Wilson struggled early, but he was 11-of-11 across the Broncos’ first two touchdown drives.
K’Waun Williams secured the win with a late contested interception.
A few weeks after scoring in London for the Vikings, Latavius Murray added a touchdown at a critical time for Denver.
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