This one turned out to be more about "if" than "how many" for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Derailed by their own mistakes, to say nothing of an in-your-face Jacksonville Jaguars defense, the Broncos found themselves in quite a tussle through most of a surreal Sunday afternoon. Not until early in the fourth quarter, when Knowshon Moreno ran for his third touchdown, did the undefeated Broncos have any sense of security against the winless Jags. Denver won 35-19 but fell well short of covering the record 27-point betting line in Las Vegas.
There can no longer be any question concerning which player makes the Jacksonville Jaguars' offense go. For years it was running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Now it’s second-year wide receiver Justin Blackmon. He caught a career-high 14 passes for 190 yards in the Jaguars’ 35-19 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, which is impressive enough. But looking at what the Jaguars have done the past two weeks illuminates his worth even more. Blackmon was suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. During those games the Jaguars averaged 224 yards of total offense and 7.8 points. In the last two games with Blackmon in the lineup, the Jaguars have averaged 362.5 yards of total offense and 19.5 points.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning entered Sunday’s game against the Jaguars as the NFL’s hottest player through the first five weeks of the season.Manning had already thrown 20 touchdowns to one interception and was averaging more than 375 yards a contest.His momentum hit a small bump against the Jaguars. Manning still finished with 295 yards and two touchdowns in Denver’s 35-19 win, but the Jaguars were able to fluster him the majority of the game.The Jaguars were able to pressure Manning early, knocking him down four times in the first half.