The Denver Broncos survived their first scare of the 2013 season. It was a big one.
Matt Prater‘s 28-yard field goal as time expired Sunday lifted the Broncos to a 51-48 win over the Dallas Cowboys in a memorable game. The shootout represented the second-highest scoring contest since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
Peyton Manning was brilliant as usual, throwing for 414 yards and four touchdowns (he also had one rushing TD). Manning threw his first interception, however, and actually was outplayed by his counterpart for the first time this season. Tony Romo absolutely was unconscious for the better part of four quarters before throwing a late interception that buried Dallas’ hopes.
Denver coach John Fox said after the game it was his team’s “best character victory.” The Broncos dug out of an early 14-0 hole (with ease), then came back again when Romo and the Cowboys rallied to take a lead in the fourth quarter.
It wasn’t a perfect performance for the Broncos, who truly missed Von Miller for the first time this season. Romo carved up a Denver secondary that allowed six consecutive scoring drives at one point. A difficult day for the unit was salvaged by linebacker Danny Trevathan, whose diving interception was the biggest play of the afternoon.
The Broncos move to 5-0 with a layup next week at home against the hopeless Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s still too early to think 16-0, but remember Sunday’s game if Denver still is undefeated a couple months from now. The Broncos faced true adversity in Dallas and lived to tell the tale.