The Broncos had their most rousing win of the season on Sunday with a 38-24 waxing of the Texans that was nowhere near as close as the final score appears.

Drew Lock looked like a stud and the defense locked down the Texans’ dynamic offense. The win was so dominant in fact, that today, rather than looking at the three best and worst players, we’ll take a look at the five best players and the one negative to be taken away from this game.

5 Up

Drew Lock

Drew Lock greatly improved his play from his first start to his second one.

Lock opened the game with a quick throw to tight end Noah Fant that nearly went for 50 yards, before polishing the drive off by throwing the ball through a tiny window to Fant for the touchdown.

The Broncos came away with points on each of their first five offensive drives, racking up 31 points. They haven’t done that since the Peyton Manning days, and they reached their season-high point total before the end of the first half.

Lock looked incredibly poised and could almost do no wrong today. There were some miscommunications over play calls and a bad interception that showed Lock is still a rookie, but the rate at which he’s developing is beyond promising.

Broncos fans should be incredibly excited. He’s the QB of the future.

Kareem Jackson

In his return to Houston to play his former team, Kareem Jackson had his best game of the season, which is saying something considering the multiple stellar showings that Jackson has already provided the Broncos.

Today, he took a handoff from Jeremiah Attaochou following a fumble recovery and took it all the way to the house to give Denver a 14-0 lead. He had another touchdown slip through his fingers on what could’ve been a pick-six, but he made up for it later by killing the Texans last hopes with a tip-drill interception.

Jackson made numerous drive-killing plays, especially in the first half. He laid a huge hit on DeAndre Hopkins to jar lose what would’ve been a first-down conversion on third-and-long.

He had another big hit that forced the Texans to go for it deep in their own territory before the half.

That play forced the announcer Kevin Harlan to say, “I’m now unofficially counting his fourth significant defensive play in the first half,” as there were no official stats to quantify the impact Jackson had.

Jeremiah Attaochu

The Broncos pass rush should’ve been severely disabled with all of their injuries, but they got pressure on the Texans all day long, thanks in large part to Jeremiah Attaochu.

Attaochu was an impact player last week as well, before getting injured, and appears to be an excellent bargain bin find.

Today he came away with two sacks of Deshaun Watson, one of which may have been the hardest hit of Watson’s young NFL career. Picking up that fumble and handing it off to Jackson was clutch.

Noah Fant

Noah Fant has really turned the corner down the stretch for the Broncos.

After hauling in 15 receptions for 159 yards and one touchdown through the first seven games of the season, Fant has tallied 20 receptions for 334 yards and two touchdowns over the last six.

Outside of his Week 9 performance against the Browns, Fant had his best game of the season, totaling 114 yards and a score off four receptions.

We saw a glimpse of what the Lock-to-Fant connection could be in the future, and the rest of the league should be worried.

Broncos backfield

Although the Broncos’ ground game was utilized the least it’s been all season, the Broncos running backs still had a terrific game.

Devontae Booker had 24 yards from scrimmage, good for his season-high.

Royce Freeman picked up 24 yards on the ground and added eight more through the air including a three-yard touchdown reception that put the Broncos up 31-3 at the half.

Phillip Lindsay gained 51 rushing yards, 55 total from scrimmage to move within 20 rushing yards of having the most rushing yards by an undrafted player in their first two seasons, and 343 yards from having the most yards from scrimmage by any undrafted player in their first two seasons.

1 Down

Defensive Health

The Broncos win over the Texans on Sunday was quite possibly their best of the season, but the injuries are beginning to pile up on defense.

Despite playing well, Von Miller isn’t fully healthy, Derek Wolfe and Malik Reed missed today’s game, Dre’Mont Jones went out early and Bradley Chubb is still injured of course.

The pass rush was able to make chicken salad out of you know what today, but as they face a better offensive line with more explosive weapons next week in Kansas City, the defensive health has to be an area of concern.