Win the line of scrimmage and you’ll win the game.
Weather you’re talking in 1920 or 2020, it still applies in football even today.
As much as modern day NFL football is shiny, sparkly, fancy; if you can dominate both sides of the line of scrimmage, you’ll win. The Denver Broncos proved that again on Sunday as they dominated the Dolphins for most of the game.
Defensively, the Broncos were on fire. They pressured rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa relentlessly, racking up a total of six sacks on the young man, who’s fleet of feet.
It was a barrage of Broncos who sacked Miami’s quarterback, with lesser-knonw DeShawn Williams leading the way. The fill-in defensive lineman enjoyed two separate sacks on Sunday, his first two of the season.
Malik Reed got the sack party going early, and even a chip-block by a running back couldn’t stop him from making a huge defensive play. Dre’Mont Jones got in on the action, his third sack of the season, and DeMarcus Walker earned his second sack of the year.
Then, Bradley Chubb’s sack of Tagovailoa kicked the rookie quarterback out of the game. In the fourth quarter, Tagovailoa’s leg got trapped under Chubb as the Broncos pass rusher took him down.
And it wasn’t just the six sacks on the day, Sylvester Williams batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage, too.
Simply, the Broncos defense disallowed either quarterback (Ryan Fitzpatrick came in after the injury) to get comfortable in the pocket, even if the backup mounted a strong drive late in the fourth quarter.
And while Denver’s defense was winning the line of scrimmage on that side of the ball, on the other, the Broncos’ offensive line was simply superb on Sunday.
Phillip Lindsay, the Broncos best offensive player, ran like a bat out of hell against Miami. The Mile High City native utilized his speed multiple times, rushing for 82 yards on 16 carries, a stellar 5.1 yard per carry average.
Meanwhile, Melvin Gordon was even better, rushing for 84 yards on 15 runs while scoring twice. The only blemish on his day was the fumble at the goal line in the fourth quarter which made the game closer than the final 20-13 score indicated.
Gordon ran with speed but also with patience, allowing his blockers Dalton Risner and Garett Bolles to get out in front of him and pancake would-be tacklers.
The Broncos utilized the power running game today like they haven’t all season long. The pulling blockers moved from the left side of the line all the way to the right side, kicking out defenders and opening up holes for the backs to glide through.
“We owned the guy on the other side of the line of scrimmage,” Colorado native Risner said after the win. “It feels good man. I am damn proud.”
It was a recipe for success all day long and the Broncos bullied the Dolphins for a total of 189 yards on the ground. That total was far and away the most the orange and blue has gained in one contest this year as they average 114.8 yards per game on the ground.
The great physicality in the ground game actually opened things up and made it easier for Drew Lock and the passing game as well. Lock finished with 270 yards, padded by a giant garbage time completion and the Broncos enjoyed their best offensive day of the year with 459 total yards.
Win the line of scrimmage and win the game, which is exactly what happened on Sunday.
The Broncos not only won in the trenches, they dominated in their best all-around game of the year.