All-around contributions from offense in win over Panthers


Nobody needed a career game more than quarterback Drew Lock, who posted personal NFL highs in touchdown passes (four) and rating (149.5). Lock’s streak of seven consecutive games with an interception also ended. Eight players had at least two catches, including receiver KJ Hamler (two touchdowns) and four receptions apiece from tight ends Troy Fumagalli and Nick Vannett. The newly-formed offensive line, minus left tackle Garett Bolles (illness) and Graham Glasgow (foot), allowed a sack that led to a Carolina touchdown, but opened holes for Melvin Gordon to average 5.2 yards on 13 carries (68 yards). The key thing for right guard Netane Muti in his NFL debut and right tackle Elijah Wilkinson (replacing Demar Dotson)? No penalties.


The Broncos’ defense, minus all kinds of cornerbacks, finally blew a tire in the fourth quarter, when Carolina had scoring drives of 75, 74 and 75 yards to stay in the game. But the Panthers couldn’t convert a fourth-and-8 with 1:50 remaining. The Panthers finished with 370 yards. The Broncos didn’t create a takeaway (again), but did have four sacks (one apiece by outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, cornerback Will Parks and defensive ends DeMarcus Walker and Dre’Mont Jones). Safeties Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons had a team-high seven tackles and were active close to the line of scrimmage when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw short.