The Denver Broncos dismantling defense was back at it again to start the month of October. The spookiest month's spookiest cast of characters, at least to NFL offenses, might just be Von Miller and company.
Holding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to 215 total yards and just seven points, Denver's defense, which forced three turnovers, was in their normal nasty form. Derek Wolfe crept into the Bucs backfield on five separate occasions, tallying two tackles for a loss, two-and-a-half sacks and five hits on Jameis Winston. Aqib Talib tacked on two interceptions and three solo tackles.
As has been known throughout the Gary Kubiak era in Denver, all the offense had to do was not make mistakes. They didn't, and the Broncos won, 27-7.
Winston and the Buccaneers got the ball to start the game, and on the third play Winston found Talib, who handed the ball over to the offense inside the red zone. On the very next play, the Broncos capitalized. Trevor Siemian struck Demaryius Thomas on an 11-yard pass to score six.
The lead would not last. On the next drive, Winston's Tampa Bay club went 75 yards on 13 plays to meet the Broncos at seven. The big play a Vincent Jackson catch that netted the Bucs 18 yards, they'd score on a quarterback scramble from the former Heisman winner.
After the teams exchanged punts, once again, the Broncos were ready to take advantage of a Talib forced turnover. On the third play of a Tampa Bay drive that started their own 28, Winston put a ball right into the hands of the former Kansas Jayhawk. The Broncos quickly cashed in on a C.J. Anderson one-yard push just after a 17-yard connection between Siemian and Thomas.
Following the score the teams traded punts, the Broncos did force a fumble but weren't able to take advantage. The Broncos would score again before the end of the half but there was bigger news than a field goal.
After being slammed to the ground on a sack Siemian was forced to leave the game with an injury. This prompted the Broncos to insert rookie Paxton Lynch into the contest for his first NFL regular season action.
After an incomplete pass on a third and long to start, the defense forced a three-and-out and got the ball back to their first-round pick. In the two-minute offense, Lynch led the Broncos down the field. Starting from his own 33 in the shotgun, the first-year signal-caller pushed the offense into field position before the final whistle. Brandon McManus hit from 38 yard and the Broncos went to the break leading 17-7.
Following the break Lynch stayed in the game. Leading a Lynch 16-play, 69-yard drive that ended with three more points from McManus, giving the Broncos a 20-7 lead.
The rest of the third period was quiet due to Denver's deadly defense, which held Tampa to negative-four yards over the course of the period. The Broncos first fourth quarter drive would end in some more points. Starting on their own 20, Lynch hit Thomas on a 31-yard pitch and catch. Two player later Lynch tossed it to Jordan Norwood for another 21 yards. Now on the Buccaneers' side of the field, Kapri Bibbs carried the Broncos into the red zone. There, Lynch would roll out of the pocket and hit Sanders for a short touchdown catch. Lynch's first passing score of his career put the Broncos ahead 27-7.
After that an almost 90 minute weather delay due to severe weather took place Tampa. Field conditions were poor when the game continued in the downpour but it didn't change the outcome as the score held at Broncos 27, Buccaneers 7.