All week long we talked about how the Broncos were a capable team that suffered four of their eight losses deep in crunch time. Denver led Minnesota 23-7 in the fourth quarter before faltering and allowed late scores against the Bears, Jags and Colts.
We also talked about how rookie Drew Lock was a bit of a mystery. You wouldn't know how good he could be after only one productive start.
Well, the Broncos got hot early and rode a big lead into the finish on their way to stunning the Texans 38-24.
The margin for error quickly diminished as Denver built a 31-3 lead at the break. The Texans rallied in the second half but ran out of time and opportunities to finish.
And, as usual in an NFL game, it was the little things that added up. Four of the five first half possessions were thwarted by penalties, a sack, a turnover on downs and a fumble that was returned for a TD.
Lock had a nearly perfect quarterback rating in the first half as the Broncos scored on every possession. Had the Texans put the ball in the end zone a couple of times, the landscape would have changed and it could have been a different game.
As exhilarating as the win over the New England was, the players and coaching staff knew that Denver was going to be difficult. They were, as they put up the second-highest scoring total against the Texans this season.
This is why when coaches and players tell you that everyone in this league is a tough out, you need to believe them. Games like this happen every weekend and it happened to Houston on Sunday. Having rebounded so well after the loss to the Ravens, the Texans will need a similar effort against Tennessee.
The Titans are clearly a different team with Ryan Tannehill at the helm. Derrick Henry is a force in the backfield and it's always tough to win in Nashville.
It's critical to delete this one quickly and regroup for what becomes the next 'biggest game of the year' for a fight to stay in first in the division.
Houston Texans Fans come out to NRG Stadium for the thirteenth game of the 2019 NFL season against the Broncos.