Moments after the Denver Broncos gave the Carolina Panthers a good old-fashioned shellacking Sunday, they gave coach John Fox a game ball.
“There were a lot of motivating factors to help us win this game, and coach Fox was the biggest one,” Von Miller said.
Peyton Manning made sure Fox’s return to Carolina was successful, throwing for 301 yards and a touchdown, and the defense turned in a dominating performance to lead the Broncos to a 36-14 rout.
Manning threw his 420th touchdown pass to move into a tie for second place on the NFL’s list with his childhood hero Dan Marino. He trails only Brett Favre (508).
“I have never felt comfortable kind of being mentioned with him,” Manning said.
Manning had plenty of help from his teammates.
Linebacker Miller harassed Cam Newton all day and Trindon Holliday returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown as the Broncos (6-3) won for the fifth time in six weeks. The Broncos sacked Newton seven times, including once for a safety, and Miller pressured him into an interception Tony Carter returned 40 yards for a score.
Fox spent nine seasons in Carolina before the organization failed to offer him a contract extension.
“You just feel good to win,” Fox said. “You put a lot into these things. It is seven days of hard work and countless hours. It’s all for naught if you don’t win.”
Miller finished with a sack, forced fumble and four tackles for a loss.
“We want to be feared and respected for a relentless pursuit for the ball,” Miller said.
Car—Olsen 4 pass from Newton (Medlock kick), 6:46.
Den—Stokley 10 pass from Manning (Prater kick), 1:32.
Den—Holliday 76 punt return (Prater kick), 14:40.
Den—FG Prater 53, 10:12.
Den—T.Carter 40 interception return (Prater kick), 9:59.
Den—FG Prater 27, 14:17.
Den—Adams safety, 10:32.
Car—Olsen 5 pass from Newton (Medlock kick), 5:09.
Den—Hillman 5 run (Prater kick), 3:23.
|Total Net Yards||360||250|
|Time of Possession||28:26||31:34|
RUSHING—Denver, McGahee 14-56, Hillman 5-5, Manning 3-4. Carolina, Stewart 8-31, Newton 4-7, D.Williams 6-6, Tolbert 2-6, Smith 1-2.
PASSING—Denver, Manning 27-38-0-301. Carolina, Newton 21-36-2-241.
RECEIVING—Denver, D.Thomas 9-135, Stokley 4-54, McGahee 4-33, Dreessen 2-31, Holliday 2-17, Decker 2-15, Hillman 2-8, Tamme 1-6, Willis 1-2. Carolina, Olsen 9-102, LaFell 4-29, Tolbert 2-34, Stewart 2-23, Smith 1-19, D.Williams 1-17, A.Edwards 1-9, Barnidge 1-8.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Denver, Prater 43 (WR). Carolina, Medlock 43 (WL).