The Denver Broncos' Week 5 51-48 win over the Dallas Cowboys was arguably the best football game we’ve seen all season long. It was the second week in a row in which the Broncos scored more than 50 points, and they continue to make history each week. The 230 points scored by the Broncos in 2013 is the most by an NFL team through the first five weeks of a season, surpassing the previous record (217) held by the 2000 St. Louis Rams.
The game marked Denver’s 16th regular-season win, which extends its franchise record. This was also its eighth straight road victory, which sets a new mark for the Broncos.
The Broncos keep scoring points in bunches, and they were able to quickly come back after the Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Denver’s first scoring drive went three plays, traveled 80 yards and only took 50 seconds off the clock. This was the Broncos' fifth touchdown drive of the season that took less than one minute.
In the second quarter, the Broncos ran only 20 plays but scored 21 points. Opponents have to truly pick their poison when facing the high-powered Broncos offense. The Cowboys rolled their coverage toward Demaryius Thomas, but they had no answer for covering Julius Thomas.
Wes Welker continued to show great chemistry with Manning. With another touchdown, he became the first player since Washington wide receiver Charlie Brown in 1982 to have at least one receiving touchdown in each of his first five games with a team.
Knowshon Moreno was running with authority against the Cowboys. He nearly managed to get his first 100-yard game of the season, finishing the contest with 93 yards on the ground. Backup running back Ronnie Hillman showed good explosion as a runner and receiver out of the backfield.
The Broncos defense struggled for most of Sunday’s game. The Cowboys offense got off to a hot start, and so did Tony Romo. He had a career-best 167 yards passing in the first quarter and finished the game with 506 yards through the air. This marks the first time in his career that Romo has gone over 500 yards passing in a single game.
Denver started the game in its nickel defense, but that package failed to slow down wide receiver Dez Bryant. We saw the superstar receiver dominate the likes of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Chris Harris. However, rookie cornerback Kayvon Webster matched up well against Bryant at times. Bryant finished the game with six catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
After the game, head coach John Fox commented on the team's defensive performance:
Was it perfect? No. Are any of them perfect? No. But, we made some adjustments there at the end; we weren’t matching up very well. We had some explosive plays in some inopportune times. At the end, we were able to hang on.
It was kicker Matt Prater who put the Broncos over the top. His last-second field goal secured the win for Denver as its march toward the Super Bowl continues.
Check out the grades for each Broncos player against the Cowboys.
All quotes and injury/practice observations were obtained firsthand.