Denver Broncos Rumors: Peyton Manning Downplays Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders Dropped Passes as CJ Anderson, Ronnie Hillman Improve

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Jan 19, 2016 01:54 PM EST
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Peyton Manning
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning directs the offense during a play against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016."

The Denver Broncos offense did enough to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, but now they are tasked with trying to beat the New England Patriots which will be another difficult task. The Broncos' offense made a lot of mistakes against the Steelers' defense and they cannot afford to repeat the issue as Peyton Manning needs all the help he can get. Head coach Gary Kubiak made sure to place blame on the receiver drops than the quarterback himself.

The Broncos' offense was not sharp against Pittsburgh, but not all of the blame can be placed on Manning who was making his first start since November. The quarterback threw 16 incomplete passes in the game, but seven of those were registered drops to players like Demaryius Thomas, CJ Anderson and Emmanuel Sanders. Kubiak noted the weather was a factor and that the Broncos need to do a better job of helping him out.

"We were struggling because we didn't catch the ball," Kubiak said, via The Denver Post. "We would have had a really big first half. The wind was a factor, the ball was moving around, it was tough. Our guys, I know we wouldn't use that as an excuse, we've got to come back and make those plays this week."

Kubiak was more complementary of Manning's performance than most people were. The quarterback did not throw an interception in the game, but he also did not throw a touchdown pass in the win. Kubiak believes the quarterback looked fine outside of a missed route or two. The head coach continues to remain faithful to the veteran quarterback, but what if Manning begins to struggle against the Patriots? Will he make the move to put in Brock Osweiler for help? According to the Denver Post, Osweiler is getting healthy after dealing with a knee injury. He is expected to be fine against the Patriots should the Broncos need him, but Kubiak is confidence in Manning.

"He played under center, he played in the gun and moved around," Kubiak said, via ESPN.com. "I think we had one sack in the game. That was important: We protected him pretty well. I think he came out OK."

Denver knows how to battle back when down. They relied heavily on struggle rushes from Anderson and Ronnie Hillman to save the game late. The run game has improved for Denver over the past few weeks. They need that to continue against the Patriots as their secondary will make the passing game tough especially if dropped passes continue to be an issue. Emmanuel Sanders told the media that he and the other receivers will not make a habit of dropping passes as the team has built up confidence heading into the game against New England.

"We've been in these situations so many times that you don't even panic anymore," Sanders said, via ESPN.com. "You just know that we're going to come through. This team has plenty of resilience. You never know where the big play is going to come, but everybody expects to make it ... maybe people nobody expects to do it, they do it."

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