(The Sports Xchange) – Quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for a touchdown and guided four other scoring drives, and the Broncos’ defense shut down Brock Osweiler in his return to Denver in a 27-9 win over the Houston Texans on Monday night.
Siemian, the unlikely successor to the retired Peyton Manning after Osweiler, Manning’s four-year understudy in Denver, left to sign a free agent deal with Houston, overcame a sluggish start by the Broncos’ offense to complete 14 of 25 for 157 yards.
He threw 4 yards to Demaryius Thomas for a touchdown. Running backs C.J. Anderson (16 carries, 107 yards) and rookie Devontae Booker (17-83) finished two other drives with a 7 and 1 yard scoring carries, respectively, as the Broncos bounced back from consecutive losses.
It was a sweet win as well for Broncos coach Gary Kubiak, who returned from an illness that forced him to miss last week’s loss to the San Diego Chargers. He guided Denver (5-2) past the Texans, a team he used to coach.
Osweiler, who had a 5-2 record in place of the injured Manning before being benched in favor of the veteran late in Denver’s run to the Super Bowl last year, made virtually no headway against the Broncos’ defense.
He completed 22 of 41 for just 131 yards, failed to lead his team to the end zone and committed a costly turnover.
Late in the third quarter, with Denver ahead just 14-9, Siemian connected downfield with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who made the catching falling backwards for a 31-yard gain to set up a first-and-goal at the 2.
Two plays later, Booker bulled his way into the end zone from 1 yard out, extending the lead to 12 points.
On the ensuing Houston possession, Osweiler lost control of the ball as he cocked his arm to pass. The ball fluttered forward, and the fumble was recovered at the Houston 25-yard line by cornerback Chris Harris Jr., leading to a 22-yard field goal by Brandon McManus with 11:37 left.
Trailing by eight points at halftime, the Texans (4-3) drove down the field before stalling and settling for a third field goal by Nick Novak, this one a 29-yarder. Houston climbed within 14-9 with 9:09 remaining in the third quarter.
Denver saw three productive offensive plays wiped out by holding calls, including a brilliant downfield catch by Demaryius Thomas before finally getting untracked to take a 14-6 halftime lead.
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)