Miller, Sutton shine in Broncos' 17-12 win over Rams

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

DENVER (AP) — A trio of Broncos returning from injuries celebrated their 2021 debuts in Denver's 17-12 win over the Los Angeles Rams' reserves in the preseason finale Saturday night.

Courtland Sutton caught an 8-yard touchdown pass, Von Miller made three tackles and Albert Okwuegbunam had three receptions.

All three were hurt last year, with Miller missing the entire season with an ankle injury and Sutton and Okwuegbunam tearing their right ACLs, limiting them to one and four games, respectively.

All three were game captains and headed out for the coin flip before kickoff.

“Yeah, that was something I thought about doing the other day—didn’t tell them until today,” coach Vic Fangio said at halftime. "I was wondering if anybody would notice that. You guys are heads up.”

The Broncos won all three of their preseason games while playing starters for much of the first halves, and the Rams went 0-3 playing their backups.

Teddy Bridgewater, who edged incumbent Drew Lock in the Broncos' summer quarterback clash, started out with four incompletions, all of them off his receivers' hands, before hitting six of his next seven, including an 8-yard touchdown strike to a sliding Sutton.

After Denver's first drive ended in a field goal, the Broncos went three-and-out, marking the first time in six preseason possessions under Bridgewater the Broncos failed to score.

Matt Gay kicked three of his four field goals in the first half, including a 23-yarder as time expired after Rams defensive lineman Michael Hoecht had a strip-sack and fumble recovery of Lock at the Broncos 18 with just 34 seconds left before halftime.

After two three-and-outs and a lost fumble, Lock finally got going and drove Denver 74 yards, the payoff coming on a 7-yard touchdown toss to tight end Austin Fort for a 17-12 lead.

Christian Rozeboom intercepted a deflected Brett Rypien pass at midfield in the fourth quarter, but the Rams turned the ball over on downs.

DENVER DEFENSE

When Bryce Perkins' pass on fourth-and-15 sailed over tight end Jacob Harris' head as time expired, Denver's defense completed an entire preseason without allowing a touchdown.

“The goal is to be No. 1 and that’s one of the goals that is attainable out there," defensive end Shelby Harris said. "To be No. 1, that’s all we care about. We have the tools to be No. 1, and we’ve got to go out there and prove it every week.”

The Broncos played their starting defense for three series and held the Rams to a pair of field goals. After a three-and-out to start the game, Los Angeles had a pair of 11-play drives that ate up more than 12 1/2 minutes and 101 yards.

Denver allowed seven field goals in the three exhibitions, outscoring opponents 80-21.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Rams shined on special teams, especially Corey Bojorquez, who had punts of 67 and 70 yards that were misplayed by Kendall Hinton and twice pinned the Broncos at their 1.

The first came when Brycen Hopkins grabbed the bouncing ball just before it went into the end zone for a touchback and flipped it back to Chris Garrett. The ball deflected off his hands and Rozeboom grabbed it at the 1.

The other time was when Hinton allowed the 70-yard punt to sail past him out of bounds just shy of the goal line.

UP NEXT

RAMS: open season hosting the Chicago Bears on Sunday night, Sept. 12.

BRONCOS: open season at the New York Giants on Sept. 12.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Arnie Stapleton, The Associated Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting