Beasley Goes Off: Vic Beasley Jr. entered Sunday's matchup with one sack in 2016. By the time the final whistle blew, he had raised that number to 4.5. The second-year OLB recorded 3.5 sacks on Paxton Lynch — forcing two fumbles in the process — and used his speed to become a constant presence in the backfield. According to Pro Football Reference, Beasley is the first NFL player to have a 3.5-sack performance in 2016. He's the fifth Falcon to do so in team history; only Chuck Smith, who had five sacks on Oct. 12, 1997, has posted more in a contest.
Freeney Makes Noise: Beasley wasn't the only pass-rusher to find success at Mile High, as Dwight Freeney ended up with a sack after being credited for 0.5 on two separate plays. The 36-year-old has gained a sack in each of his last three appearances and, in the process, has made the Falcons look wise for signing him in August.
Coleman, Freeman Run Wild: Atlanta's running back duo had yet another stellar day, combining for 286 yards from scrimmage — or, in other words, 77 percent of Atlanta's total offense. Tevin Coleman finished with 31 rushing yards, 132 receiving yards and a touchdown; Devonta Freeman tallied 88 yards on the ground, 35 yards through the air and a score of his own. Per ESPN Stats and Information, their combined 167 receiving yards are the most a team's RB corps has earned in a game since Week 15 of 2013 (Chiefs, 236).
Backup LBs Rise to the Occasion:With Deion Jones, De'Vondre Campbell, Paul Worrilow and Sean Weatherspoon sidelined by various injuries, the Falcons counted on a number of backups to fill in at inside linebacker. And that group was up to the task. Philip Wheeler ended the day with seven tackles; Kemal Ishmael, normally a strong safety, played some linebacker and used his aggressive, hard-hitting nature to register a team-high 10 tackles.
Run D Remains Stout:Wheeler and Ishmael were particularly effective against the run. Many of their teammates were, as well: Atlanta held Denver to just 84 rushing yards on 24 carries — a 3.5 average. This put a lot of pressure on Lynch, who had to fire 35 passes in his first career start. He completed 23 of them for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception, good for an 81.0 QB rating.