Aqib Talib up, Demaryius Thomas down in Broncos' win

CLEVELAND -- A look at the Denver Broncos players who were "up" and those who were "down" in Sunday's 26-23 overtime win over the Cleveland Browns:


Ronnie Hillman: The Broncos have had two 100-yard rushing games from the running back position this season, and Hillman has both. Hillman finished with 111 yards on his 20 carries in the win. Those two 100-yard rushing efforts have come in the past three games and mean Hillman will get more work in the team's offense when the Broncos return from next week's bye.

Brandon McManus: McManus made four of five field goals Sunday, including the 34-yard game-winner in overtime. For the season, McManus is 16-of-17, and HE leads the league's kickers with 61 points. He had been 12-of-12 for the year before Sunday's game but missed a 51-yard attempt just barely left before halftime. McManus also had two touchbacks on kickoffs.

Aqib Talib: The Broncos' entire defense has been the season's "up" to this point, but it was Talib who turned a turnover into a touchdown before the second quarter was a minute old. Talib took an interception 63 yards for a touchdown, his second such touchdown this year and the Broncos' fourth defensive score in their first six games.


Derek Wolfe: However Wolfe grades out in his efforts overall against the Browns, it will be difficult to balance a roughing the passer penalty with 3:27 to play in regulation. The Broncos were protecting a 23-20 lead at the time. The penalty, which occurred in front of an official as Browns quarterback Josh McCown was clearly running out of bounds, moved the ball to the Broncos' 34-yard line. Eight plays later, the Browns kicked a field goal to tie the score and force overtime.

Demaryius Thomas: Thomas has expectations other players don't carry, and he did finish with 111 yards receiving on his 10 receptions. But he had multiple drops at key times, including one late in regulation that might have been the kind of play that would have helped the Broncos avoid overtime. "I can't have those. I can't," Thomas said.

Peyton Manning: This too is about expectations. Manning does seem to find another gear when the game is on the line -- he was 4-of-4 for 39 yards on the game-winning drive. But he finished with three interceptions, including one in overtime. Manning said after the game that the overtime interception was likely a product of "trying to do too much," but to make the 6-0 start into something bigger, Manning has to find a way to drastically reduce his turnovers.