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Elway Legs Out a Pair of Scores and Denver Runs Over Lions, 34-0

November 02, 1987| From Times Wire Services

DENVER — With John Elway, you have to contend with more than his arm.

Elway ran for two touchdowns and passed for another Sunday to lead the Denver Broncos to a 34-0 trouncing of the Detroit Lions.

"That was fun," Elway said. "Running is a big part of my game. It puts pressure on the defense, and I'm glad I've got that ability."

Elway rushed 4 times for 42 yards, including scoring runs of 3 and 7 yards, as Denver piled up 212 yards on the ground.

When Elway ran 26 yards on a quarterback draw in the third quarter to become the 36th quarterback in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in his career.

"Elway was a tremendous concern for us coming in and we were right," Lion Coach Darryl Rogers said. "He was exceptional. He couldn't have been better."

Elway completed 16 of 30 passes for 274 yards and a 35-yard touchdown pass to Vance Johnson, but had at least six passes dropped.

Denver (4-2-1) showed flashes of past defensive brilliance with its first shutout since a 21-0 beating of Kansas City in 1984.

"We're not there yet," Elway said. "It's like having no training camp, coming back from the strike and putting everything all together at once. It's tough to do.

"This could be the game that got us over the hump. If we had lost this one, no telling where we would have gone. That was pretty plain to everyone. We had to win this game to keep us in the hunt. It was a good confidence-builder."

Denver scored on its first three possessions, taking a 17-0 first-quarter advantage on Elway's 3-yard scoring run, Sammy Winder's 2-yard run and a 28-yard field goal by Rich Karlis.

Winder, making his first start of the season in place of injured Gerald Willhite, gained 94 yards in 21 carries.

Elway and Johnson hooked up on their scoring pass late in the half, and Elway's seven-yard run on a quarterback draw early in the final period made it 31-0. With backup Gary Kubiak at quarterback, the Broncos drove for a late field goal to cap the scoring.

The Bronco defense held Detroit (1-6) under 200 yards in total offense and allowed the Lions across midfield only four times.

Quarterback Chuck Long fumbled the ball away after the Lions reached Denver's 19-yard line in the second quarter, and Eddie Murray long field-goal attempts of 42, 47 and 49 yards.

"This is a game we should have won and dominated and we did," Bronco defensive end Rulon Jones said. "We were more intense and aggressive than a week ago (in a loss to Minnesota)."

The Broncos, who had nine sacks in their first six games, nailed Long three times and hurried several other passes.

Long completed 16 of 34 passes for 151 yards and threw an interception that led to one Denver touchdown.

"Coming out here and shutting out Detroit was very important against a team that can score a lot of points," Bronco linebacker Karl Mecklenburg said. "Having three weeks off would have hurt anyone, I don't care how good they are."

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