Mile sigh: Broncos rip ‘fake fans’ as Manning bashing grows

Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman had a productive Sunday as Denver moved to 6-0.

USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are undefeated this season, but despite their 6-0 record, some fans are unsatisfied with the team. Most feel that the defense is carrying the Broncos while Peyton Manning and his league-worst 10 interceptions are hurting the team.

Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman apparently is sick of hearing fans bash Manning and stuck up for his quarterback via Twitter Sunday:

And he wasn’t alone in letting the Denver "faithful" have it after the game, a 26-23 overtime win in Cleveland, as several Broncos spoke up to reporters after the game.

"We don’t really care what people say," wide receiver Demaryius Thomas told ESPN. "I know I just got to make more plays and make people be quiet on it. Me dropping a ball, they probably say something about Peyton after that. … I bet there are people that blame Peyton when I dropped the ball. He’s our quarterback. Our leader. I know I can make more plays for him.

"Look what Peyton’s done with this team last few years, touchdowns and wins," Thomas said. "He’s in a new offense, with a lot of new guys, new coaches, and we’re still 6-0. I know I can make more plays for him. We all want to make people be quiet about that."

"He got us in position to win the game, and, obviously, he’s got plays he wants back," coach Gary Kubiak said of Manning after the win, according to ESPN. "So that’s a continuing process of me working with him and getting him as comfortable as I possibly can, and I know he’s very capable of getting rid of those mistakes and hanging on to the great plays that he’s making. He’s our leader. He’ll keep battling."

NFL WEEK 17

Hillman, who is continuing off receiver Emmanuel Sanders’ "get off my quarterback" mantra established earlier in the week, told reporters: "We’re here to rally behind him. Peyton is our leader, our quarterback. People can say whatever they want. They don’t know. And this offense is right there. It’s going to get going, and then people can ask about something else."

For Manning’s part, he is owning up to his mistakes. Speaking about his third interception, in overtime, he told reporters after the game, "Obviously that’s not a good situation to put the defense in, but they got a couple of sacks and gave us a chance. I’m not having a ton of breaks. I won’t be going to Vegas for my bye week. I’m not feeling really lucky."

Hillman had his most productive game for the Broncos this season as he rushed for 111 yards on 20 carries. Perhaps it’s his security with his role on the team plus the squad’s success that made him feel comfortable in speaking out.

Beyond that, he’s right to defend Manning. Though Peyton’s play has clearly diminished, he has done enough to keep the team unbeaten. Backup QB Brock Osweiler is an unknown commodity at this point. It would be misguided to believe the team will automatically be better off with a guy who has 30 career passes and one viral video to his name instead of a future Hall of Famer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

More from Larry Brown Sports: