The Denver Broncos added to their lead in the third quarter, and this time, it was the defense getting in on the act. A 40-yard interception return by Tony Carter pushed the Broncos lead to 24-7, a 17-point lead that would hold as the quarter came to a close.
Carter picked off Carolina quarterback Cam Newton on the right boundary and immediately took it down the sideline for the score. He was never touched as he cruised in for the easy touchdown. It was his second pick of the season, but he got a huge assist from the pass rush put on by Von Miller. Denver has been putting constant pressure on Newton all day, and it was Miller once again who was right in the face of the Panthers QB. Miller burst through the middle of the line, forcing Newton to spin around to avoid the rush. He went to his left, and as he launched the pass off-balance, Miller dove at his legs and brought him down. The pressure and subsequent scramble undoubtedly took something off the pass and Carter was right there on the other end.
The pick-six came right on the heels of a turnover by Peyton Manning. The Broncos offense has not been particularly sharp so far, but 14 points from the defense and special teams has them in control as the game moves to the fourth quarter.