Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Indianapolis Colts

Denver Broncos
Indianapolis Colts
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 24: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in action before playing the St. Louis Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 24, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 18: Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts talks on the sidelines during their preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on August 18, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Winner The Broncos have been dominating opponents all year and much of it is because Peyton Manning has been so sharp. While Manning was not at his best in Week Six against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, he still threw for 277 yards and two TDs in a 35-19 Denver victory. Look for Manning to have quite a bit of emotion as he plays in Indianapolis as a visitor for the first time.
Andrew Luck will likely have a very difficult time preparing for this emotional game. If he gets too amped up at the sight of his predecessor returning back to Indianapolis, he may lose some of his accuracy and poise. Luck has all the tools needed to be a dominant quarterback for years, but this game will be a difficult assignment.
Winner The Broncos may try to establish the run early so Manning doesn’t feel as much pressure as usual. That means Knowshon Moreno may get the opportunity to carry the ball quite a bit in the early going. Eventually, Manning will throw the ball to Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. The Denver passing game has been razor sharp all season.
Trent Richardson is working his way into the lineup slowly, but he has the hard-running style and the speed to be a difference maker. Reggie Wayne is still the top receiver in the Indianapolis offense. He finds a way to get open and he will not drop the ball. T.Y. Hilton is an excellent deep threat, while tight end Coby Fleener has dependable hands.
The Broncos rank 28th in total defense and 32nd against the pass. While much of that is because the Broncos have been so prolific on offense that they have forced opponent to do little else but pass, they have some weaknesses in coverage. Linebacker Danny Trevathan is very athletic and leads the team with 41 tackles. He also has three interceptions. Safety Duke Ihenacho is a hard hitter with 38 stops.
Winner The Colts are a solid team defensively. They do not give up yardage easily, and they rank 10th in overall defense and fifth against the pass. Still, the Indianapolis secondary will be in for its biggest test of the year against the Broncos and that means free safety Antoine Bethea and strong safety LaRon Landry must be exceptional.
Special Teams
Winner If the Broncos didn’t have enough going for them, they also are outstanding on special teams. Trindon Holliday may be the quickest returner in the league and he already has a punt and a kickoff return for a score. Matt Prater is perfect on his nine field goal attempts.
The Colts are an average return team, but they think Hilton has the quickness to give them momentum with a long punt return. Adam Vinatieri remains one of the best clutch kickers in the game. Pat McAfee has a strong leg and is a good directional punter.

The Winner Is

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 24: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in action before playing the St. Louis Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 24, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
Winner Denver Broncos
3 out of 4

Throw out the stats and the numbers in this game, particularly the first half. Manning will likely get a hero’s welcome before the game, but he will have to compete against his old team and that will be a challenge. Look for a more low-scoring game than would normally be expected.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor


  1. Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

    The Broncos square off against their former QB as they welcome in Brock Osweiler and the Texans.

  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Patriots are riding high and now face a Steelers team who will be without their starting QB.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Denver

Marijuana In Colorado: Talking With Youth
Send A News Tip

Listen Live

AM/FM Stations

Featured Shows & Multimedia