By Rick Brown
After an exciting Week 14 where the Denver Broncos shut out the New York Jets, the Broncos reverted back to their old ways by starting Thursday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts with a turnover. Things did not get any easier from there, as Broncos starting quarterback Trevor Siemian was injured in the first quarter.
Luckily, backup QB Brock Osweiler came in and was able to move the ball down the field to score right before the half. Osweiler managed to lead the team to a comeback, and Denver was able to take control of the game to pull out a 25-13 win against the Cots to advance to 5-9 on the season.
On Offense: B
Things got off to a rough start as Siemian threw an interception on the team’s opening drive. The starting quarterback left the field after the Broncos’ second drive with a shoulder injury and in came Brock Osweiler. Things did not get any easier for Osweiler when a touchdown pass was called back due to a holding penalty. The Broncos cannot seem to stop making mistakes, and this holding call cost the team six points. However, Osweiler made up for it with a long run of his own when he scored right before halftime to cut into the Colts’ lead, 10-7.
After halftime and with Siemian officially ruled out for the rest of the game, Osweiler did a decent job of keeping the Broncos’ momentum going. He was able able to connect with Cody Latimer for a score and the Broncos took the lead 14-13. Osweiler then threw his second touchdown of the night when he connected with Jeff Heuerman for a 54-yard pass into the end zone. The Broncos’ rushing attack was also effective as C.J. Anderson was able to run for 158 yards.
On Defense: A
The defense started off with a short field and Colts starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett was able to score on the opening drive. The Indianapolis offense continued to get within field goal range for Colts’ kicker Adam Vinatieri, but it was not enough; the Colts offense was unable to get into the end zone again.
While the defense did not create a lot of pressure on Brissett, he couldn’t do enough to get the offense moving. The Broncos did a good job of containing the Colts offense as the defense allowed only 228 yards. That said, Denver did not force a turnover and only sacked Brissett once.
Special Teams: B
The special teams was not without mistakes as Brandon McManus missed his first field goal attempt. He did, however, make another attempt as well as two extra points. The special teams did a good job of staying mistake-free after that initial bump.
Credit is due to the Broncos’ coaching staff for keeping the team’s composure after a messy start. After an early turnover and falling 10-0, the arrival of Osweiler gave the Broncos offense a much needed boost. Now that the offense was moving, the Broncos coaching staff was able to rely on the game plan instead of reacting to the Colts actions. The Broncos coaching staff was finally able to overcome a slow start and did a good job of bringing the team back into alignment. It was good to finally see the Broncos offense and defense on the same page and performing so well together.
The Broncos will travel out East to play the Redskins (5-8) next week. Both of these teams are looking to finish strong and continue to build momentum, even though neither team is going to be in the playoffs. This will also be a good opportunity to start seeing some younger players as coaches begin to rotate them into the game. It will be interesting to see who will be starting at quarterback for the Broncos next week, and whether they can pull off three wins in a row for the first time all season.