The Denver Broncos (6-0) being the main topic in the football world has been typical lately but this week it hasn’t exactly been of the positive variety they’ve grown used to.
Peyton Manning will return to his former team, the Indianapolis Colts (4-2) for the first time this Sunday at 6:30pm. This has enticed a lot of conversation including re-hashing how well Andrew Luck has been able to “replace Manning” as well as some unnecessary comments by Colts’ owner Jim Irsay. As usual, Manning has not commented. He has the right idea in focusing on what is matters, which is football, and so will I.
The Broncos continue to be the best offense in the league. Unfortunately, Manning looked a little less than perfect last week (he is human believe it or not) having only 295 yards and two touchdowns, however it still resulted in a Broncos win mainly due to Knowshon Moreno’s three touchdowns.
The Colts have an average defense, ranked right in the middle of the league. They are sixth in the pass rush and second to last in rushing D. Being that right tackle Orlando Franklin will likely not play Sunday there may be more (cringe) opportunities for the Colts to get to Manning. With these stats, fans should expect to see yet another rushing game and don’t be shocked if Manning doesn’t have a 4+ touchdown week.
It’s obviously important to have a well-rounded team and it seems the Denver offense can have a lot of production in the air and on the ground, however I will continue to stress one of the most basic rules of football and sports: offense puts fans in the stands but defense wins games.
Seeing that lowly 30 ranking when it comes to the Denver defense makes me worried. What makes me even more worried is watching Monday Night Football and seeing Andrew Luck’s audibles cause the Chargers to jump offside on the very first play of the game. Not only that, but on the very next play Luck called a flea-flicker that went for a 35-yard pass to Reggie Wayne.
In spite of Luck’s trick plays, he, nor any other player, scored a touchdown against the Chargers on Monday. The key to stopping the Colts is to stop the rush (the Chargers limited them to 74 yards), specifically Trent Richardson and Donald Brown now that Ahmad Bradshaw is out for the season.
The Colts have the sixth-best rushing attack in the league, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. The Broncos have been decent stopping the rush as we saw against the Eagles in which they limited them to just 166 yards compared to their average of 178.5.
Adding Von Miller who is coming off of his six week suspension should only increase their defensive production, considering during his suspension Miller has been working to gain weight and says he feels “a lot stronger, quicker, [and] faster.” He has now has increased his weight to 270 pounds and says he is in the best shape of his life.
The main defensive problem that I see Denver having is that they have allowed the most passing yards in the league. Champ Bailey, who played his first game last week, should hopefully do even better being that he is fully back in the mix.
Against the Colts I don’t see Peyton Manning and the offense being able to pick up the slack that the defense lacks. The key to this game as well as the success for the season is that the Denver defense needs to step up big time in order to beat the Colts and be a Super Bowl caliber team.
Denver Broncos 38 @ Indianapolis Colts 35