Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts At Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts
Denver Broncos
He was a good boy to the media, but even Andrew Luck knows his coaches screwed him. 

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
He was a good boy to the media, but even Andrew Luck knows his coaches screwed him. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Andrew Luck has had two solid seasons to start his career, and he should be coming into his own in his third year. Luck has excellent arm strength, a quick release, excellent field generalship and he is a plus athlete who can pick up key yards on the ground. While he may be in over his head against the Broncos on the road, Luck will not back down from any assignment.
Winner Peyton Manning is playing for one more chance to go back to the Super Bowl and pick up his second championship. While he has done everything a quarterback can do to accomplish his individual goals, Manning plays for the love of the game and the opportunity to win games. Manning’s ability to read defenses and throw the ball accurately give him an edge in nearly every game.
When Manning looks across the sidelines at his old team, he still sees wide receiver Reggie Wayne and he remains one of the most dependable receivers in the game. T.Y. Hilton has the ability to stretch the defense and can catch the long ball. The running game is a bit of a question mark, because Trent Richardson averaged less than 3.0 yards per carry last year.
Winner The Broncos set records with their offensive productivity last season and it seems quite unlikely that they will be able to come close to that kind of productivity again. However, they have perhaps the best offensive line in the NFL as well as the skill-position players to put on another memorable show. Montee Ball takes over at running back and Demaryius Thomas leads the way the WR position.
The Colts defense struggle to contain opponents last year and ranked 30th in yards allowed. If they are going to improve in this area, they are going to have to get a lot tougher. To that end, they signed former Raven Arthur Jones to help their run defense. He had 99 tackles and 8.5 sacks over the last two years. Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman had 126 tackles last year, and he plays with a nasty edge.
Winner The Broncos are not as accomplished on the defensive side of the ball as they are on offense, but playing shutdown defense is not required when you set records on offense. Still, the Broncos can do better than 19th in yards allowed, and the addition of outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware should make the defense far more dangerous. Aqib Talib is one of the top cover corners in the game.
Special Teams
Winner Adam Vinatieri has reached the ripe old age of 41, but he made 35-of-40 FG attempts last year and there are few kickers that compare with him when the game is on the line. Pat McAfee averaged 46.0 yards per punt last year and placed 27 of his kicks inside the 20.
The Broncos are so explosive on offense that the loss of veteran placekicker Matt Prater for four weeks (suspension) is not likely to hurt them. However, if the Colts can keep this game close, unknown PK Brandon McManus may be in over his head. Britton Colquitt is a decent directional punter.

The Winner Is

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Winner Denver Broncos
3 out of 4

Peyton Manning and the Broncos have the clear edge in this matchup.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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