TALE OF THE TAPE

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)
Quarterback
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.
Offense
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.
Defense
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

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Super Bowl LI Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

    The Patriots and Falcons meet in Houston in a battle of the league’s number 1 scoring offense and number 1 scoring defense.

  2. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Sacramento

Get Our App
Get The CBS Sacramento Weather AppGet the latest radar, CBS13 AppCasts and hour-by-hour forecasts. You can also send your weather pics.
Follow Us On Facebook

Listen Live