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Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts: Instant Reactions

Well folks we finally found a team that could beat the Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos themselves.

Andy Lyons

Credit to Indianapolis

For about three quarters they outplayed us no doubt.  Defensively they jammed and out-physicaled our receivers.  They beat our patchwork line and Robert Mathis beat Chris Clark play after play after play.  Offensively they took advantage of some bad Del Rio zone and some missed assignments by Champ Bailey as well as some questionable zone coverage from Robert Ayers and Shaun Phillips.  Before you knew it Broncos were down 33-14 and 19 points seemed like an insurmountable lead to overcome.

Then it happened

We get a score, a turnover, and another score and suddenly we are down 36-30.  Two key plays stained the momentum.  Manning threw the ball a bit high, and Demaryius Thomas failed to come down with the 2-point conversion.  This was huge because at the end of the game with the Broncos driving, they could have tied the game with a TD and two point conversion instead of two scores.  Then Julius Thomas made a poor block against the rush, the player hit Peyton's hand and it was intercepted. From there, the mistakes finally made the odds insurmountable and the Denver Broncos suffered a loss for the first time since January.

The offense

- This offensive line is now officially a sieve.  The faster Orlando Franklin can come back, the better.  Chris Clark finally succumbed to an elite pass rusher, and Beadles, Manny, Kuper, and Vasquez all gave up some pressure.

- This offensive line is now officially a sieve.  No push up front.  A handful of 3rd and 1's and failures to convert on all of them.

- Ronnie Hillman has a problem.  A fumbling problem.

- Peyton Manning has an audible problem.  An "I'm going to call a draw up the middle with fumbling running backs and a patchwork offensive line" problem.

- Peyton Manning has an audible problem.  An "I'm going to call a draw up the middle with fumbling running backs and a patchwork offensive line after torching the secondary all the way down the field" problem.

- Peyton Manning has an injury problem.  He's not in the injury report, and it won't be talked about, but last week after getting hit low he was shaky with his accuracy and he started off the game with shaky accuracy.  Then got hit in the arm by Mathis and couldn't get any cheddar on the ball.  This is something to keep an eye on going forward.

- It took a little bit too long for the offense to find a rhythm.

- Broncos receivers need to toughen up, stop calling for penalties, and muscle up.

The Defense

- Front four looked pretty good, Von back looked good as well even though he didn't get a sack.  Had plenty of pressures and stepped up to get some TFL in the run game.

- Champ going down sucked, but so did his play before he did.

- Del Rio STILL insists on playing zone coverage.  DRC sucks at it, Harris sucks at it.  Kayvon Webster stayed with DHB most of the 2nd half and did a fantastic job.  With Champ out we still have the ability to man up so do it.

- Luck is a pocket passer but he can scramble and the Broncos made a mistake playing man WHILE NOT keeping someone in to spy him.  That scramble for a 1st in the 2nd quarter was a killer.

- Vickerson has a temper.  The defense lost their cool.  That last penalty against him was a terrible call though.

- Del Rio put two DE's in coverage against TE's.

The Special Teams

- Remember when Trindon Holliday ran back a kick a TD to win a game?  Remember when he fumbled away a kick return to help lose one?

The Coaching

- Fox Ball killed today.  Early in the game near midfield with a 4th and 1 we punted.  Later in the game with Decker looking like he secured a catch and touched the pile-on for a TD he failed to challenge.

- Gase has two backup Tackles, a reserve guard playing center, and a backup guard seeing starting action for the first time.  Do you think we see some 12 personnel? Nope.  It took more than three quarters for the Broncos to find their groove in 11 personnel.  You think those extra tightends could have helped with the rush and in the running game?  I thought so, all first half.

- Del Rio is no magician and neither were some of his coverage calls.

Clearing up misconceptions

- Turnovers are automatically reviewed.  Fox cannot challenge.  Done upstairs (on Hillman fumble)

The big mistakes

- Blown block by Clark leading to strip sack and safety on Peyton

- Fumble by Holliday

- Double 15 yard penalties by Broncos to aid in Colts TD drive

- Missed block by Julius Thomas leading to deflection and INT

- Dropped two-point conversion by DT

- Peyton Manning off target much of the night

Silver linings

- The Chiefs beat a third string QB by 1 pt today.  The 72 Dolphins can crack open that champagne a bit early this year.

- The Chiefs leading the division at the moment will only make their fall to reality much more sweet.

- Even on an off night, this offense can only be bottled up for so long.

- Now we can focus on getting better honestly without any regard to meaningless records or a pie in the sky hope for perfection.  18-1 bought the Pats an embarrassing super bowl loss.  18-1 will buy us our 3rd lombardi trophy.  Robert Mathis said something telling at the end.  "Over here we're a team, over there it's 52 guys and Peyton Manning"

If our players see it this way, they better get their ass to work.

We WILL see these Colts again.  Next time in our house.

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