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Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts: First Look

I hear there's a game this week?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts


Record: 0-0
Streak: ---
All-time vs. Denver: 9-11-0
Last time: Ind. 39, at Den. 33 (10/20/13)
The Line: Broncos by 7.5

After suffering their first loss of the 2013 season against the Colts last fall, the Denver Broncos have now lost six straight games to Indianapolis in the series.  Both teams are coming into the season as consensus playoff teams.  Last year we had to suffer through a week of Jim Irsay's diarrhea of the mouth when it came to Peyton Manning and his "Star Wars" numbers.  This time around the embarrassing owner will be sidelined by a suspension.

Here's the first look at the matchup that will play out in primetime.

Who's Hot?

Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense enter the game having found great success in preseason play finding the endzone.  In what amounted to about a games-full worth of work, the starting Bronco offense managed to put up 44 points.  Manning enters the season accurate as ever having completed close to 80% of his passes with three touchdowns and an interception.

Likewise, the starting Denver Defense has shown some of it's elite potential allowing a total of 14 points during it's time on the field.  A resurgent pass rush and dominant play in the trenches should give Colts fans and Andrew Luck some pause this week.

Who's Not?

The Colts offensive line.  Starting LG Donald Thomas was lost to a season-ending quad injury the first week of camp. Starting center Khaled Holmes has yet to practice since spraining an ankle in the preseason opener.  Tackle Ulrick John was placed on season ending IR, and just about every backup is dinged up or will be unavailable to play Sunday.

This is a huge disadvantage for Andrew Luck and the Colts especially since our defensive line can penetrate and get pressure from anyone along the depth chart.

Pass rush extraordinaire Robert Mathis will be missing from the lineup due to a suspension for violating the leagues PED policy.  He wreaked havoc on the edge against Chris Clark last year racking up a couple of sacks to go along with a strip-sack safety that changed the entire complexion of the game.

Matchups to Watch

Broncos nickel corner vs. TY Hilton.  Hilton is a scary receiver in space.  Chris Harris Jr. should play but it will be his first action since sustaining a season ending ACL injury late in the 2013 season.  Rookie Bradley Roby will probably see some snaps in the slot and has had a tendency in the past to get beaten by good route runners.

Broncos D-Line vs. Colts O-Line.  This is a good opportunity for the Denver D to notch a tone-setting performance.