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7 keys to victory: Broncos opener yields mixed results

Revisiting the keys to Sunday's game between the Denver Broncos vs. the Indianapolis Colts.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
1.  Keep Peyton clean

Manning was pressured a handful of times on Sunday night and was sacked by Eric Walden after an "A" gap blitz flushed him to the edge.  Overall though, Manning had plenty of time to throw and was kept relatively clean by his front 5.

2.  Get off the press

Broncos receivers, most notably Demaryius Thomas struggled at times last night.  Bubba Caldwell was neutralized and only Emmanuel Sanders managed to use his speed in what became a huge gain down the field on a deep post pattern.  Other than that, the Colts were very physical with our receivers and made separation a rare commodity.

3. No Mistakes

On offense there were a few penalties that doomed drives from the start, but a lucky bounce from a Julius Thomas fumble kept the offense from turning the ball over in what has become a rare occurrence over the past couple of seasons.

4. Will the real Orange Crush 2.0 please stand up?

Two goal-line stands, two interceptions, three sacks, and a game saving turnover on downs flashed the Broncos elite potential.  There were too many big plays though and when you give up almost 400 yards passing and 24 points, the term "elite" should not be applied.

5. Contain Luck

Luck scored a touchdown on a scramble when his receivers were covered and scampered for a couple more 1st downs when things broke down.  In the future, the Broncos might want to consider sticking a spy on him.

6. No big plays

Long TD to Dwayne Allen after missed tackle, several passes of 20+ least Trent Richardson 3.0 didn't bust off a long run.

7. Broncos must account for the McManus factor

Other than a chip shot FG, several extra points, and a handful of kickoffs into the stands, the Broncos did not have to alter their approach to the game because of McManus.