Remember when Jim Irsay lamented the fact that the Colts under Peyton Manning had "only" won a single championship? Remember when Jim Irsay labeled this era the "Star Wars Era" in Colts history? What is ironic heading into this game is that the current Colts roster is not much different from the Peyton-era Colts. Make no mistake--this is a one-man show. It's Andrew Luck and everyone else. The Colts enter this contest having finished 17th (offense), 13th (defense), and 8th (special teams) in overall DVOA.
Their pass rush is dependent upon scheme, their coverage abilities outside of Vontae Davis leave something to be desired, and their run defense allowed 118 yards per game in the regular season. The Colts come into today's game heavily reliant on Andrew Luck to deliver the goods. And while he's the best quarterback left heading to this game, he is still far too irresponsible with the ball.
Peyton Manning will break the "slump"
After a forgettable stretch to end 2014, Peyton Manning will step up and deliver a performance that will have everyone in the MSM eating crow about their shortsighted prognostications. The Sheriff will achieve his 10th 300-yard game in postseason play and will have the Broncos offense in position to score into the 30's. By the end of it, expect Peyton to complete 70% of his passes and average close to 9 yards per attempt.
Broncos win the trenches
There should be no reason why the Denver Broncos are not dominant up front. They face a pass rush that is created through scheme rather than talent, and a patchwork offensive line that has been ripe for the rush. Look for the Denver offense to rush for close to 150 yards total while causing at least 3 sacks and numerous pressures on defense.
Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will beat Vontae Davis early and often
Davis is theeeeeeeeeeeeeeee strongest corner in the Colt defensive backfield. Should the Broncos shy away from challenging him with their best two receivers? Absolutely not. The only way a person can make a mistake is if they're given an opportunity. The Broncos should run combo routes at Vontae, they should try and throw some deep sideline go routes, and most impordtantly develep the screengame. Once the screen game is developed, the designed pass rush will have much less of an impact on the game.
Broncos will dominate early
Let's call it a two score lead with a lot of three and outs. However you want to chalk it up, the Broncos offense and defense will run like a ferrari to begin the game and push the Colts out of their plan within the 1st.
Broncos 38 Colts 24
Paige: Peyton Manning will trigger a trip to AFC title game - The Denver Post
Which Peyton will perform in the postseason?The Powerfully Persuasive Peyton or the painfully pitiful Peyton?
Breaking down the Colts offense
Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck has plenty of weapons at his disposal, and an altered offensive line to protect him.
With a Pro Bowl cornerback in Vontae Davis and creative ways of generating a pass rush, Indianapolis' defense has evolved and grown more effective.
The Broncos signed LB Shaquil Barrett to their active roster and placed DE Quanterus Smith on injured reserve.
The Broncos will honor their 1977 AFC champions at halftime Sunday, and on the night before the game, its members gathered to share stories and celebrate their legacy.
Indianapolis loves to go deep, so at some point Sunday, the Broncos' hopes could rest on Rahim Moore, whose anticipation of the postseason knows no bounds.