It's time Broncos Country, time to get our football fix on. The Denver Broncos will square off against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. There will be broadcast maps to show you how to watch it if you are unfortunate enough to not live in the beautiful state of Colorado.
But that's all superfluous. It's time for some football people! I'm here to discuss and predict the outcome of that game. So what will it be? Will it be a blowout by the Broncos? Will it be a nail biter at the end? Will it be a blowout by the.... nope, I can't go there. Not because I'm a Broncos fan, but because I live in the real world where there is no genie granting the Colts 3 wishes.
No sir, it's time to get pumped up because the Broncos are cleaning clocks and moving on!
What was that you say? That the Colts offense can cause problems for the Broncos base defense? Well, it's a good thing the Broncos are rarely in their base defense! Besides, this isn't week 1. As my man FrenchFred said in a fan shot, "defenses need more time to gel than any offense", and he couldn't be more right. That spells big problems for the Colts. The Broncos were up 31-10 going into the 4th quarter in week 1 of the regular season. If the Broncos defense is only going to get better, then shoot, the score might be 31-3 headed into the 4th, and if you think Chris Harris Jr., Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, and Brandon Freaking Marshall will allow a soft prevent defense to make the game tight, you're sadly mistaken. The Colts offense will cause us fits? No sir! Our defense will cause the Colts offense to seek therapy until training camp starts!
It's your time to shine Peyton! It's time to even that playoff record up. It's time to shut your doubters up (myself included). It's time to give the four-letter networks something other than the Cowboys to talk about. I'm predicting Peyton to go 22-27 for 308 yards, 3 TDs and zero interceptions. Wobbly ducks? More like "wobbly yards and touchdown ducks!" Oh, and he also has...
Peyton Manning flying under the radar
Despite playing some of the finest football of his 17-year career, Peyton Manning’s 2014 season has been largely overlooked, and at times, overshadowed by hype surrounding less dominant quarterbacks. Victim of the "Manning Standard", Peyton has squared off against some of the NFL’s best defenses while his "legacy" simultaneously butts heads with the media’s compulsion to turn anti-Peyton outliers into headlines.
A running game led by C.J. Anderson. What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Who cares? The Colts defense is more bark than bite. What happens when an irresistible force meets a cupcake is more like it. CJ is about to rip the heart and soul out of that defense en route to 253 total yards and 3 TDs (2 rushing, 1 receiving). He's a human wrecking ball and the Colts are a worn down building begging to get demolished.
Demaryius Thomas finally got some much-needed rest for his ankle so he can show the world what it really looks like to go "beast mode." 7 grabs for 158 yards and a touchdown ought to silence the doubters and get a few extra dollars on the contract he's sure to sign.
Emmanuel Sanders will blow the top off the Colts' defense like we haven't seen since the first San Diego Chargers game when he caught 9 of 9 for 120 yards and 3 touchdowns. Yep, that sounds like a pretty good stat line for this game, just with a mere 2 TDs. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "man, what an upgrade over Decker!"
Speaking of being a beast, our offensive line with the help of Virgil Green will keep Peyton untouched. This game can't go my way without the big guys up front doing one hell of a job blocking. The fire has been lit, and they are playing for their careers. It's time to get it done, and I believe they will. They are rested and prepared. There are no more excuses. Win or go home boys, say that to yourself each and every down!
Julius Thomas will play, but less than 20 snaps and be a non-impact unfortunately. The same will ultimately be said about Wes Welker. He'll have a few targets, but overall he'll be forgettable. But that hardly matters as the offense will once again show that they are a juggernaut that nobody can stop.
This is the unit I'm the most excited about. These guys, with the addition of the real Brandon "Beast" Marshall, will dine on some Indy offense.
Ultimate Fan Guide: It's Broncos D's turn
It's the playoffs, and that means Ultimate Fans believe in their team no matter the odds. Luckily for Broncos fans, the odds have generally been favorable of late, but this week's ultimate fan knows the Indianapolis Colts will require some good game planning to overcome one of the league's other pretty good quarterbacks.
Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib are the best cornerback tandem in the entire NFL, and they will prove that statement to be true all night long. Andrew Luck has a great arm, you say? Good, that means that the ball will get into their hands all that much faster. These guys are other worldly, and I expect nothing less form them on a cold January night.
Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware might not get many sacks, but they'll keep the edges for Luck to not pull any running shenanigans. Even though I believe they'd be better served pinning their ears back and meeting each other at the point of impact on good 'ol #12, JDR will think this opens up holes in the defense too much because of the man coverage that our corners provide. Right, wrong, or indifferent, it might be the correct thing to do.
Welcome back Brandon Marshall! We missed you buddy. You are the keeper of the realm. You will single handedly destroy any attempts the Colts have at a screen game. Sorry Coby Fleener, but you're about to get blanked in the stat column until garbage time is upon you. Marshall really is the missing link that makes this defense tick. Without him, we are susceptible to the short pass. Without him, we get carved up in the screen game. With him however, nobody stands a chance with that amateur hour garbage. Welcome back Brandon, you sir, get my game ball. Like Babe Ruth, I'm calling my shot baby!
The big guys on the line need to maintain gap integrity while collapsing the pocket from the middle in order to fluster Luck into mistakes. Take away his athletic skill-set by giving him nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, and instead of being just a catchy song, it'll be a thorough butt kicking to boot.
Coaching and Special Teams:
You've made some great improvements Coach Fox, now don't blow it by reverting back to your normal self when the chips are down the the pressure mounts. Adam Gase might have one foot out the door for a head coaching job (speculation), but that shouldn't impede his intelligence and make him forget how well the offense clicks when they are well prepared and stick to the script of balance. The same goes for Jack Del Rio. Save your idiot schemes for the Raiders, for they don't belong on this team. Not now, not ever.
And for the love of everything holy, can we have some decent kickoff and punt coverage? Don't try to blow someone up in order for your buddies to see you on ESPN. Remember your fundamentals and make a good, clean tackle. As far as kickoff and punt returns go? If Omar Boldin is back there, keep returning them kicks baby! If Bubba is back there, someone take him out so Omar has to go back in. The only thing I want to see Bubba return is the tee from the kickoff. As for Welker returning punts... Just don't. Fair catch everything. Don't be a hero. Give Peyton and the Boys a chance. I trust our offense to pick up 5 yards way more than I trust you to get 5 yards on the return. And remember, they can't get those 5 yards if you drop the ball, so simply fair catch it and secure it and call it a success.
There you go Broncos Country, those are my.... wait... I almost forgot. PREDICTION: Broncos 48, Colts 23
As Chris Harris said in a phone interview last night, "I want that stadium rocking so loud that we need to look over to the sideline for hand signals cause we can't hear the calls!"
Lets get the party started in the comments below.