The Denver Broncos started out with some very poor offensive play as a Trevor Siemian interception gave the Indianapolis Colts a short field and an eventual touchdown. Siemian would get injured and in came Brock Osweiler who would take the Colts defense to school in a big 25-13 road victory.
Osweiler finished 12/17 for 194 yards and two touchdown passes along with a touchdown run and C.J. Anderson added another 158 yards rushing to lead Denver to a second-straight win.
The Broncos came out with three straight throws and converted with Trevor Siemian passes to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but three straight runs from C.J. Anderson converted the next set of downs as Denver got their offense moving early.
All of this balance setup a throw by Siemian that the camera view would prove he had no business in throwing.
.@KennyKennyMoe3 picks off the Siemian pass!@Colts take over. #DENvsIND #Colts pic.twitter.com/IOHBXGcYiZ— NFL (@NFL) December 15, 2017
So that new camera view just showed that no one will understand what Trevor Siemian was seeing.... #Broncos— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 15, 2017
Von Miller and the Broncos defense started out strong with a run stop and a pass deflection to force a third and and long right away for Jacoby Brissett and the Colts. No one would cover the screen pass to Frank Gore, however, for a 22-yard gain and scoring position.
And like the Broncos defense has done all year long, a turnover would lead a touchdown.
So to recap...— Doctor of Words (and tights) (@docllv) December 15, 2017
NFL's No. 31 offense just got the better of the NFL's No. 1 defense after the NFL's No. 22 offense threw an INT to the NFL's No. 30 defense.
The Broncos offense responded with some positive movement, converting a third and ten on a back shoulder pass deep to Sanders out to midfield. The Broncos running game got going from there, quickly getting the offense on the edge of field goal range.
At the Colts 30, the Broncos were able to convert a third and seven on a Siemian pass over the middle to Thomas for a 24-yard gain and a first and goal. For some reason, the Broncos completely abandoned the run and three the ball three straight times and, predictably, Siemian would take the sack to push the field attempt out to 40-yards where Brandon McManus would barely miss on the kick.
Siemian was injured on the play and Brock Osweiler would make his entry into the football game.
Kinda sick of TNF games. Thanksgiving Day and that's it imo... https://t.co/2kjPm5juZf— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 15, 2017
The Colts started with excellent field position and quickly moved back into Broncos territory to end the first quarter.
Colts 7, Broncos 0.
Early into the quarter, Von Miller flushed Brissett out of the pocket and incomplete just outside of field goal range for the Colts punt.
Osweiler started off the next drive at their own 26-yard line. After a short run and an incomplete pass to Cody Latimer deep, Osweiler looked towards Thomas, but it was two yards short of the sticks.
The Colts go their drive going behind the legs of Gore who picked up the first first down for the offense, before Brissett hit his tight end over the middle for a 20-yard gain.
For a 34 year old, who just had 37 touches on Sunday vs. Buffalo, in cold & snowy conditions, Frank Gore looks pretty damn fresh tonight. #broncos #colts— Les Shapiro (@LesShapiro) December 15, 2017
The defense would not get off the field until the Colts were in field goal range for a 45-yard attempt from Adam Vinetari who knuckle balled it through to extend the Colts lead to 10-0 halfway through the second quarter.
Osweiler dropped a perfect pass into DT’s bucket for a quick 22-yard gain to open the Broncos next series. Anderson burst through the hole for a 12-yard gain on the next play, taking the Broncos across midfield.
Another quick completion to Thomas for nine yards setup a third and a short one within field goal range. Andy Janovich took the inside handoff and was stuffed behind the line for a one-yard loss. On fourth down and two, Osweiler hit Sanders for the first down.
Devontae Booker received a pass in the flat and made a leaping run for the touchdown. Unfortunately, Garett Bolles made an egregious hold to negate the touchdown play.
Called back ... but wow pic.twitter.com/oofABlNyjF— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) December 15, 2017
Out of field goal range, Osweiler and the offense tried to get those yards back. A short completion to Sanders on first down and a 17-yard bullet to Sanders on second down got those yards back and a first down inside the red zone.
A short run and a rather poor pass from Osweiler to Virgil Green put the Broncos into a third and nine situation. Osweiler broke free up the middle and ran what might have been the slowest touchdown run in NFL history to put the Broncos on the board.
Not sure how Osweiler EVER didn't give the #Broncos the best chance to win this season.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 15, 2017
Okay, maybe the second slowest.
The score put the Broncos in good position heading into halftime. With just over a minute to go in the half, the Colts immediately went three and out to punt the ball back to the red hot Broncos offense.
Offensively, they got off moving the ball well, but a holding penalty put them in a bad situation and ultimately would need to punt with 13 seconds left in the half.
Colts 10, Broncos 7.
To open the second half, the Colts got things going right off the bat with a catch and run by a Colts tight end to get them up to midfield. Von Miller bull rushed his way for what should have been a sack, but Brissett threw it just as he was about to hit the ground.
Chris Harris Jr. began to struggle in coverage against Ross Travis who made a big catch to get the Colts down to the Broncos 28-yard line. The drive would stall there and the Colts would increase their lead to 13-7 with another field goal.
After a solid first down run by Anderson for the Broncos on their possession, Osweiler ran the flea flicker on a big completion to Latimer for 20-yards. A back shoulder to Bennie Fowler III was called offensive pass interference on the next play to set the Broncos back.
Booker gained 12-yards on a run on first down, then Osweiler hit Sanders on the sideline for a six-yards to setup a third and two. Osweiler handed off toe Booker inside who was stuffed for a one-yard gain. On fourth down, the Broncos went for it a gain. Osweiler went to Thomas who was tackled on the route for the easy defensive holding call giving the Broncos a perfect 2/2 on fourth down conversions in the game.
Anderson took over from there with multiple good chunks of yards to get the Broncos down near the red zone. Osweiler then went for it all on a 24-yard strike to Latimer for the touchdown and the Broncos first lead in this game.
Be afraid @StampedeBlue, be very afraid. pic.twitter.com/J2X9lMQ9ZN— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 15, 2017
With the lead, the Broncos defense came alive to force a quick three and out on the Colts to get the ball back to the offense.
After a few good runs by Anderson, Osweiler went for it all to JEff Heuerman who broke free over the middle of the field deep who hauled in the pass and ran for a 54-yard touchdown reception to blow the game wide open for the Broncos.
BROCK! pic.twitter.com/iGKAv5KHJ1— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 15, 2017
With momentum all on the Broncos side, the Colts tried to get things going by getting Gore more involved. However, the defense had all the reasons in the world to play up to their potential and completely shut down the offense once a third down opportunity came about, which ended the third quarter.
Broncos 22, Colts 13.
To start the fourth quarter, Osweiler had worked the Colts defense over after coming in for a struggling and then injured Siemian in the first half. Completing 11/15 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, Osweiler had a 151.1 passer rating to start the final quarter.
Two plays and two runs into that first drive of the fourth quarter, C.J. Anderson broke 100 yards rushing in the game.
A 15-yard face mask penalty by Heuerman and two false start penalties really screwed the Broncos drive up. The second and 26 playcall was, predictably, a short run and on third and 21 they ran it again for a short gain. A 15-yard face mask penalty by the Colts kept the drive alive.
Three plays later on third and six, Osweiler made a beautiful throw on a deep crossing route to Latimer for a first down across midfield down to the Colts 36-yard line. Anderson continued to rack up the yards and eating up the clock as the Broncos marched towards another scoring drive to put the game away.
Denver has chewed up 8:20 and counting on this drive.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 15, 2017
The defense took over from there and forced the Colts off the field by stopping them on fourth down. With the ball back in Brock’s hands with less than four minutes to play, the Broncos ran the clock down to make the 12-point lead insurmountable.
Broncos 25, Colts 13.