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Broncos at Colts preview: Denver aims to get big road victory

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The task for the Broncos doesn’t get any easier on Sunday, but here’s how they can get a win in Indy.

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Where do the Denver Broncos go from here?

In terms of the here and now, it doesn’t get any easier on Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts. When you take into account how the Broncos (2-5 overall, 1-2 AFC West) looked the last time they were on the field ... I’m still trying to comprehend what we witnessed last Thursday at Mile High against the Kansas City Chiefs. It doesn’t exactly scream hope for the next challenge and a Colts (4-2, 2-0) team that is on a roll.

On the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), Adam Malnati and I tried to make sense of where Denver goes from here; especially now that Emmanuel Sanders is a member of the San Francisco 49ers and other veterans could be on the move as well. In terms of Sunday’s game, we went over our players to watch and keys to the game.

Offensive Rankings

Denver: Twenty-fifth in overall offense (317.4 yards), 16th in rushing (109.6), 26th in passing (207.9) and 29th in points (16.0).

Indianapolis: Twenty-second in overall offense (350.5 yards), 10th in rushing (128.7), 24th in passing (221.8) and 15th in points (23.8).

Defensive Rankings

Denver: Fourth in overall defense (302.6 yards), 16th in rushing (107.3), third in passing (195.3) and eighth in points (19.4).

Indianapolis: Twentieth in overall defense (361.2 yards), 19th in rushing (110.0), 20th in passing (250.2) and 17th in points (23.0).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.

The opposite of TNF

Whatever the Broncos did against Kansas City, do the complete opposite on Sunday. In a game Denver needs to play flawlessly, that’s the first step to at least have a puncher’s chance. — Ian St. Clair

Read and react to the blitz

Joe Flacco needs to learn how to read and then react to the blitz. It can’t be that hard to identify a blitz and throw to the hot read. It might not be the simplest thing in the world, but it would go a long way to helping the offense move the ball. — Adam Malnati

O-line/running backs carry the load

The rest of the offense, but the offensive line and running backs in particular (basically, the rushing offense), need to step up and put the team on their backs. This is Flacco’s 12th year in the NFL — if the dude hasn’t figured out how to read a blitz and react to it by now, then he’s not going to. So we need the rest of the offense to do what they can to make up for his deficiencies while we continue our wait for a non-liability at quarterback. — Taylor Kothe

Keep it simple

Rich Scangarello needs to show that he can adjust his offense after individual series, and then at halftime. Keep it simple. Power Run formations. Only shotgun passes since Flacco has zeor mobility. Until changes are made at left tackle and quarterback same old three-and-out for the Broncos. Luke Patterson

Run defense

Jacoby Brissett has been huge for the Colts since Andrew Luck retired and the defensive front around Von Miller did very little with the opportunities he presented them last Thursday. Indianapolis presents a ridiculous test for them with Quenton Nelson and one of the best offensive lines in football, but if they can’t make Brissett uncomfortable it’s going to be a long day regardless what Flacco, Scangarello, and the gang do. — Just_JoRo

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What are your keys to the Broncos finally beating Indy?