ABANDON TANK! ABANDON TANK!
What a freakin’ game, Broncos Country!
What a ridiculous, almost-aggravating, actually entertaining game!!!!
Whether you were holding out hope the Broncos would lose or you were just hoping the team could put two wins in a row together at least once this season, the win over the lowly Colts should have brought a smile to even the most cynical of fans these days.
SBNation had called it “a poopfest,” and it almost was exactly that.
Starting off with some good throws and a couple of solid first-down runs to move the chains, Trevor Siemian killed the drive with a mind-boggling pass in the direction of Demaryius Thomas that was destined to be intercepted the moment the ball was snapped.
The Broncos defense followed up by letting a terrible offense march halfway down the field before Jacoby Brissett practically jogged untouched into the end zone.
When the Broncos made it to 1st-and-goal on their ensuing drive, they managed to squander every down as Siemian was sacked on 3rd-and-goal for a loss of 10. Brandon McManus then missed a 40-yard field goal attempt.
It seemed the team was destined to be embarrassed on prime time once again.
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.
But Brock Osweiler opened the second quarter as the starter for the Broncos and quickly got the team back on track.
The first drive was a typical three-and-out, but Oz got into rhythm on the next possession and led a five-minute, 11-play drive, capping it off with an 18-yard scramble into the end zone.
And if you didn’t get at least seven or eight goose bumps when No. 17 started hootin’ and hollerin’ like he’d won the Super Bowl again - with a Mile High Salute to boot - then you truly must have no soul left for this team.
Like a BROCK!— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 15, 2017
Osweiler dives in for the @Broncos TD #DENvsIND #TNFpic.twitter.com/pBQTz5eoL8
Watching Osweiler - perhaps one of the most under-appreciated guys on the team - dive into the end zone for a rushing TD or sprint down to celebrate with Cody Latimer after a passing TD was well worth the price of admission.
Just ask the defense.
The entire defense jumped off the bench in celebration when Brock dived into the endzone. TD reenergized the whole team. #DENvsIND— Phil Milani (@philmilani) December 15, 2017
The Broncos defense came out ready for battle in the third quarter, eventually holding the Colts to just a field goal, the second one on the night from Adam Viniatieri (who has been in the NFL for 148 years).
C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker carried the heavy load for the next two Broncos’ possessions - both of which ended in passing touchdowns.
The first was a 22-yard play to Latimer in the end zone, and the second was a deep ball over the middle to Jeff Heuerman, who stiff-armed his defender before trucking the rest of his 54-yard play into the paint for Broncos’ third touchdown. A two-point conversion pass to Latimer put the Broncos up 22-13.
As the third quarter came to a close, the Colts had no answer for the Broncos defense, and the offense took over to start the fourth quarter, refusing to relinquish the ball for almost 10 minutes. Though the 16-play drive only yielded a field goal, the 25-13 score proved to be too much of a gap for Brissett and his offense facing a very rested - and hungry - Broncos defense.
. @VonMiller is a beast.— Doctor of Words (and tights) (@docllv) December 15, 2017
Absolute, unadulterated BEAST!
But the main story of the night was the backup QB, who came off the bench to hit 12 of his 17 passes for 194 yards, including two touchdowns in the air and one rather slow one on the ground.
And it turned out that effort made history as Osweiler became the first backup QB to come off the bench and score two passing and one rushing touchdowns.
Anderson also had a big night with 154 rushing yards - a number that lately might have taken him three or four games to reach - while Devontae Booker complemented that with a nice change of speed and direction for Colts defenders.
The second-year running back added 39 yards rushing to the 462 yards of total Broncos offense. He also added the coolest highlight of the game - a leaping TD.
The touchdown was called back, but the feat remains impressive:
Fly. pic.twitter.com/z4o1tK3ntf— Deadspin (@Deadspin) December 15, 2017
It was the Broncos’ second win in five days, which translates to possibly the longest stretch of “happy” this team has been since the end of September.
If you were all in on the Embrace The Tank, you better rethink your strategy. Even Scotty Payne has come around.
#EmbraceTheTank has now turned into....#AllInOnCousins— Scotty Payne (@Skotty_Payne) December 15, 2017
And I wouldn’t recommend telling Aqib Talib where you stood on that front either.
“We don’t know how to quit, man,” Talib said. “A lot of fans and people here are posting stuff on social media about tanking. How do you tank? We don’t even know how to tank. What am I supposed to do? Let people run by me and score touchdowns on me? I don’t know how to tank. I don’t even know how to do that stuff.”
Or at least make sure you take off any/all gold chains ;)
Aqib Talib: “I don’t even know how to tank. What is tanking? Letting a guy run by me? ... We have champions in this locker room.”— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) December 15, 2017
Horse Tracks - docllv’s pick of the day
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Cover 4: Broncos 'rush' by Colts for 25-13 win
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Cody Latimer fights off coverage for game-tying TD catch
Denver Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer fights off coverage for the game-tying touchdown catch.
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Broncos vs. Colts - Game Recap - December 14, 2017 - ESPN
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Brock Osweiler comes off bench, leads Broncos to win - NFL.com
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Brock Osweiler fills in for injured Trevor Siemian, guides Broncos to comeback win in Indy – The Denver Post
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No matter how much anyone in Broncos Country might want to fire coach Vance Joseph, there’s no way general manager John Elway can do so now.
Trevor Siemian suffers shoulder sprain in Broncos' win - NFL.com
Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian was carted off to the locker room with a left shoulder sprain during the first quarter of Thursday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Colts' Brandon Williams suffers concussion during loss - NFL.com
Indianapolis Colts tight end Brandon Williams was carted off the field after suffering a concussion early in the second quarter of Thursday night's game versus the Denver Broncos.
Irsay: Nothing 'ominous' in Andrew Luck's shoulder - NFL.com
Much of 2017's struggles in Indianapolis can be traced back to one massive void under center. There seems to be good news, though, as Andrew Luck continues receiving shoulder treatment in Europe.
Ryan Shazier starts rehab after having spinal surgery - NFL.com
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier has started rehab as part of his ongoing recovery from spinal stabilization surgery, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center announced Thursday.
Favorite play of the game?
This poll is closed
Osweiler’s diving touchdown
Cody Latimer’s TD catch
Jeff Heuerman’s UFC touchdown catch
Devontae Booker’s flying leap