With the postseason out of reach, these two struggling teams look to add a couple more wins to their 2017 record.
Frank Gore picked up a 22-yard catch-and-run to get into field goal range.
The Broncos had a promising first drive, with C.J. Anderson ripping off chunk games. Of course, it ended with a Trevor Siemian interception, as these things normally do.
Before the game
From the coaching staffs to the quarterbacks, both the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts have significant personnel issues to address in the offseason. With both teams out of the playoff hunt, the time for decisions is quickly approaching, but not before these teams face off on Thursday Night Football at 8:25 p.m. ET on NFL Network and NBC (live stream).
After eight losses in a row, the Broncos earned a 23-0 shutout win against the Jets in part to their commitment to the run game. Despite only nabbing 2.4 yards per carry, the ground-and-pound gameplan worked, as the Denver offense steadily made its way downfield and were able to capitalize on red-zone opportunities.
Of the 35 rushes for the Broncos last week, C.J. Anderson claimed 22 of them for 48 yards. Through the air, quarterback Trevor Siemian finished with 200 passing yards and a touchdown â€” 93 of those yards and the score came by way of receiver Demaryius Thomas. There were a lot more explosive pass plays against the Jets, with four receivers averaging over 11 yards per catch.
Explosive offensive plays by the Broncos could prove to be the Achilles heel of the Coltsâ€™ defense. Last week against the Bills, Indianapolis allowed several big, 20-plus yard plays that would ultimately result in its downfall in the snow. Without its own brand of explosiveness, Indianapolis is forced to try and limit its opponents from getting down the field quickly as it tries and methodically (read: slowly) inch its way to the end zone.
The Coltsâ€™ commitment to the ground game shouldnâ€™t come as a surprise given that their roster boasts one of the leagueâ€™s most productive (and veteran) backs: Frank Gore. In his 13th season in the NFL â€” which is absolutely unheard of for running backs â€” Gore continues to outdo his former career-high stats. Last Sunday, he did that again with a career-high 36 carries against Buffalo, resulting in 130 yards.
While the Broncos wont likely have their second shutout in as many weeks against the Colts, itâ€™s also not entirely unlikely they donâ€™t.
- Here are 4 reasons to watch the Broncos and Colts on Thursday Night Football.
- The Colts arenâ€™t getting any reprieves from injuries as seasonâ€™s end draws near.
- Siemian hopes to keep the winning momentum from last weekâ€™s shutout over the Jets.
The difference between wins and losses in the NFL is often razor thin and for the first time in two months, that razor thin edge fell in the Broncos favor. On nearly every big throw Siemian made, the wide receiver had to fight tight coverage to come down with the ball.
- Both the Colts and Broncos struggle on offense, and if their defenses prove to be the difference maker on Thursday, that might spell trouble for Indianapolis.
The Broncos have better receivers and our Colts have a better situation at quarterback. Either way, this one is probably going to come down to field goal kickers and who plays better defense and Iâ€™m afraid Iâ€™m not going to be bringing you good news about who has the better defense when we look at that tomorrow.
HINT: Itâ€™s the Broncos.
- Denver will need its offense to step up, and with the quarterback position still questionable, it will likely be turning to its running backs.
The key for our offense will be establishing some kind of running game. Connor McGovern and Donald Stephenson actually played fairly well together on the right side of the OL against the fairly stout front 7 of the Jets on Sunday. For the Broncos to win on Thursday night, both players will have to play well again.