Colts get the biggest win in the biggest game of the year.
In what was a game for the ages, the Colts toppled the undefeated Denver Broncos led by former Colt Peyton Manning. The game was being billed as the regular season game of the year. To me, it was built as Super Bowl 47.5 pitting two of the NFL’s best against each other with a prime quarterback matchup in Andrew Luck versus Peyton Manning. The game started slow but picked up by the time the 2nd quarter came around. The Colts would take a 12 point lead into halftime and a 19 point lead into the 4th quarter. The Broncos would attempt a comeback coming within six points but two costly turnovers would doom the Broncos as they suffered their first loss of the season.
• Andrew Luck was the better quarterback tonight with four total touchdowns. He was on point for the first three quarters of the game when they took a commanding lead. He didn’t make any errant throws, didn’t turn the ball over, and ran the ball effectively for big gains including a score. His 6 for 6 drive late in the 2nd quarterback was vintage Andrew Luck for the nation to watch.
• The defense played out of their mind in getting to Peyton Manning amassing four sacks and forcing two turnovers. Even though Peyton threw for 386 yards, Vontae Davis and Darius Butler kept Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker in check when they were in the game. Injuries were abound to just about every member of the Colts secondary as each player would miss considerable time from the game which led to Denver being able to score at will in the 4th quarter. The Colts defense also allowed only 64 yards rushing.
• The Colts also ran the ball effectively as a unit amassing 121 yards as a team against the best run defense in the league. They ran for roughly four yards a gain effectively and set the tempo well especially in the play action plays.
• Injuries galore! Samson Satele left the game with an apparent knee injury late in the 2nd quarter.
• Corners like Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, and Darius Butler all got hurt late in the 4th quarter which would allow the Broncos climb back in the game. However players like Josh Gordy and Delano Howell would not return.
• No injury was as big as Reggie Wayne’s. Wayne had attempted to catch a slightly under-thrown ball by lock and had a freak injury to his knee when he landed on the field. He was in tears walking back to the locker room. This may have been a huge win, but potentially losing Wayne is an even bigger loss.
Thankfully, Indianapolis will be heading into their bye week dinged up but return back to primetime to venture to Houston to take on the rival Texans on Sunday Night Football. The Texans too are dealing with injuries with Brian Cushing suffering a career ending injury Sunday as well as Arian Foster getting injured in the first quarter. The Colts currently own three wins against three of the NFL’s best in the 49ers, Seahawks, and now the Broncos. The remaining schedule proves favorable to the Colts with only two clashes with a team that owns a winning record in Kansas City and Cincinnati. The Colts now are no longer the underdogs and need to keep the momentum going to secure a divisional title as well as potentially winning home-field advantage in the playoffs. Their Week 16 tilt at Kansas City may very well determine home field in the AFC. The Colts may have gotten through three of the toughest tests so far in winning fashion but have to learn how to take care of business effectively as a favorite and now an AFC powerhouse once more.