Broncos-Colts Divisional Round Preview

USP NFL: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT DENVER BRONCOS S FBN USA COThe 2014 season marked the first time in franchise history the Broncos have captured four consecutive divisional crowns, they also finished with an 8-0 record at home to represent the sixth perfect mark in team history. This ties them for second most perfect home slates in pro football history.

It was a good regular season for the local football team. They went 12-4 and ended up second in the AFC, now the real season begins. “I call it the real season,” Bronco’s receiver Sanders said of the playoffs. “It’s do or die. Win or go home, and I’m not ready to go home anytime soon.”

The Broncos are better than the Colts at almost every position on both sides of the ball. The one glaring difference is quarterback. Peyton Manning has made some obvious mistakes during the second half of the regular season, throwing into double and triple coverage, laying out his receivers and the entire NFL knows he can only throw about 40 yards downfield now. In Manning’s last five games he has thrown five touchdowns and six interceptions and he only passed for 300 yards once a loss against the Bengals. His struggles continue this game as well, 285 passing yards, a pick and a single touchdown sounds about right to me.

Andrew Luck has the ability to use his legs to get out of trouble. A noteworthy advantage with the Broncos ranking in the top five defenses of yards allowed per game and the Bronco’s secondary playing as well as they do. Cornerback Chris Harris Jr is arguably the best in the business, ranked 1st in NFL with a 47.8 quarterback rating against him and zero touchdowns allowed.  The Denver team will have to prepare for a torrent of passing from Andrew Luck and their linebackers will be worrying about the Colt’s tight ends Dwayne Allen and Corby Fleener. A talented duo. Luck will pass deep early and often too, T.Y Hilton and Donte Moncrief are very good receivers but Denver fans shouldn’t be anxious with Harris, T.J Ward and Aqib Talib covering them. The Broncos win that matchup and by winning I see Luck throwing for 350 yards and a trey of touchdowns. The Bronco’s safeties and linebackers simply cannot cover the Colt’s tight ends running the duel route they have perfected and that will give them yards and points. Holding the Colts to 350 and three touchdowns will be enough.

On the flip side, the Broncos have very good weapons on the offensive side of the ball. C.J. Anderson leads the Broncos with 849 rushing yards despite the fact that he didn’t start a game until Week 10.  In the last three Bronco games, Anderson has rushed for seven, SEVEN touchdowns! Indianapolis on the other hand, gives up 113.4 rushing yards per game and despite the changes to Denver’s offensive line, they have been one of the league’s best in the second half of the season. This is the game changer for the Bronco’s and what wins them the game. C.J. Anderson rescues Manning again in this game with 150 yards and four touchdowns.

Indy’s line has been abused with injuries all season, yet has still found ways to adapt despite left tackle Anthony Castonzo being the only member of the unit to play in every game this year. They have used 11th different starting combination of linemen this season and going up against a Broncos defense that generated the NFL’s ninth-most sacks has to scare the hell out of them. The next stats are fascinating; Miller and Ware combined for 24 sacks in 2014 and led a Broncos defense that finished the regular season ranked sixth in pressure percentage. The two rank among the top six players in NFL history in terms of sacks per game. While the Colts ranked behind only the Green Bay Packers in pass protection. This battle of the big uglys will be enchanting to watch and if you can keep your eyes off the ball and watch the fat guys battle, I highly recommend it.

“Yeah. I think when you look at that big of a gap, their offensive line has changed,” John Fox said. “Our offensive line has changed. It was a tough opener. They are a very, very good football team. I believe [they have] been to the playoffs three years in a row. [QB Andrew Luck] is as good a young quarterback as there is in the league. Much of that has not changed. Statistically over the stretch they are if not No. 1 then I think top three in the league. They’re very capable. When you get to the elite eight, you usually are.”

Looking forward to a very entertaining game with the Bronco’s winning. The team is just too good.  If Brandon Marshall comes back at full speed this game won’t even be close. As of Fridays IR, he’s still listed as questionable and is a little slow on the practice field.

Let the real season begin!!!

Final outcome; Colts 24, Broncos 31; Denver won’t cover (-7)

Baltimore 27, New England 30 (-7.5)

The Patriots are going to the Superbowl this year.

Carolina 10, Seattle 30 (-11)

So are the Seahawks.

Cowboys 26, Green Bay 24 (-6)

Tony, (The Clutch) Romo beats a injured Aaron, (Pump You Up), Rodgers.

Shayne Sharpe

Shayne Sharpe

Shayne is a Colorado native with a life love of sports. He's been studying and loving this state and their teams for four decades.

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