Thursday Night Football Breakdown – Broncos @ Colts
Tonight is the last TNF game of the year and boy is it a doozy! You can catch the game on NFL Network, NBC, or streaming on Amazon Prime. While we can’t make the product on the field better, we CAN help you know what to watch for!
Denver Broncos (4-9) @ Indianapolis Colts (3-10); Line: Broncos by 2.5
Brad’s take: Denver comes in having destroyed the Jets 23-0 at home last week. The league’s stingiest defense (yards not points) got its first shutout of the year and the offense was . . . adequate. Kinda seems like they took it personally that oddsmakers had them as a home underdog to the Jets. Indy, on the other hand lost an overtime game in Buffalo that you almost definitely saw on your screen at some point Sunday because of the mind blowing amount of snow. In fact the Colts in their white uniforms were hard to see at times.
Neither team has much to play for and the line tells me that the public is buying into the Broncos we saw last week at Mile High, but Denver is winless on the road in 2017 so don’t go rushing to the sports book just yet. While they do have an elite defense that contests every single yard, the offense has routinely put the defense in situations too dire to overcome. However, this Indy team is really really bad. Second to last in point differential, second to last in points allowed, 30th in points scored. Right now there really isn’t anything that they do particularly well—though I think Brissett to Hilton has some potential—but that’s how you get to 3-10.
Over the last two months Indy has been in every game they’ve played against teams that aren’t the Jaguars, so I expect them to compete. However I see Denver covering the spread in a close game and scoring about 20 points to get their first road win of the season.
Chris’s take: A simple evening prepping for my analysis of the TNF contest between the Broncos and Colts turned into a nostalgic dive back in time with iconic moments from Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, even Marshall Faulk way back in 1998. Ah, the good ol’ days never rang so true. Jacoby Brissett is a nice player, he plays hard and is doing about as well as you can expect considering the talent level around him and all the coaching/front office shenanigans surrounding this team. Yeah, Ryan Grigson’s been gone all season but I think the issues in Indianapolis run much deeper and we shouldn’t give the former GM all the credit for their fall to the bottom of the league.
Anyway, let’s circle back around to an Indianapolis legend, Peyton Manning. Coincidentally, he’s also going to go down in Denver’s history as well. After being spurned by, ahem, Grigson, the Sheriff arrived in Denver and promptly brought relevancy to a rudderless Bronco’s offense. No, a couple of weird as hell Tim Tebow success stories don’t count as examples of effective leadership. During the Manning years in Denver, the Broncos were able to support their fantastic defense and finally earn a championship. Unfortunately, only that defensive success remains in town as the current Broncos roster has once again fallen pray to quarterback inconsistency this season. Still, they saw success last week against the Jets and while the Jets lacked Wayne Chrebet, Tom Tupa, and a one-legged Vinny Testeverde, they probably should have won that game.
Brad has the right of it, Indy probably loses to the Broncos defense unless Trevor Siemian and company shoot themselves in the foot.