The Denver Broncos will travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in an AFC matchup on Sunday. The Colts are favored in this game at home with a 4-2 record, while Denver will limp in with a 2-5 record.
Not A Smooth Ride
The Broncos have a new head coach in Vic Fangio this season, and things have not started as smoothly as they hoped. Even though Fangio is known as a defensive guru, the Broncos are still allowing 19.4 points a game along with 312 yards. They will be up against a tough Colts offense this week that averages 23.8 points a game under new starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
Denver has a new quarterback of its own this season in veteran Joe Flacco. Unfortunately for the Broncos, he has been off to a rough start of his own. Flacco has thrown for 1,648 yards this season, along with six touchdowns and five interceptions over the first seven games.
Denver’s only consistent weapons on offense have been Courtland Sutton and Phillip Lindsay. Sutton has caught 36 passes this season for 564 yards and has reeled in three of Flacco’s six touchdowns. Lindsay has been getting it done on the ground this season with 433 yards and four touchdowns of his own.
The Broncos were able to string two wins together over the Chargers and Titans, and it looked like they may have turned things around until their poor showing last week in prime time against the Kansas City Chiefs. They lost 30-6 despite an injury to the Chiefs’ former MVP quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.
If the Broncos wish to stop the Colts this week, it will have to be with their defense that has allowed 205 passing yards and 107 rushing yards per game this season. With their offense only averaging 16 points per game, they will have to get a lot of help from the other side of the ball.
The Colts enter this week 4-2 and in a much better spot than most people expected them to be in after their star quarterback, Andrew Luck, abruptly retired in the preseason. Luckily, their team is mostly solid all the way around, and Brissett has stepped up and played well.
The Colts’ only losses this season were in Week 1 against the Chargers in a game that went to overtime and a Week 4 matchup against the Raiders that they lost by one touchdown.
Indianapolis is averaging 23.8 points per game while holding teams to 23.0, making for some very close games this season. They are also posting 360 yards of offense while allowing 379. They will need their offense to perform against a solid Denver pass rush if they want to come out on top in this one.
Brissett has been impressive this year, tossing 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions along with 1,388 yards over their first six games. His primary target has been their veteran T.Y. Hilton, who has 30 catches for 306 yards and five touchdowns.
Getting it done on the ground for the Colts has been Marlon Mack, who they are glad to have back this season after he was dealing with injuries last year. He has 119 carries this season for 514 yards and two touchdowns.
What To Expect
While the Broncos defense is tough, and the Colts are not putting up a ton of points of offense, I expect Indianapolis to be able to handle them this week from start to finish. The Broncos do not have enough weapons on offense to keep up with the Colts in this one, especially after dealing away wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in a trade this week to the 49ers. Bet on Indy.