Denver’s offense was quite unremarkable until this point. The Broncos started the third quarter with a promising drive. They managed to move the ball well throughout the quarter, but ended up starting the 4th down in a 19-0 hole. This gave the Colts a good opportunity to tie the game or at least score a touchdown. Ultimately, though, they were unable to convert.
Denver’s blown chance is a bad sign. After a disappointing season, Pat Bowlen, the Broncos’ General Manager, made drastic changes to the roster. He was fortunate to have the experience of a former GM who coached the Broncos during the Super Bowl. Nevertheless, the message he sent was one that didn’t sit well with most of the veteran players.
The Colts opened Sunday as six-point favorites, but Denver’s early season action saw that number drop to minus-9 by Thursday. The Broncos are built much like the Super Bowl champions from six years ago, with Andrew Luck at the cornerstone. Luck has shown improvement in his two first seasons and beat Denver in a made for TV game last year.
The Colts’ defense will be strong, but the Broncos will not be able stop Manning’s pass rush. Denver’s offense will fire at a high level and the Colts’ offensive line will struggle to contain the Broncos’ offensive line. They should win the game if Manning can be brought into the end zone by Denver.
Denver also acquired two draft picks. The No. 96 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to the Colts in exchange for a Day 2 pick in 2023. The Broncos had four draft picks in 2023, and now have two in the third round. The Broncos will not have to worry about losing a pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, thanks to this move.
The Broncos are hurting by the loss of Emmanuel Sanders, but they still count on Courtland, who leads the NFL in yards with 564 yards, and three touchdowns. Royce Freeman, Phillip Lindsay, and Phillip Lindsay have combined for 1,072 yard and one touchdown. Both Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay will be required to make plays for Denver’s offense. The Broncos’ defense will make a difficult task of any of them gaining an advantage over the Colts.
Denver’s schedule is not a problem. The Ravens and Browns are two of the weakest teams in the NFL in 2022, so the Colts are a great place to invest in a quarterback. They should be able dominate the AFC West this year. They will face tough matchups in Weeks 7-11, but they should be able to dominate this year’s AFC West.