Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts took on the daunting task of matching up against Peyton Manning and the undefeated Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football. Luck and the Colts offense were able to keep a consistent and balanced attack throughout. With the help of a great pass rush and stout defensive secondary, Indianapolis got a huge 39-33 victory.
The Colts are now 5-2 and are solidified in first place in the AFC South. They must certainly be recognized as one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL after the win over Denver on Sunday. Indianapolis will next take the field on November 3 in a pivotal matchup against the Houston Texans.
Denver Broncos: 33
Indianapolis Colts: 39
|First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
vs. Broncos Week 7
Game Analysis for the Indianapolis Colts
Pass Offense: Andrew Luck was entrenched in an all-out aerial assault against future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning on Sunday night. Luck was able to deliver crisp, precise passes and finished the game with three passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and a passer rating of 99.5. When the stakes were at their highest, Luck delivered a masterful performance.
Run Offense: Keeping up with Manning is a daunting task that lures many teams into becoming one-dimensional. However, the Colts were able to keep up a steady rushing attack, averaging 3.9 yards per carry and finishing with 121 rushing yards as a team.
Pass Defense: The Colts secondary was able to blanket the Denver receivers nicely over the course of the game. Manning was given very small windows, and even through he was able to connect on multiple touchdown passes, the effort of the Colts secondary was quite noticeable and effective.
Run Defense: Denver did not attempt to rush much in the second half. This was mostly due to the fact that the Broncos were behind by multiple scores. When they did rush, they were not granted much room, as they only averaged 3.2 yards per carry as a team throughout the contest.
Special Teams: Adam Vinatieri came up clutch once again. He nailed 52-yard and 42-yard field goals in the fourth quarter, which helped ice the game for Indianapolis. Vinatieri made all three of his field-goal attempts on the evening.
Coaching: Head coach Chuck Pagano came into the evening with a fantastic game plan. The Colts were able to maintain a balanced offense while keeping the Denver offense one-dimensional. A great pass rush kept Manning off-balance just enough to ensure a monumental Colts victory.
First-Half Analysis for the Indianapolis Colts
Pass Offense: Andrew Luck was going throw-for-throw with Peyton Manning over the first half. The second-year quarterback held up nicely against a dangerous Broncos pass rush and recorded a 128.2 passer rating and three touchdowns. Luck has kept the Colts in the game thus far and will need to continue his stellar play through the second half.
Run Offense: Third-and-short attempts were the Achilles’ heel of the Colts offense during the first half on Sunday night. Against a mediocre Broncos defense, Indianapolis managed to average 4.0 yards per carry. The running game will need to continue to be established heading into the second half.
Pass Defense: Attempting to remain honest on defense is a feat in itself when going up against Manning this season. The Broncos quarterback has been up to his usual antics and holds a 117.2 passer rating at the half. The Colts secondary has not been caught sleeping and has been able to contain Manning as much as possible, thus far. The Colts were awarded a safety after a great pass rush stripped Manning of the ball near the end zone.
Run Defense: Denver did not attempt to run much during the first half of play. The Colts played the run nicely and held the Broncos rushing attack to just 3.1 yards per carry. Keeping the Broncos offense off balance will be a crucial key to the game going forward.
Special Teams: Trindon Holliday was stripped of the ball on a punt return, which became one of the plays of the half for the Colts. Unfortunately, the play was whistled dead and the Colts were not awarded a touchdown on the return. The offense made up for it on the very next play and put six points on the board.
Coaching: Head coach Chuck Pagano entered the game knowing the Colts needed to attack through the air to keep up with Manning and Co. Indianapolis still managed to keep a somewhat balanced offensive attack, as they rushed 12 times while attempting 25 passes. The defense controlled Manning as well as possible and held the explosive Broncos offense to 14 points.