Brock Osweiler Leads Broncos to 25-13 Win vs. Colts on Thursday Night Football

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2017

Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) celebrates his rushing touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

Brock Osweiler entered Thursday night expecting to hold a clipboard. He left with his best passing performance in two years.

The Broncos quarterback threw for 194 yards and had three total touchdowns in place of an injured Trevor Siemian, leading Denver to a 25-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday.

Osweiler entered in the second quarter after Siemian left with a shoulder injury. He threw multiple touchdown passes in a game for the first time in more than a year, and his 147.7 quarterback rating is a career best in a game in which he's thrown at least 10 passes.

Cody Latimer and Jeff Heuerman each hauled in a touchdown, the latter's coming on a well-thrown 54-yard pass from Osweiler. The Broncos backup also rushed for a touchdown in the second quarter, which sent Denver into halftime down 10-7 after the Colts scored the game's first 10 points.

C.J. Anderson rushed for a game-high 158 yards for the Broncos, who gained 462 yards and retained possession for nearly 37 minutes.  

Denver is 5-0 in games in which Anderson has run 20-plus times and has lost all nine other games this season.

The Colts offense stalled after scoring on two of their first three drives. They recorded just 228 total yards of offense, and while they did not turn the ball over, big plays were nowhere to be found.

Jacoby Brissett's longest pass of the night went to running back Frank Gore for 22 yards, and T.Y. Hilton was the only Colts receiver to record a reception. Hilton finished with just 41 yards on his five catches, none of which went for more than 13 yards against a game Denver secondary.

The ground game had even less success, with Gore leading the way with 31 yards on 10 carries. The Colts were limited to 3.2 yards per carry, had no run go for more than nine yards and saw their line consistently beaten at the point of attack.

The Broncos team that's showed up the last two weeks has looked far different than the one that dropped eight games in a row. It has outscored the Jets and Colts 48-13 over the past two weeks and has seemingly solved issues on both sides of the ball.

A simplified offense under new coordinator Bill Musgrave has held possession and made things easier on the Denver defense. If the Broncos split their next two games, it should be a promising enough ending to keep first-year coach Vance Joseph off the hot seat.

The Broncos, who are eliminated from playoff contention, close their regular season with a trip to Washington on Christmas Eve before hosting the Kansas City Chiefs on New Year's Eve. 

The Colts travel to Baltimore for a Dec. 23 matchup with the Ravens and close their season with a home matchup with the Houston Texans. They have lost their last five games. 

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