What We Discovered from Colts’ win over Broncos on Thursday

October 7, 2022

BOX SCORE

  1. Russell Wilson, Broncos offense again to sq. one. Most level-headed of us understood that Wilson integrating along with his new receivers, play-caller, offensive line and others would take time to develop in Denver. However even probably the most pessimistic onlooker couldn’t have predicted a number of the struggles we’ve seen thus far — particularly with Wilson himself. A few of the concern appeared to wane after some assured throws and high quality scrambles Sunday towards the Raiders, even in a loss. However Thursday was a step backward for the Broncos offense, as Wilson was picked twice (as soon as late ultimately zone that each one however value them the sport) and barely averaged six yards per go try. It actually can’t be blamed on the absence of Javonte Williams. The Broncos’ first six third-down distances within the sport had been 17, 16, 15, 12, 10 and seven. Too many misfires on early downs have put Denver in some robust spots, ones that the protection shouldn’t need to make amends for thus usually. Nathaniel Hackett is by no means past reproach for the offensive struggles, however the Broncos aren’t paying him 1 / 4 of a billion {dollars}. Denver followers leaving en masse in a tie sport late in regulation? They’re not dumb. They know that what they’re seeing is basically unhealthy.
  2. Breakout sport for Alec Pierce. The Colts had been clearly shorthanded on this sport with out Jonathan Taylor, badly needing somebody to step up within the offensive playmaking division. Actually, in a sport that featured a mere 21 factors the place the Colts didn’t take a lead till additional time, choosing offensive heroes is a tall order. Kicker Chase McLaughlin did large work, making all 4 of his field-goal tries (three from 48 yards or longer) and Deon Jackson, Taylor’s substitute this sport, was impactful with 91 yards from scrimmage. However Pierce’s eight catches (on 9 targets) for 81 yards ended up being fairly large — each on this sport and going ahead. The Broncos moved high nook Patrick Surtain II away from Michael Pittman and over to Pierce late, a reasonably large signal of respect for the second-rounder. If Pierce can play like this on a weekly foundation, he would possibly simply present the second receiving choice the Colts badly want.
  3. Is Matt Ryan semi-cooked? That’s a troublesome query to reply pretty, as there are outdoors forces (see under) working very a lot towards Ryan in his first season in Indianapolis. Seeing him run for his life within the first half may be very a lot not what he or the Colts envisioned because the offensive masterplan this season. However there are elements very a lot inside Ryan’s management that he’s not doing effectively. Each of his interceptions on this sport had been comparatively unforced errors that value the Colts factors in a sport the place factors had been at a premium. We are able to’t neglect that Ryan capped the upset of the Chiefs in Week 3 with a powerful closing drive or that he’s accomplished almost 73% of his passes the previous two outings. However the fumbles — he had one other two Thursday, which makes 11 in 5 video games now — are a serious drawback, and the interceptions (seven now) aren’t far behind. Ryan turned in a gutsy effort and led two essential, late scoring drives. However he’s eons away from his former MVP kind.
  4. Baron Browning offers noble effort earlier than harm. If there ever was going to be a breakout participant from Thursday’s sport, the good cash could be on it coming from the defensive facet of the ball. With Randy Gregory on injured reserve, the Broncos knew coming into this sport they’d be and not using a main supply of pass-rush juice. Enter Browning, who took his alternative and ran with it in a banner displaying. He made his presence felt early with a number of pressures and completed the sport with six tackles, a sack that knocked the Colts out of field-goal vary briefly and 6 QB hits on a battered Ryan. Browning was extra of an off-the-ball linebacker in faculty however all the time flashed pass-rush potential, which made the transfer to this position this season very wise. We noticed the fruits of that change towards the Colts, despite the fact that he left the sport with a wrist harm. The Broncos’ protection took a noticeable step backward after he left the sport.
  5. Colts’ reworked offensive line has tough evening. There was a shock through the pregame present when a Prime graphic confirmed that the Colts made wholesale OL modifications towards Denver, on a brief week with little observe time. They’d began just about the identical unit the primary three video games of the season, with Will Fries subbing for Danny Pinter (Weeks 1-3 starter) at proper guard. On Thursday, they inserted rookie Bernhard Raimann in at left deal with, shifted proper deal with Braden Smith to proper guard and moved Matt Pryor from left to proper deal with. The unit struggled early, with Ryan Kelly and Pryor overwhelmed for sacks and Raimann flagged twice for holding (though each calls felt debatable) and as soon as for a false begin. Then Kelly (hip) was injured following a Ryan interception and was changed by Pinter. Obtained all that? The online outcomes had been the identical: disappointment from a extremely paid unit that’s underachieved virtually all season.
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Subsequent Gen stat of the sport: On throws of 10 or extra air yards Thursday, Russell Wilson was 2 of 14 passing for 88 yards and two interceptions.

NFL Analysis: The Colts’ 12-9 win turned the primary sport with zero touchdowns and four-plus interceptions for the reason that Colts beat the Browns in Week 1 of the 2003 season when QBs Peyton Manning and Kelly Holcomb every had two interceptions in a 9-6 closing.