Oct 20, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) hands off to running back Knowshon Moreno (27) against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos Hump Day Hot Reads: Colts Hand Broncos First Loss of the Season

The Broncos lost their first game of the 2013 season on Sunday night to the Indianapolis Colts.  The Colts had a moment commemorating Peyton Manning’s career and everything that he had done for their franchise. The Colts played a very good game and impressed me a lot but this was a tough loss for the Broncos. The Chiefs won and moved to 7-0 which made this loss even tougher for the Broncos. Here is what I liked, what I didn’t like, and what’s next for the Broncos after their loss.

What I Liked

Ihenacho Forcing a Fumble on Richardson

This was a rough game for the Broncos but there were still some positives to take away from this game. Something I liked was that even though they were down by a couple scores through a lot of the game they did not seem to give up and they tried to fight their way back into the game. Duke Ihenacho forcing this fumble on Trent Richardson late in the game exemplified that to me. It looked like the Colts were going to just cruise to the win, but I felt like this was a huge play to get the Broncos more momentum and eventually it got them back into the game. I thought it was very promising that the Broncos were able to fight their way back into the game and realistically could have won if it was not for a couple of costly mistakes.

What I Didn’t Like

Hillman’s Fumble and Vickerson’s Penalty

There were quite a few things to not like this week but the two things that stuck out to me were Ronnie Hillman’s fumble and Kevin Vickerson’s penalty at the end of the game.

First I will start with Vickerson’s penalty. I know Andrew Luck flopped to draw the flag but Vickerson should never have put himself in a position for that to even happen at that point the game. The NFL protects players now and they are especially protective of quarterbacks. Big Vick needs to be smarter in this situation because even though he did not hit Luck hard it still was unnecessary and was very costly to the Broncos. It was costly because it gave the Colts 15 yards and a first down when the Broncos had the Colts pinned deep and were about to get the ball back. Vickerson’s penalty extended the Colts drive and took more time off the clock.

Hillman’s fumble happened late in the fourth quarter when the Broncos were driving and about to score a touchdown. This was obviously frustrating because of the fumble itself, but I do not understand why it was Hillman getting the carry in the first place. Montee Ball was drafted to be able to score in short yardage situations like this and should have been in the game before Hillman. I know Ball has had plenty of issues of his own this year, but he is a better option inside the 10 than Hillman. Also, why not stick with Knowshon Moreno? He had three similar touchdowns last week and pounded a touchdown in earlier in the game also. Hillman would be my last choice of the three when running the ball inside the 10. Hillman has a lot of potential but I do not understand why the Broncos used their speed back (Hillman) to try and punch in the touchdown.

What’s Next

Washington at Denver

Last week was Manning’s homecoming to Indianapolis and this week is Mike Shanahan’s homecoming to Denver.  The Broncos will welcome Washington to town to try and get back on track. Washington is coming off a “season saving” win over the Bears. Robert Griffin III played very well and Shanahan used running backs Alfred Morris and Roy Helu effectively against the Bears. Washington is trying to claw their way back into the NFC East race so the Broncos need to come out firing on all cylinders to get back into the win column.

Washington and Denver kick off Sunday afternoon at 2:25 MDT.

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Tags: Denver Broncos Hump Day Hot Reads

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