Sep 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) prepares to take a snap from center Manny Ramirez (66) in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High . Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos came away with the Win against the Colts thanks to several areas of strength; however, it wasn’t a perfect performance as they let the Colts back in the game due to several areas of weakness. As the cliche goes though, a win is a win, but the Broncos will have plenty to work on for next week and beyond.
Peyton Manning – The biggest strength is clearly and almost always Manning. His mastery is almost taken for granted at this point, but he was once again brilliant, especially in the first half. He powered the offense to 31 points, posting a 111.9 Rating, throwing 3 TD’s and no Interceptions. He did miss some throws in the 2nd half, so it wasn’t quite his finest performance, but he did enough to win the game.
Julius Thomas – Thomas was once again a match-up nightmare, producing an astounding 2nd quarter with 3 rec. for 43 yards and 3TD’s, just in the 2nd quarter. He ended the game with 7 rec. for 107 yards and those 3TD’s.
Sep 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener (80) drops a pass in the end zone while being covered by Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (25) during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Defensive Backs – With a glance at the Box Score, you might not think the DB’s played all that well. After all, Andrew Luck threw for 370 yards and 2 Td’s. However, he needed 53 attempts to accomplish that number and the Colts were in comeback/attack mode most of the game.
Safety Rahim Moore intercepted Luck twice, and Rookie CB Bradley Roby had a very good first game in the NFL. Roby had two huge plays when he stopped Hakeem Nicks at the goal line, which ultimately lead to a turnover on downs, and then he batted the final pass away on 4th down to seal the victory with perfect coverage. Additionally, Aqib Talib was integral in the first interception of Luck and was consistently great in coverage, and Chris Harris had a couple of nice passes defensed despite being on a bit of a snap count. Overall the DB’s held up very well while being peppered all game by one of the great young QB’s in the NFL in Andrew Luck.
DeMarcus Ware – Ware looked to be fully healthy and back to form. He came up with 1.5 sacks for the game, putting him on pace for 24 for the season. In addition to the sacks, he was able to pressure Luck and beat LT Anthony Castonzo on several occasions.
Nate Irving – Irving looked perhaps as good as he’s ever looked. He was aggressive, attacking and just downright good. He sacked Luck and had a couple of really nice disruptive stops in the run game. He was a bit of a question mark coming into the season, as he has not seized the opportunities afforded him so far in his career, but he stepped up in a big way against the Colts. If he can continue his excellent play, then what was thought to be a possible position of weakness for the Broncos could be anything but.