Dec 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Bryce Brown (35) is tackled by Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Bills 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Brandon Marshall vs. Daniel “Boom” Herron
Arguably the biggest matchup of Sunday’s game will be between Daniel “Boom” Herron and Brandon Marshall.
Marshall is expected to make his return to the lineup for the first time in roughly four weeks, which is obviously great news for the Broncos’ defense. His 113 tackles were a team a high even though he had to sit out Denver’s final two games with a foot injury.
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, Marshall has been reportedly practicing and is on track to start against the Colts.
Inexperienced linebackers such as Steven Johnson and Todd Davis stepped in for Marshall and their play wasn’t particularly inspiring. In the Broncos’ 37-28 loss in Cincinnati, rookie running back Jeremy Hill badly exposed this weakness at the linebacker position. He ended the game with 147 rushing yards that included an 85-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Marshall is welcomed back with open arms and will be mainly tasked with slowing down the Colts’ rushing attack led by Herron.
Herron has sparked Indy’s run game and has proved to be a reliable option is the pass game. Backup and former third overall pick in the 2012 draft, Trent Richardson, is becoming nothing more than an afterthought. He’s been more of a hindrance to the Colts’ offense and didn’t even register one carry last Sunday versus the Bengals.
Nevertheless, Herron could be tough for the Broncos to slow down. His ten receptions led the team in the Colts’ wild-card round victory as Herron compiled nearly 150 yards of total offense. He’s dynamic and is the Indy’s X-factor on offense.
If Marshall was present when the Broncos faced the Bengals, he would’ve at least slowed Jeremy Hill down to some degree. When the Colts come to town on Sunday, he’ll get the chance to prove that was the case.