Broncos vs. Colts: Individual Matchups to Watch For

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Nov 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) during the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Ward/Brandon Marshall vs. Dwayne Allen/Coby Fleener

It’s no secret that the Broncos’ defense has struggled at stopping opposing tight ends in recent years.

On Sunday, they’re hoping to buck the trend against two dynamic, playmaking tight ends. They also happen to be some of Andrew Luck’s favorite targets, which makes it more imperative that both be greatly limited.

Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener have helped make the Colts the top ranked passing offense in the league by shredding opposing defenses. They’ve combined for 1,169 receiving yards with a whopping 16 touchdowns. They’re most dangerous in the red zone, obviously, and must be made priority number one when inside Denver’s 20 yard-line.

Safety T.J. Ward and linebacker Brandon Marshall have been mainly in charge of covering opposing tight ends. They’ve done well enough but they’ll be going up against two of the best tight ends when in the red zone. If they’re relatively blanketed, then the Broncos should have no problem containing the rest of Luck’s aerial assault.

Both Ward and Marshall are coming off of injuries and are returning now to play in this divisional matchup. It could possibly take a little bit of time to shake some of the rust off, meaning Luck has the chance to take advantage of them early on.

Still, the tight end vs. Ward/Marshall battle will be worth keeping an eye on as it could decide the outcome of this game.