Monday, October 21, 2013

Heir to Peyton's Throne Spoils the King's Return

Peyton Manning and the record setting Denver Broncos offense returned to the throne that Manning quite literally built with his right arm. What was unexpected, the result, as the Indianapolis Colts delivered the first loss of the season to the Broncos. Although the score of 39 - 33 would appear as a shootout, many boneheaded penalties on defense, and turnovers helped the Colts get the points that they did. In some manner, it was still a shootout. The Colts were up as much as 33-14 at one point late in the 3rd. Then the Broncos starting to look like the usual Broncos in the 4th quarter, but came up short. The underlying story was the lack of production the Broncos put up for almost 3 quarters. A lot of that can be attributed to the Indianapolis Colts defense that consistently got pressure on Peyton, forcing four turnovers (one on special teams). 3 fumbles and 1 interception.

The fumble safety, and the interception were caused by the pressure and one being a Robert Mathis sack and the other being a tipped Manning pass by overpowering a below average blocker, Broncos TE, Julius Thomas. There were a lot of questions as to the grabby ways of the Colts secondary. As the saying goes, it is not cheating unless you get caught (unless it is an #UNAMERICAN European flop - that is just unethical, not only cheating in our opinion)

The Broncos, having to play behind a makeshift offensive line because of injuries to their right and left tackles. Orlando Franklin, is expected to be back soon. Manning was sacked four times. The crowd fed off some momentum and unusual caliber of play by the Broncos. Trindon Holliday fumbled on a punt return, giving the Colts the ball inside the Broncos 25 and scored one play later to make it 10 - 7 in their favor. Broncos responded with a 12 yard pass to Julius Thomas and converted on some key third downs as well as the TD. Biggest momentum, and turning the point of the game, was the sack by Mathis in the 2nd quarter that led to a safety and a Colts TD from the Broncos safety kickoff. The score after that was 19 - 14, and they never trailed afterwards. The Broncos offense left their defense out on the field for a significant amount of time, and the defense suffered.

Colts pushed the score up 33-17 with 12:59 left in the game, and it seemed to be posing for a blow out. The hearts and grit of the Broncos showed otherwise though. Battled back impressively to 36 - 30. One drive, took less than a minute after the Colts went up 33-17 to make it 33-23 with an unsuccessful two point conversion as Demaryious (Beybey) Thomas dropped a sharp throw from Manning that looked to have more mustard on it than Beybey was expecting. A catch he will usually make. Vinatieri snuck a 52 yard FG in the lower corner of the goal post, putting it back to a two touchdown game for the Broncos 36-23. Broncos bounced back with a TD drive of their own with a 1 yard TD run by Moreno after some great acrobatic catches by +Wes Welker. 36-30. If Beybey made the 2 pt conversion catch, Broncos would have had a chance at making it a 3 pt. game.

With 7:07 left in the game, the Broncos defense, after having some rest because the offense starting to put points up and also get first downs, forced a Colts three and out and to punt. The ensuing drive, Julius Thomas got overpowered by Colts LB, Erik Walden, who tipped Manning's pass as he released his pass, and it floated up for a Colts LB, Pat Angerer interception. It was the first play of the drive, and it looked like Peyton had Beybey Thomas open deep down the middle. The placed it occurred was detrimental as the Broncos forced another 3 and out by the Colts, but the Colts were able to kick a 42 yard FG making it 39-30.

Despite the offensive engine of the Broncos having issues of getting going, they still had chances to pull the win out. An interception and fumble in the 4th quarter proved too much for the Broncos to overcome. Ronnie Hillman fumbled inside the five yard line and appeared to have it secured to his side while on the ground before Colts safety, Andre Bethea jumped on it and pulled it away. This happened with 3:03 left in the game and really sealed the deal. Broncos had 3 timeouts at the time and were poised to even get the ball back without an onside kick they way their defense was starting to perform. The interception before that seemed to zip the game away, but the +Denver Broncos had a chance still until that fumble. A challenge was not done by Coach John Fox from the Broncos, and the Colts retained possession. Broncos forced another punt but with no timeouts remaining, the Broncos fell short. Kicking a FG with less than 30 seconds remaining and attempting an onside that was recovered by the +Indianapolis Colts.

Peyton Manning finished with an unusually low completion percentage, going 29 for 49 with 386 yards passing, 3 TDs and 1 INT (as well as a fumble lost). Eric Decker led the receivers with 8 catches for 150 yards, and 1 TD. Andrew Luck was 21 for 38 with 228 yards passing and 3 TD (plus 4 for 29 yards and 1 rushing TD, running the ball). Darius Heyward-Bey who will have a big spot to fill with Wayne's injury had 4 catches for 44 and 1 TD.

Boxscore from the game:

Notes: Reggie Wayne tore his ACL in this game. +BRONCOS CR3W wishes the all-pro player all the best in his recovery and would never want to see anyone injured. He is an absolute pro in every manner. Our best wishes to him as he recovers. 

Want to touch upon the flop by Luck and if Vickerson deserved to be penalized such a costly call and why are things like that not reviewable. Such as the man that shoves back in a scuffle that gets a flag. Replay reveals it, it cannot be difficult to buzz the refs down and tell them the penalty goes the other way. The Broncos still had life as the Colts decided to throw a pass that was incomplete and stopped the clock under 3 min to go, but Kevin Vickerson got a questionable roughing the passer penalty that appeared to be a flop of the NBA type of men's European Soccer by Andrew Luck. Vickerson no doubt could have made more of an attempt to avoid "bumping" Luck, but Luck completely oversold it to the "nth degree" as Luck would say. Sports is sports, but American sports used to value being true to the antics of a flop, etc and if football players embrace it, as a fan I will be sickened as I am in every single basketball game I watch now compared to the NBA at its peak in the mid 80s to mid 90s.

A subject I am sure +NBA CR3W will absolutely be touching upon once basketball begins.

The Broncos defense was porous once again, but did show signs of being a more difficult group to attack with the return of their yesteryear sack leader. Champ Bailey re-injured the injury he worked so hard to return back from and may be out for quite some time. Reports on that to come out later from the Broncos camp. Coach Jon Fox declared him "week to week," which can be interpreted various ways, but you normally expect that to be several weeks when it comes to Coach Fox.