By Julie Dixon //@ABroncoNole
Broncos 25 – Colts 13
The Thursday night football game between the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts was a win for the Broncos, but it wasn’t all good for Denver.
Let’s start with the sad. I’ve never been a fan of quarterback Trevor Siemian as a starter. I think former head coach Gary Kubiak projected himself onto Siemian and elevated him beyond his talents. Playing experience, plus practice prowess and a Peyton Manning endorsement, ended up helping him win over yet another head coach. He shouldn’t have been given more than four games last season. With that said, it was a sad way to end this year like he did.
After throwing an interception, which ended in the Colts marching down the field for their only touchdown, Siemian took off running. He was hit and dislocated the same shoulder that was operated on over the off-season. Siemian was put on IR and, in my opinion, there is no doubt he will be released when the season ends. Tough to imagine anyone trading for him, and Denver would be foolish to keep him. If a team had any interest, they could just wait and pick him up for peanuts.
QB Brock Osweiler stepped in during the second quarter and did well. It was against a dreadful Colts defense, however, his passes were on time and on target. He was 12-17, 2 passing and one rushing TD which was the first time in Denver’s history a relief QB accomplished that. Good job. As a whole, the offense was 7-15 on third downs, 1-3 on fourth down. They were 1 of 3 in the red zone, which has been an issue all season. It was also the first time Denver won at Lucus Oil Stadium.
Running back C.J. Anderson got his seventh career 100-yard rushing game. Also of note, wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas totaled five receptions for 69 yards. He now has 73 receptions on the season. He is the first NFL player to record six 70+catch seasons since Detroit WR Calvin Johnson and the first Bronco since Rod Smith.
The play of the game, however, didn’t count for anything other than a highlight reel. On the way to a touchdown, running back Devontae Booker hurdled a defensive back. It looked like he was five feet off the ground. Unfortunately, a holding flag brought it back.
[Highlight] Devontae Booker with an amazing hurdle; TD gets called back with holding penalty on Bolles pic.twitter.com/g9KoRta6UC
— TheRenderNFL (@TheRenderNFL) December 15, 2017
Colts QB Jacoby Brissett is learning. He did ok against a top-notch defense. Indy should be encouraged if they have to move on from the injury-ravaged Andrew Luck. The same flaws that the Colts have had with Luck are still there, and a first-year signal caller can only do so much. Not to mention, Denver held their running game in check.
Speaking of new starting quarterbacks, although Osweiler looked good, especially after his disastrous showings against the Eagles, Bengals, and Patriots*, head coach Vance Joseph broadly hinted that QB Paxton Lynch will start the remaining two games as his ankle is healed enough to play.
It’s tough to judge against the second worst team in the NFL, although these Colts looked worse than the Browns. Connor McGovern was a bright spot in his second start at right guard for the injured Ron Leary. Heading into 2018, Denver may only need to bring in a tackle.
Defensive tackle Domata Peko, one of my favorite players, showed that his presence matters. The defensive line is much better with him, and defensive end Adam Gotsis has thrived as a result. Gotsis was tied with Bradley Roby in tackles. As an aside, in his last two games, cornerback Aqib Talib has only allowed 8 yards. Wow.
Next up, Denver travels to DC to take on the Redskins. A team that is far better than their record indicates, but injuries have killed them. Look for several young guys to play as we finally enter evaluation mode.
Talk Broncos With Julie on Twitter @ABroncoNole