In what may be the marquee game for the NFL this regular season, Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos will play the Indianapolis Colts for the first time since Manning left the Colts. All of the pageantry and anticipation would have been very high regardless of the team’s records. The fact that Denver has looked like an unstoppable force in every game it has played thus far and the Colts are a surprising 4-2 only makes the game more interesting. This is a prime time affair that will have the attention of the entire football-watching world. Recent comments by Colts owner Jim Irsay that seemed to minimize the impact Manning had during his time with the Colts only added fuel to a fire.
The Broncos have been the undisputed best team in the NFL so far this season. Whatever the offense may have lacked last season have been replaced. Tight End play was inconsistent last season and that has now been solidified by second year man Julius Thomas who has come into his own this season and become one of Manning’s top targets, in particularly down in the redzone. With Demarius Thomas and Eric Decker the team was set with wide receivers on the outside, the addition of arguably the best slot receiver of all time in Wes Welker has made this offense unstoppable. The Colts are tough against the run so it will be interesting to see if rookie Monte Ball gets more carries this week. Knowshon Moreno has been nothing short of spectacular and Ronnie Hillman has been good out of the backfield. Ball however is the toughest runner amongst the 3 in between the tackles and could be a surprise factor on Sunday.
The Colts are a hard team to figure. Their 4-2 record has taken a unusual route. There are 2 big wins against San Francisco on the road and against previously unbeaten Seattle. They struggled against the Raiders and needed a defensive stand late in the game to pull out the win while their other win was against Jacksonville who is easily the leagues worst team. After last weeks loss to the Chargers it is fair to question the depth of this team. This week’s game will go a long way towards determining whether or not they are a contender or a pretender. Midseason pickup Trent Richardson has yet to display the talents that made the team give up a first round pick for him. He has had a few weeks in the Colts system now and won’t have that excuse to lean back on if he has another underwhelming performance.
The pregame will all be centered on Manning and after all he did for that franchise that is how it should be. Once the ball is kicked two teams are going to have to find a way to win a football game. Andrew Luck is a special player and he will show that on Sunday night.
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