By Conor Perrett

Thursday Night Football is back with two teams who in the pre-season, most everyone thought could be potential contenders. 

Well it’s not been the ideal start for either side as both teams are still looking for that spark that is going to kick start their season. The same can be said for both sides as the Colts and Broncos offences are both trailing their respective defences.

Denver Broncos

Defense-adjusted Value Over Average are adjusted to take into account the quality of offensive opponents. 

The Broncos really went all-in this off-season when they traded the house for Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson. For some time now the Denver have had an overall solid team with a strong defence, but have been missing that final important piece at QB since Peyton Manning retired. With a rotation of quarterbacks over the years, they went out and got their guy and brought in a new offensive minded head coach to work with him.

So far, this fairy-tale story hasn’t gone the way they would have hoped. Nathaniel Hackett came from a Packers’ system that was extremely effective on offence last year, but has failed to carry over that success thus far. Moving the ball hasn’t been too much of a problem, as this side ranks 21st in yards per game at 335.8. It’s their issues in the red-zone that has been holding them back, as they rank dead last in red-zone efficiency leading to only 30th in scoring offence.

Now they have the weapons to be better. Javonte Williams went down this week leaving a massive hole at running back, but former pro bowler Melvin Gordon is there to fill the hole, if he can manage to hold onto the ball as he has four fumbles on the season already.

With a receivers room of Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and KJ Hamler, Wilson has more than enough options to throw to. With expectations high to make the playoffs, it’s always going to be tough to figure things out quicker under a new system. It’s even harder when in the toughest division in football, where you have to move quickly and make an immediate impact,which the Broncos have failed to do so far.. 

Broncos Injury Report

Indianapolis Colts

Defense-adjusted Value Over Average Rankings

To finish the season last year the Colts’ offence ranked 13th, with a quarterback in Carson Wentz, who they traded away after inconsistent play. They would bring in 37-year-old former MVP Matt Ryan in what was a highly-praised move at the time. Well, fast forward seven months and this Colts offence is now ranked 32nd and is the most underwhelming team in the league.

The main cause of all this is the heart and soul of an offence: the offensive line. The regression of this unit has taken people by surprise, as last season they blocked for the leading rusher by over 550 yards. 

Yet in Sunday’s loss to Tennessee they could only get 38 rushing yards on the ground. Indy’s offensive line so far looks like a shell of its former self. Through the first four weeks, the Colts have allowed pressure on 28.3% of Ryan’s drop-backs, per TruMedia, and the 15 sacks they’ve allowed is fourth most in the league. They’re on pace to allow 63 sacks, for comparison’s sake, the Colts allowed 18 sacks across the 2018 season, then 21 two years later. Tie that in with a lack of passing weapons and it means for a stale offence. 

Former Philadelphia offensive- coordinator and Head Coach Frank Reich hasn’t scored more than 20 points for six straight games now. With their lead man Jonathon Taylor ruled out for this TNF matchup, it adds even more question marks on how this team can improve. 

Colts Injury Report


As we look ahead to this matchup, both teams are stacked with injuries and will be missing important pieces to their sides. Denver lost Javonte Williams at running back and their top pass-rusher Randy Gregory also got placed on injured reserve earlier in the week.

While in Indianapolis, they are perhaps missing their two most important players with Jonathon Taylor and Shaquille Leonard set to miss out on this prime time game.

It makes for an even matchup in a way, as both sides will have to adapt to missing players. As mentioned both teams have had poor offences so far and have been relying on their defences to keep them in games. 

But in a home matchup with an attitude like no other, you expect the Broncos to hold off the Colts. So far to the season they’ve looked the less worse offence and have had the better defence. In a game that may include some turnovers, you expect Russ to control the game throughout.

Colts 13, Broncos 23

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s