By: Robert L. Porter Jr.

The final Thursday night football game of the 2017 season is what has come to be known as the Peyton Manning Bowl. Although neither team in this contest has had anything remotely close to stellar Quarterback play, these teams are looking for a win and to finish this year off on a positive note.


The Broncos receive the opening kickoff and they moved into Colts territory but the issues at QB reared its ugly head again as Trevor Siemian throws an interception to Kenny Moore and Indy takes over at midfield. Coming off 36 carries just 4 days ago, Frank Gore looked fresh as he opens the drive with a short run then a screen pass that takes his team deep into scoring position. After he hit Jack Doyle on a short pass, Jacoby Brissett runs it in on 3rd & 2 from 7 yards out to make it 7-0 Colts. Denver’s 2nd possession started with an Emmanuel Sanders false start then a Sanders 26 yard grab on the following play. The Broncos running game picks up a first down then Siemian finds Demaryius Thomas for 24 yards putting them at The Indianapolis 7 yard line. 3 unsuccessful pass plays ends in a Brandon McManus 40 yard field goal attempt that he missed wide right. The Colts offense retakes the the field still holding the 7-0 lead. A few plays from the Colts takes us to the end of the 1st quarter.


To open the 2nd period, Indy is unable to gain anymore yardage and are forced to punt instead of trying a 56 yard field goal with Vinatieri. The game had a short delay when Colts TE Brandon Williams had to be put on a back board and carted off after a helmet to helmet hit on the punt. Trevor Siemian was sacked at the end of the last drive and hurt his shoulder so Brock Osweiler is now under center. His first drive is a 3 & out and they punt it back to Brissett and his offense. The Colts offense strings together a few first downs on their way to 3 points courtesy of the ageless Adam Vinatieri from 45 yards out, Indy now leads 10-0. The Broncos need points on this drive and they start off on the right foot with a 22 yard pass to Thomas then a nice run by Anderson puts them across the 50. They would find themselves in a 4th & 2 at the 33 but they are able to convert. Osweiler to Sanders twice gets them inside the 20 and to the 2 minute warning. After the 2 minute timeout Brock pulls down the ball and lumbers 18 yards for the TD to make the score 10-7 with 1:19 remaining before the half. The Colts go 3 & out and Denver has the ball back in just 26 seconds. Denver is unable to do much as they just run the clock out and we go to halftime with the home team leading 10-7.


To start the 2nd half Brissett finds Doyle a few times to get things going. The Colts offense has a good rhythm and flow as they moved down the field into Broncos territory for another field goal that gives them a 13-7 lead. The Broncos come out with a flea flicker to start their first possession of the 3rd quarter. The drive gets across the 50 and for the 2nd time in the game they go for it on 4th down. This time a defensive holding keeps the drive alive. The running game moved them closer to the end zone with two first downs then Osweiler hits Cody Latimer from 22 yards out for the TD to take the lead 14-13. After the great drive by Denver the Colts respond with a 3 & out. The Broncos now have the momentum and they are looking to put a strangle hold on this game after trailing by 10 early. After an 11 yard run by Anderson, Osweiler throws a dart down the middle of the field to Jeff Heuerman for a 54 yard TD. Osweiler would hit Latimer for the 2pt conversion to make it 22-13. Again Brissett isn’t able to pick up a single first down. The 3rd quarter ended and they will be punting when we start the 4th.


With a 9 point lead Denver is starting to utilize the run to drain this clock. Penalties begin to move them in the wrong direction as they find themselves in a 3rd & 21 but a flat out stupid play ends with facemask call on Antonio Morrison giving them an automatic first down. Another 3rd down conversation by Osweiler keeps the drive moving into Colts territory. Indianapolis just can’t stop Denver right now, this drive has already used up over 9 minutes. A McManus kick would be how the drive concluded and pushed the Colts deficit to 12 as the score is now 25-13. Trying to get some Points, Indy comes out in the no huddle and Brissett hit Doyle on 4 of 7 plays but a drop by Chester Rogers on 4th down gives the ball back to Denver with 3:55 left to play. C.J. Anderson kept the offense on schedule all night as it felt like he ran for 5 or more yards on first down constantly. The Broncos, led by Brock Osweiler racked up 462 yards on the way to this road win.


C.J. Anderson – 30 carries 158 yards

Brock Osweiler – 12/17 194 yards 2 TDs, 3 rushes 17 yards 1 TD

Cody Latimer – 3 rec 60 yards 1 TD, 2pt conversion

Jack Doyle – 7 rec 47 yards

Demaryius Thomas – 5 rec 69 yards