Denver (7-0) at Indianapolis (3-5)
When: Sunday, November 8th 2015
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Time: 4:25 ET | TV: CBS
Peyton Manning makes his return to Lucas Oil Stadium today as the undefeated Denver Broncos play the Indianapolis Colts. With a win today, Manning would surpass Brett Favre with the most regular-season victories in history at 187. Manning and the Broncos looked impressive all-around last week when they manhandled Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 29-10. Manning threw for 340 yards last week without a touchdown and has only thrown one scoring strike in the last three weeks. He has actually thrown at least one interception in every game this season and is on pace to throw more picks in a season since 2001. The Denver ground game is starting to come alive with a two-back attack in C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman. They still rank near the bottom in rushing, but Anderson busted out for a season-high 101 yards last week. Hillman has two 100-yard games this year and a 4.5 per carry average. Coach Gary Kubiak insisted this week that both backs will continue to split carries against Indianapolis’ 28th-ranked rushing defense. Denver’s defense has been bar far the best in the NFL this season, as it leads the league in sacks (29), scoring (16 points) and passing yards (171.9) per game.
As bad as the Colts have been this year, and it’s been terrible, they are still in first place in the pathetic AFC South at 3-5. Indianapolis is 3-0 against division opponents, but 0-5 outside. Andrew Luck threw three of his league-high 12 interceptions on Monday, as the Colts suffered their third straight loss with a 29-26 overtime loss at Carolina. The defeat had consequences as the team fired offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton the following day and handed play-calling responsibilities to associate Rob Chudzinski. Luck’s top receiver T.Y. Hilton may miss this week’s game due to a foot injury. He missed two days of practice this week, so Andre Johnson will need to step up. After a very slow start to the season, Johnson has now scored three times in the last four weeks, but has yet to break 100 yards in a game. With all the talk about the offensive woes, the defense is actually worse. They rank 30th in total yards, 27th against the pass, and 28th against the run. This could be a long day for the Colts on both sides of the ball.
This looks like it has route written all over it and I think that’s exactly what it will be. Denver’s defense is just too strong even for an experienced offensive coordinator. Bring in a new one for the first game, and it could get ugly. I’ll side with the public on this one.
Pick: Broncos -5.5