Indianapolis Colts (11-5) at Denver Broncos (12-4)
|Date & Time||Sunday January 11, 2015, 4:40 PM (EST)|
The Line: Denver Broncos -7 -- Over/Under: 53
The Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos play in the divisional round Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a win over the Bengals in the wild card round and can reach their first conference championship under Andrew Luck. In order to pull off the upset, the Colts will turn to Luck like they have all season long. The Colts have no running game to speak of, which is why Luck has thrown the ball more than 600 times this season. While T.Y. Hilton remains the top target in Indy, guys such as Reggie Wayne and Coby Fleener will have to play more of a factor in this matchup. The Colts have won 16 of their last 22 games when Luck throws for at least two touchdowns. Defensively, the Colts defensive backs will have to be ready to go, especially Vontae Davis who is often covering the opposing teams top wideout.
The Denver Broncos have won five of their last six games and hope to return to their second straight conference championship. While a lot of the attention is on Manning and all of his weapons, it’s the Broncos defense that will determine this game. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware will be asked to pressure the Colts quarterback all night and help create a couple of turnovers. The Broncos know they can’t allow Luck to stand in the pocket all day, and they have the guys to speed the game up a bit. Of course, the Broncos offense that includes playmakers such as Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas, will impact this game as well but the defense will set the tone. Like the Colts, it’ll also be interesting to see if the Broncos can get anything out of their running game with C.J. Anderson.
The Colts are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 vs. AFC and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 playoff road games. The Broncos are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 playoff games and 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 games on grass. The Colts are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
This has the feel of being a classic shootout with the team having the ball last wins. The Colts always wake up when playing the Broncos given the past history with Manning. Add in the fact this is a playoff game, the free touchdown here will come in handy. After all, let's face it, the Broncos have been a little shaky over the last month or so..