Week 15 begins with an uninspiring contest between two teams that have no shot at the playoffs as the Denver Broncos travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. The Broncos are coming off a nice win, while the Colts are happy to return home for the first time in 3 weeks. With no possibility of even inching to a .500 record, these two teams will be playing for pride and paychecks. Kickoff inside Lucas Oil Stadium is at 8:25 PM ET.
Since 2005, these two teams have played against each other 10 times. The Colts hold the advantage over that span with an 8-2 record. However, Denver did win their meeting last year 34-20. During that span, the Colts are 5-0 at home.
Denver (4-9) is 0-6 on the road this season and hopes to get their first road victory this Thursday night as they take on the Colts. The Broncos are coming off a 23-0 crushing of the New York Jets who were fighting to stay in contention with the AFC Wild Card spots. The victory ended the Broncos 8 game losing streak. They started off the season 3-1 before dropping 8 games straight and losing all chances of making the playoffs.
The Colts (3-10) are 2-4 at home on the season, securing 2 of their 3 total wins in the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium. They’re coming off a tough OT loss to the Bills in a blizzard. It was an exciting game to watch, but it extended their losing streak to 4 straight games. This week, the Colts are an underdog at home despite only having one less win on the season than the Broncos. Indy looks to break their losing streak just like Denver did last weekend.
The spread opened with the Colts getting 3 points. It has since come down to 2 points. The Over/Under opened at 41.5 points and has come down to 41 total points.
In my opinion, Denver pulled off the biggest upset of the weekend. Nobody expected them to shutout a hungry Jets team that was still in the hunt for the playoffs. In fact, most fans and pundits thought the Broncos were going to lose their 9th straight game. But, that defense showed flashes of the dominance that terrorized the NFL over the last few years and held the Jets to just 100 total yards.
New York could only muster up 49 yards on the ground and 51 yards through the air. This was the Broncos first shutout since 2005 when they beat the Jets 27-0. Despite their success, I have a hard time believing that Denver will keep this momentum going into this week’s game.
Denver has experienced some of the worst QB play in the league this year, which is why they are 4-9 on the season. Even in their shutout victory last weekend, Siemian only threw for 200 yards and 1 TD. There’s potential for Denver’s offense to have success this weekend, but does anyone believe they will? I certainly don’t. I mean, they’re only averaging 17.6 ppg and have only scored more than 20 points on 3 separate occasions this year.
It’s a little too late for this team to come together and instill confidence in bettors. And, I certainly don’t like their 0-6 road record. Their last road game was two weeks ago and they lost 35-9 to the Dolphins.
This week, I can see the defense having success against the Colts offense. However, Indy is a scrappy team that competes each week. They have a nice running game at 104 ypg with Gore and Mack leading the way. Last weekend in the snow, Gore rushed for 130 yards on 36 carries. I believe if the Colts want a chance to beat the Broncos, then they need run the ball with Gore and Mack to wear down this Broncos defense. The Dolphins exposed a statistically good Broncos run defense two weeks ago and I believe that is the way to beat them.
Defensively, the Colts need to pressure Siemian who is not any better than Indy’s Jacoby Brissett. In fact, Jacoby has better numbers on the year. Trevor has 13 interceptions to Jacoby’s 7 interceptions and they both have similar number of TD throws (12 to 11). Jacoby has 400 more passing yards, but he has played more games than Trevor. Bottom line, Denver is more prone to turning the ball over on offense with Siemian as the QB and I believe it could happen this weekend. Look for the Colts to get at least 1 turnover.
Denver has seen a bit of an uptick in their run game as of late with CJ Anderson producing out of the 3 Broncos backs. But, it’s nothing to keep a defense honest and I don’t see the Colts overly committed to stopping the run. In fact, I believe they will come after Siemian all game and that will be the key to their victory.
Denver is 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games against the Colts. Indianapolis is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 home games and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games against the Broncos.
I believe this game will come down to which quarterback makes the most mistakes, and I believe that will be Siemian. The Colts have won 2 of their 3 games on the season at home and I see them taking this one too. Brissett has been more consistent this season than Siemian and I believe the Colts will run the ball with success against Denver this week, which will take the pressure off of Jacoby. Look for the Colts to pull out the victory late in the game 24-20.