Indianapolis, IN - The Indianapolis Colts made a huge statement with a 39-33 win over the Denver Broncos this evening in the return of former Colts superstar quarterback Peyton Manning. Things started out slow for the Colts, but Andrew Luck and company figured things out and wound up coming away with a huge win. The Colts have now made three big statements in wins over the 49ers, Seahawks, and Broncos.
Andrew Luck led the way for the Colts against a Broncos defense that ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed. Luck threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns and once again did not turn the football over. He has made a lot of progress from last year in the turnover department and that is one of the reasons that the Colts are highly considered to be a serious Super Bowl contender.
The ground game performed decently well, picking up a total of 121 yards. Trent Richardson led the way with 14 carries for 37 yards, while backup running back Donald Brown picked up 23 yards on 11 carries. Darrius Heyward-Bey came up with a big 30-yard run as well for the Colts.
Reggie Wayne led the Colts in receiving with five catches for 50 yards, while Heyward-Bey played a big role as well, catching four passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Coby Fleener (five catches, 38 yards, TD), Donald Brown (three catches, 42 yards), T.Y. Hilton (two catches, 27 yards), and Stanley Havili (one catch, 20 yards, TD) all chipped in through the air as well.
Peyton Manning played a very solid game as well, throwing for 386 yards and three touchdowns, but did throw an interception as well. Knowshon Moreno led the way on the ground for the Broncos by rushing for 40 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown as well. Eric Decker had a huge game for the Broncos as well by catching eight passes for 150 yards and a touchdown to go along with those numbers.
The Colts defense was the main question mark heading into tonight’s match-up with the Broncos, and they rose to the occasion and played a great game. They forced three fumbles, intercepted Manning once, and also sacked Manning four times. If they are capable of playing at this level for the rest of the season, they will be an even tougher team to beat.
Overall, this was a huge win for the Colts and the city of Indianapolis. The Broncos have been considered by far the best team in the AFC and possibly the NFL throughout this season so far, but the Colts showed that they are to be considered as well. Andrew Luck played a great game on a huge stage and didn’t show any nervousness or lack of poise. This team does need to figure out how to play at this level against less talented opponents, but this is a sweet victory nonetheless.