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Old 09-27-2010, 04:35 AM   #1
Bronco Rob
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Default Denver undone by red-zone failures

Manning wins air duel with Orton; Colts bounce Broncos 27-13

Denver undone by red-zone failures
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
09/27/2010 01:40:41 AM MDT

Understanding fully that Passing Peyton cannot be defeated at his own game, the Broncos developed a plan this week that focused on deficit reduction.

Don "Wink" Martindale, the Broncos' defensive coordinator, first focused on taking away Indianapolis' running game. The idea: Force Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts into a single-dimension offense.

Colts runners were held to 1.8 yards per carry. Check.

Next, Martindale wanted to take away Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, the two most lethal of Manning's four targets. Champ Bailey took care of Wayne, who, with an oft-double-covered Clark, combined for 109 yards receiving, or a pedestrian average of 54.5. Check.

That left Manning pretty much isolated to defeat the Broncos by himself. Check?

No check. Some tasks are easier to complete than others. Mostly because when it comes to passing, nobody outpasses Manning, the Colts beat the Broncos 27-13 on a spectacularly sunny and warm Sunday afternoon at Invesco Field at Mile High.

"There's a reason why he does Gatorade commercials," Martindale said. "And it's not his looks."

Between Passing Peyton and Air Orton, this was the most prolific passing game in the young NFL season. Combined, the teams accounted for 797 yards passing and 87 yards rushing.

The old motto of 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust has been replaced by the 800-80 rule.

"People say it's a passing league and all that," Manning said. "I'm not one to have a full analysis of the league. All I know is what we do as an offense and we try to be balanced."

There were good reasons for Manning and Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton to hand over the game to their running backs.

The Colts dressed only three receivers for Manning to target, one of whom was undrafted rookie Blair White, who was just called up from the practice squad.

Having the same receivers sprint route after route, in the mile-high altitude, figured to be a formula for fourth-quarter fatigue.

The Broncos had a far more uncomplicated reason to aid Orton with a running attack: The Colts can't stop the run.

Pregame plans, though, inevitably dissolve into: You are what you are.

The final stats were stunningly lopsided. The Colts, so thin at receiver, gained a mere 29 yards in 13 carries from their leading ball carrier, Joseph Addai.

"It's not like we weren't trying to run it," Manning said. "We were trying to run it. I don't know how many attempts we had. We gave it a shot. We didn't just abandon it. It just wasn't our day in the running game."

The Broncos gave new running back Laurence Maroney a try. Filling in for the injured Knowshon Moreno, Maroney led the Broncos with 24 yards and 12 carries, which was all too typical of their season-long rushing deficiency.

"We would have liked to have run the ball, but then we got down 13-0 and we started making some plays in the passing game," Orton said. "Hopefully, we learned something from that team today. They've got the recipe. Peyton's a great player, they've got a great offense and they're great at taking what the defense gives them."

Manning warmed up by testing Bailey early. Bailey was playing despite a right heel injury that had him hobbling away from Invesco Field on crutches just seven days earlier.

Later, Manning clearly started picking on rookie Perrish Cox, who was subbing for the injured Andre Goodman. The result

was an enormous second half for receiver Austin Collie.

The former Brigham Young star had eight catches for 144 yards after intermission.

"I don't know if we threw to a certain corner or away from a certain corner," Manning said. "Kind of followed the progression of the plays."

Uh-huh. All that was missing from that statement was that fake mustache Manning wears in another commercial.

In defeat, Orton threw for a career- high 476 yards. Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney put up phenomenal numbers, combining for 18 catches and 309 yards.

Yet, the Broncos weren't all that close to winning because of two turnovers that led to 10 Colts points. Because they failed in four attempts to score from the Colts' 1-yard line. And because they turned over the ball again on downs in the red zone in the fourth quarter.

And they lost because when the score was 20-13, with 7:32 remaining and the Colts facing a third-and-15 at their own 17, Manning threw a perfect deep pass to Collie that beat Cox for a 48-yard gain.

"I don't think we'll see someone like Peyton Manning for a long time," Broncos defensive lineman Justin Bannan said.

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Old 09-27-2010, 04:37 PM   #2
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:50 AM   #3
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:54 AM   #4
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:25 AM   #5
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OK...just watching that video, why the hell didnt Moroney run to his left towards the CB on the first run instead of cutting back inside to the LBs? If he runs left he gets 3-4 more yards easily.

On the 6th play (4th and goal), you can really see what McDaniels is talking about with finishing plays. The entire Colts defense is still on its feet around the ball and in the background you can see our whole offensive line laying on the ground. Finish your damn blocks.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:00 AM   #6
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that 3rd down pass around 1:37 still makes me insanely pissed

I was so angry about that at the game, I don't see why we didn't just stick with running it...yeah I know our running game sucks but there is only one way to improve
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