Broncos v. Colts Report Card

The Broncos' gameplan didn't work. They weren't particularly daring on offense. Defensively, Denver took some shots blitzing Peyton Manning, but had almost no success doing it. They didn't have enough depth to compete when the Colts spread the field, but their plan to use Roc Alexander on Reggie Wayne was disastrous.

REPORT CARD VS. COLTS

PASSING OFFENSE
C-minus
-- Jake Plummer's final numbers -- 24-of-34 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns -- weren't bad. But he had two completions for 26 yards by the time the Colts had built a 21-0 lead. The Broncos couldn't convert a third down as the game got away from them, and Plummer could have helped out by making a play or two. To Plummer's credit, he did have a very good second half, albeit well to late for the Broncos.

RUSHING OFFENSE
C-minus
-- The Broncos didn't establish the run early, and then never got the chance to do it because they fell behind by so much in the first half. The Broncos should have been able to run better against the Colts early in the game, but just couldn't get it done. Denver broke no big plays running the ball, which might have helped.

PASS DEFENSE
F
-- The Broncos had two veteran cornerbacks to defend three 1,000-yard receivers, which was a problem. Rookie Roc Alexander had a tough day against Reggie Wayne, giving up most of Wayne's 221 yards. The Broncos couldn't even slow down Peyton Manning in the first half, when he threw for 360 yards. Manning could have gone well over 500 yards had the Colts needed to pass the ball more in the second half.

RUSH DEFENSE
C
-- The Colts didn't need to run much because their passing game was so effective. But to the Broncos' credit they didn't allow Edgerrin James to run wild when he did get the ball.

SPECIAL TEAMS
D
-- The Broncos went the entire season without the special teams having a standout game. Denver's first punt return was fumbled, although it went out of bounds. The coverage teams allowed some big plays. And their one trick -- a surprise onside kick -- went right to a Colts lineman and never had a chance to be recovered.

COACHING
F
-- The Broncos' gameplan didn't work. They weren't particularly daring on offense. Defensively, Denver took some shots blitzing Peyton Manning, but had almost no success doing it. They didn't have enough depth to compete when the Colts spread the field, but their plan to use Roc Alexander on Reggie Wayne was disastrous. They didn't try anyone else on Wayne, but to be fair, their options were almost non-existent.

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