Broncos vs. Colts Report Card

Broncos Update breaks down the grades on both sides of the ball, following Sunday's 34-31 loss to the Indianapolis Colts – Check out the full story.

REPORT CARD VS. COLTS

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Jake Plummer made some plays and helped keep the Broncos in a shootout against the Colts. He made a great long pass to David Kircus to set up Denver's first touchdown, and had great touch to Javon Walker on the second touchdown right before the first half. Plummer's final numbers weren't great, with 174 yards, but he played a solid game. His most glaring mistake was a fumble that set up a Colts touchdown.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- With Tatum Bell ailing because of turf toe problems and on the bench most of the second half, Mike Bell came in and rushed for 135 yards after halftime. Mike Bell showed off great moves and ran over people. He had fresh legs after barely playing the past few weeks. Cecil Sapp had a couple of nice runs from the fullback position as well.

PASS DEFENSE: F -- Peyton Manning did whatever he wanted. He found every open area on the field, and the Broncos were helpless to stop it. Denver wanted to get pressure on the quarterback with its defensive line, but that didn't work, and the Broncos didn't change gears and blitz more often. With so much time to throw, Manning picked apart the Broncos secondary.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Joseph Addai averaged 5.5 yards per carry against the Broncos, who weren't focusing on stopping the run. Denver wanted its defensive line to concentrate on rushing the passer and react to the run. That's one reason Addai had plenty of holes to run through. The Colts didn't run much, however, because the passing game was so effective.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The Broncos and Colts played to a stalemate on special teams. Each team had a couple of decent kickoff returns and got nothing on punt returns. Each kicker hit a clutch kick late in the game, with Adam Vinatieri's being the game-winner. The Broncos could have used a big play on special teams, but they have been rare this season.

COACHING: D -- The Broncos didn't have any answers on defense. Their game plan was ineffective, and they didn't change. They wanted to get a rush with their front four and rarely blitzed, even after the scheme didn't work. The positive was that the Broncos had their best offensive game of the season. They exploited weaknesses and clicked well. The only problem was late in the game, when they couldn't run time off the clock or get in the end zone, giving Peyton Manning too much time to win the game.



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