Broncos Report Card vs Colts

Check out how the Broncos graded out against the Indianapolis Colts.

PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus -- Kyle Orton was pretty good, and Brandon Marshall was amazing. Marshall set a NFL record with 21 catches against the Colts. Marshall had 200 yards and a couple of touchdowns, while the rest of the receivers were virtually ignored. Of Orton's 41 attempts, 28 went to Marshall. The Broncos had little reason to go to anyone else because the Colts couldn't stop Marshall. Orton did throw one interception on a pass to Marshall.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- Denver's inability to convert on a short-yardage situation bordered on comical. Knowshon Moreno struggled in every situation the entire game, rushing for 63 yards on 23 carries. On two occasions he was stuffed on fourth-and-1. Correll Buckhalter left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter.

PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- In the first quarter, Peyton Manning had 111 yards. In the final three quarters, he had 109 yards and three interceptions. The Broncos didn't change many things after Indianapolis started the game with touchdowns on its first two drives, it simply settled down and played better. But injuries hit the secondary hard, and when Manning needed to complete a couple of key passes after Denver cut its deficit to five points in the fourth quarter, he did.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- Denver allowed Joseph Addai to rush for 67 yards on 16 carries, and Mike Hart added 28 more. The Colts didn't have a carry go longer than 12 yards. The only major knock against the run defense was that it allowed Hart to pick up a key third down late in the game when LB Mario Haggan had a shot at the tackle well short of the first-down marker.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-plus -- Mitch Berger has punted well in recent weeks, and he continued that against the Colts. The coverage teams did a very good job, not allowing any big plays. But Eddie Royal didn't make any big plays, and the Broncos could have used one. He averaged 21 yards per kickoff return, and his longest punt return was 5 yards.

COACHING: D -- There was plenty to debate, starting with Josh McDaniels' decision to defer after winning the coin toss. Peyton Manning had the Broncos down 14-0 after Indianapolis' first two possessions. There were other choices, such as his decisions to go for it on fourth-and-1 and his refusal to use Peyton Hillis in those short-yardage situations, which will be debated.



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