Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts Offenses Fail to Impress on ‘Thursday Night Football’

Posted on: October 7, 2022, 03:29h. 

Last updated on: October 7, 2022, 12:56h.

It took almost 20 years, but the Thursday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts at Empower Field in Denver reached a milestone in the NFL. It’s not something either team is proud of, though, as both forgot to bring their offenses in last night’s sleeper.

Broncos vs Colts
Indianapolis Colts QB Matt Ryan tries to escape a sack from Broncos linebacker Baron Browning. The Colts took the win Thursday night after forcing the game into OT. (Image: USA Today)

The Colts’ 12-9 victory became the first game with zero touchdowns and more than four interceptions since the Colts beat the Browns in Week 1 of the 2003 season. In that game, future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning and Kelly Holcomb had two interceptions each in a 9-6 final.

Despite the lack of any offensive success from either bench, there was enough defense to make up for it. However, it became apparent that the Broncos are in desperate need of more than a few upgrades. Neither team was able to count on their starting running back,s and both had to replace leading defensive players.

Kicking Their Way to OT

Colts kicker Chase McLaughlin booted a 48-yard field goal to allow the Colts to beat the Broncos in overtime. This followed his 31-yard field goal with just five seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into OT.

Denver QB Russell Wilson missed a game-winning – and the only – TD opportunity on 4th and 1 with the OT clock slightly more than two minutes. Wide receiver KJ Hamler had almost half of the end zone to himself, but the QB never noticed. Instead, he threw and connected with his favorite receiver of the night – the Mile High turf.

The Broncos had a chance to take the victory away from him with a late drive, but came up short. A pass attempt by Wilson to wide receiver Courtland Sutton was cut off by Colts veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore to give the Colts the game.

Gilmore’s intervention stopped an error-plagued contest where the defenses consistently dominated. Wilson, who completed 21 of 39 passes for 274 yards on the night, had two interceptions and was sacked four times.

Colts QB Matt Ryan can claim victory despite Broncos safety Caden Sterns intercepting two of his passes – one of which was thrown right to him. He also picked up his 10th fumble in five weeks, and added six sacks to his record, taking him to 21 for his career. The Colts improved to 2-2-1 with the win, while the Broncos fell to a losing 2-3 record.

The average yards per play in the game was only 4.7. The total number of plays for each team was 72, slightly more than half of the average for the league this year. With a total of 10 sacks and 12 punts, defensive strategies and weak offenses kept the game moving.

Nyheim Hines Out with Concussion

The game got off to a bad start in the first quarter after a terrifying injury to Colts running back Nyheim Hines. He was pulled from the field after a concussion that left him unable to stand. Hines’ legs buckled when he tried to walk after taking a heavy hit. He was sent to the locker room and didn’t return for the rest of the game.

The incident immediately revived memories of Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion against the Cincinnati Bengals less than a week ago. On that occasion, Tagovailoa seemed uncertain on his feet after a heavy hit.

It didn’t help that he had taken another big hit just a week earlier. Allowing him to continue to play was a poor decision that is still causing controversy across the league.

Underdogs Take Another

The Colts went into the game as the underdogs, and while not pretty, a win’s a win. Bettors who took Indianapolis at about +150 received a nice payout. If they coupled that bet with an under on the total, they picked up even more.

One bettor in Mexico had a really good time with this game. Analyst Christian Rey shared what one of his followers sent him by private message, boasting a high profit by betting on the tie between Indianapolis and Denver.

The fan, whose identity is unknown, put MXN1000 (US$49.75) on the tie at the end of regulation. It was a smart move, as he won MXN101,000 (US$5,025).