‘Thursday Night Football’ Sees the Colts Face the Broncos in Denver

Posted on: October 6, 2022, 07:05h. 

Last updated on: October 6, 2022, 10:52h.

The duel between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London highlights Week 5 of the 2022 NFL season. But, Thursday night’s battle between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos might prove just as interesting.

Colts vs Broncos
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor escapes from Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Foye Oluokun. The Colts will face the Denver Broncos without Taylor on Thursday Night Football. (Image: IndyStar)

Both teams come into this match with a loss last week, so a win here has more significance. Neither team is meeting expectations so far, with the Colts particularly finding heat. Their performance is so off that ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith thinks they could be “the biggest disappointment in the NFL.”

Both teams are coming in off games on Sunday, which means both have had short weeks with limited practice time.

Colts Missing Key Starters

Colts All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor will miss Thursday night’s game because of injury. It’s his first injury absence in six years, dating back to his college days at the University of Wisconsin.

His only absence until now was for personal reasons. Joining Taylor on the bench with injuries are linebacker Shaquille Leonard, safety Julian Blackmon, and defensive end Tyquan Lewis.

The Colts enter this week ranked 27th in rushing yards per game at 87.8, and an average of 3.5 yards per carry. This is far below last season, when Taylor led the NFL with 1,811 rushing yards and the Colts led the league in rushing yards.

For their part, the Broncos have lost starting running back Javonte Williams for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee. He joins defensive end Randy Gregory on injured reserve.

Denver is also without linebackers Jonathon Cooper and Aaron Patrick, and safety PJ Locke, who is in the concussion protocol. This all spells trouble for the Broncos’ defense.

Following these injuries, Denver signed veteran running back Latavius ​​Murray from the New Orleans Saints. He played for the Saints in their 28-25 loss to the Vikings in London on Sunday after being lifted from the practice squad for the game. Murray rushed for 57 yards on 11 carries and scored a touchdown, although it wasn’t enough to give the Saints a win.

Adding Murray still may not give the Broncos a lot to look forward to offensively, especially since quarterback Russell Wilson is at less than 100% while dealing with a shoulder injury. Colts QB Matt Ryan, meanwhile, has only been marginally successful for the Colts this season.

As a result, both teams could see their defenses have strong games on Thursday night.

Which Horse has a Better Kick?

The Broncos found support from oddsmakers in the game, getting -165 on DraftKings and -178 at Caesars. The Colts come in as underdogs at +140 and +150, respectively.

The underdogs could take the game, although it won’t be a pretty battle. Even the books expect more defensive action, listing the over/under at just 42. That total might even be too high.

The over has hit nine consecutive times for the Colts, including in five road games. When these two have faced off previously, the under has hit 10 of 14 times. A low-scoring game with the Colts producing a better kick than the Broncos is likely.