The Denver Broncos (2-2) are set to host the Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1) on Thursday Night Football this week. Here’s our quick preview for the AFC showdown.
Broncos’ keys to victory: Any game plan for beating the Colts starts with slowing down star RB Jonathan Taylor, if he plays this week (ankle). Since 2021, the Colts are undefeated (6-0-1) when Taylor rushes more than 20 times in a game. Denver will likely stack the box and go all in on shutting Taylor down, forcing QB Matt Ryan to throw against a talented secondary that features star CB Pat Surtain. On offense, the Broncos will have to lean on backup RBs Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone with Javonte Williams (ACL) set to miss the rest of the season.
Colts’ keys to victory: Establishing the run game will be key for Indianapolis after an underwhelming three-game stretch for Taylor. The Colts’ offensive line has been shaky this year and can’t be counted on to give Ryan enough time to beat Denver through the air. On defense, DT Grover Stewart will lead a line that will be tasked with keeping the Broncos’ run game in check. Indy’s defense will aim to punch the ball out when Gordon rushes — the veteran RB has fumbled four times through four games.
Matchup to watch: Colts LT Matt Pryor vs. Broncos OLB Bradley Chubb. Pryor is a fifth-year player who’s in his first season as a full-time starter with Indianapolis. He is off to a poor start this year, and Chubb won’t be an easy matchup. Chubb has totaled three sacks through four weeks.
Who wins? Both teams will be looking to bounce back on a short week after losses on Sunday. Playing at home, Denver will have the advantage now that QB Russell Wilson is starting to heat up – he had two passing TDs and a rushing score in Week 4. Broncos 24, Colts 17.