the broncos get a major test after a tough loss to jacksonville. injuries are starting to take their toll on the team, particularly at the linebacker and safety positions. john lynch and javon walker are game time decisions.
my keys to sunday's game:
1) pressure peyton manning. this is more important than controlling the clock. if the broncos can get peyton manning on his back or on the run often, they have a good shot at winning the game. not many teams are able to do this. this game is in the hands of elvis dumervil, jarvis moss, simeon rice & company.
2) stop the run with 7 men in the box. they haven't been able to do it all season, so expect to see plenty of joseph addai.
3) prevent the long ball. broncos' secondary needs to keep plays in front of them. with all of the colts weapons, the broncos can't afford to keep 8 men in the box.
4) finish drives. the broncos can put up yards, but against the colts they need to put up points, and lots of them.
5) get favorable field position with special teams. the broncos need to step it up in this area, this has been a problem all season.
you may notice that control the clock by running the ball is not one of my keys for the game. i think this is the most overrated way of approaching the colts. of course you want to limit manning's opportunities, but even if the broncos keep the ball 40 minutes the colts can do a lot of damage in the other twenty... unless they get good pressure on manning and stop long gains via ground and air.
prediction: colts 31, broncos 17