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Mile High Morning: A look at the Broncos' recent success vs. the Colts


The Lead

As the Broncos prepare for a Thursday-night duel with Indianapolis, it just so happens that recent history shows that Denver has had a slight edge in the series over the last five regular-season matchups. 

The Broncos have won three of the last five games in the series, including wins in the two most-recent regular-season matchups at home. 

As it so happens, the last time Denver toppled the Colts also came on "Thursday Night Football," back in 2017 in Indianapolis. In that game, the Broncos overcame a 10-0 deficit and an injury to starter Trevor Siemian thanks to a strong relief performance by Brock Osweiler, as he threw for 194 yards and two touchdowns with a 147.7 passer rating. Osweiler also rushed for a touchdown, and running back C.J. Anderson helped power the offense with 30 carries for 158 yards.

A year earlier, the Broncos defeated the Colts at home in an exciting game that pushed the team to 2-0 to start the year. Denver's defense, still holding strong after the 2015 championship campaign, came up with two defensive touchdowns and sacked Andrew Luck five times. Von Miller had one of the best games of his career, as he took Luck down three times, had four quarterback hits and forced a fumble that Shane Ray returned for the game-sealing touchdown.

In 2014, the Broncos opened the season against the Colts, pitting Peyton Manning against his former team for just the second time. A year earlier, Manning returned to Indianapolis in a very emotional game, and Denver was unable to come away with the win. This time, it was different. Manning threw three second-quarter touchdowns to tight end Julius Thomas to build a 24-0 lead, and in spite of a late scoring barrage by Luck's Colts, the Broncos held on to win as rookie cornerback Bradley Roby deflected a pass to Reggie Wayne on fourth down with about two minutes left in the game. The win also meant that Manning became only the second quarterback to defeat all 32 teams.

If the Broncos can get a win on Thursday, they can further push the series in their favor in recent memory and continue an impressive regular-season run against the Colts in Denver.

Below the Fold

With a short week to prepare for "Thursday Night Football," a lot needs to happen in just a few days in order to be ready for the next opponent. Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett noted that, above all else, the players need to mentally prepare and take care of their bodies to be in the best position to face the Colts on Thursday.

"First and foremost, it's about preparation," Hackett said on Monday. "They have to understand how much mental [work] it is, because we're going to have to walk through this — that will be tomorrow, two days. They're going to have to really lock in from a mental perspective and then take care of their bodies. We just had a battle yesterday vs. the Raiders and now we've got another one right around the corner. ... We lost, and so you want to get back on the field and prove yourself again. I think all of us as a team, we want to get back out there and we want to go back to work. It's a close turnaround. That's part of it, and we're excited to get back out on the field."

The Unclassifieds

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