No Fly Zone, II? OK, maybe that’s a bit hyperbolic. But one thing is clear five weeks into the season: The Broncos are deep in the defensive backfield. Nickelback K’Waun Willliams makes plays in the backfield and secondary. Safety Caden Sterns, he of the two interceptions and three pass break-ups Thursday night, is doing as good of a Justin Simmons impression as Justin Simmons. And when cornerback Ronald Darby went down Thursday, Damarri Mathis kept things in front of him. How much of that was Colts QB Matt Ryan throwing with a fork in his back? Unclear. But the fact that he could not take advantage of a secondary missing half of its Week 1 starters says something about Denver.
Sloppy offensive start
The first half encapsulated everything that’s wrong with the Broncos offense early on this season. First red zone trip? Incomplete, 2-yard loss, incomplete. Unforced errors? Tight end Eric Saubert’s drop in Broncos territory fit the bill. As did Jerry Jeudy’s near midfield and Garett Bolles’ false start that stalled another promising drive. Then there were the misses from quarterback Russell Wilson: One a poorly thrown deep ball to Jeudy in single coverage, the other a missed read on third-and-long where he failed to see a wide-open K.J. Hamler on a crossing route. The latter was a harbinger of things to come on the game’s last play.
It could be worse…
As bad as the Broncos offense looked in the first half, the Colts were a three-alarm fire. Left tackle Bernhard Raimann drew more yellow hankies than a Steelers home game. Matt Ryan was running for his life every other snap. And when the veteran quarterback did get time to throw, his passes were often ill-advised (like his ball into quadruple coverage that was picked off by Caden Sterns). Of course, Bradley Chubb. D.J. Jones, Pat Surtain II and Co. must get at least some of the credit for that. Nobody eats bad quarterbacks alive quite like the orange and blue.
Actually, maybe not
It says something about the state of Broncos Country that Empower Field has been home to more rounds of boos (we counted at least nine on Thursday night) than touchdowns (2) three games into the 2022 season. Even the biggest play of the night — a 51-yard bomb that was somehow caught by two Broncos (Courtland Sutton and Montrell Washington) — came with a laugh track. And the highlight of the game up until OT? When the white hat erroneously awarded a timeout to “San Diego” rather than Indianapolis. That’s where we’re at in terms of entertainment value with Russell Wilson’s Broncos.