The Denver Broncos are once again in a position where they can reach the Super Bowl, and perhaps in the back of their minds they are hoping to get another crack at the Seattle Seahawks, who advanced to the NFC Championship Game yesterday. Right now they are primarily concerned with slowing down Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, as they meet up in NFL betting action that begins at 4:40 PM ET at Sports Authority Field.
Peyton Manning was not exactly flawless this season, throwing 15 interceptions, and he seems to be bothered by a thigh injury. But if you take a look at what Denver has done over the second half of this season, it is as if they have been preparing themselves for postseason play. This team has suffered injuries in the backfield, but they have rediscovered the running game in a big way.
Denver was 12-4 straight-up on the season, and they were a perfect 8-0 straight-up at home. Winning the division championship and getting the bye week was very important for this crew, as they have some banged up receivers who really needed the rest. Most of all, it is tight end Julius Thomas who benefits, as he returns from an ankle injury. Thomas, who made the Pro Bowl last season, has a dozen touchdown catches, which leads the Broncos. And he is a key red zone target, which we will touch on in a second.
The Broncos have great “drive stats” for certain, and this is a very good indicator of their efficiency on both sides of the ball. Denver ranks among the top five teams in the league offensively in points, yards and touchdowns per drive. They have also crossed the goal line 63% of the time when they are in the red zone, and this is important to keep in mind, as the Colts have allowed their opponents to score touchdowns 67% of the time in the red zone, which is last in the NFL. As we said, Julius Thomas is a real threat here.
What might be even more impressive is the Denver defense, which not only ranks #1 in the NFL in allowing the fewest yards per drive, but has also forced the opponent into a three-and-out on 31.8% of possessions, which is also best. America’s Bookie patrons know that the Denver front office, led by Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, was very proactive in acquiring defensive talent in the offseason. They added Aqib Talib, one of the better cornerbacks in the league, along with safety T.J. Ward and defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who was inexplicably cut by the Dallas Cowboys. All three of these players will be headed to the Pro Bowl – that is, of course, unless Denver makes it to the Super Bowl. Ware and Von Miller combined for 24 sacks, and the Broncos allowed their opponents only 4.7 yards per play, which is outstanding. Now consider that linebacker Brandon Marshall, who has been nursing a foot injury, says he is ready to go and should play in this game.
NFL PLAYOFF releases 01/11/15