With a good case of insomnia, and the Seattle-Denver replay at my fingertips, I got a chance last night to get a glimpse of the Colts' next opponent.
Seattle had 3 turnovers in the first half alone, and added another in the final minutes just for good measure. Hasselback, who I still believe is a good quarterback, was definitely not on his game. He had three picks, 2 in the red zone... reminiscent of San Francisco's performance last night against the Saints. Orton was serviceable and consistent, but that's really all the Broncos needed. My 3 keys to beating Denver after the jump...
1. Contain Knowshon Moreno. If you look at the stat line, you might scratch your head at this - he rushed 24 times for 51 yards and a touchdown, and 4 passes for 67 yards, a paltry 4.2 yards/touch. While this isn't mind-blowing, my eyes tell me that he got the call on critical plays, and his biggest gains were 45, 13, 9, and 7 yards. One of the other things I noticed was that his feet kept churning - he often got a few extra yards after contact, resulting in first downs when the Seahawks should have wrapped him up.
2. Pressure Kyle Orton. Ok, so when your favorite team has the dynamic duo of Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney on its roster, this may be motherhood and apple pie. But when the Seahawks were able to pressure Orton or flush him out of the pocket, his passes tended to sail on him. Get one or two good Freeney-Orton-Mathis sandwiches early on, and I think Orton gets rattled enough to send one to Powers.
3. Continue to play mistake-free football. Well this may actually take the cake on motherhood and apple pie, but if anything was reinforced from last night's game and from the Seattle-Denver game, it was that teams can and will capitalize on mistakes. My eyes told me that the 49ers absolutely dominated both sides of the ball last night... until they decided to coat their gloves with Crisco. As for Seattle, I believe only one of Hasselback's interceptions was really forced by the pass rush. One was clearly him telegraphing his target, and another was simply thrown off-balance. I trust Peyton to not make those types of mistakes, but expect the Colts' equipment manager to check everyone's gloves for butter.
Two things I'm confident of - Pat McAfee will have to kick at 60% power lest they lose a ball into the stratosphere at Mile High Stadium, and if the Colts bring the game they brought last Sunday night, the Broncos won't be able to keep up.