The difference between both teams today: Offense in the redzone. The Colts scored two second half touchdowns when they entered the Broncos redzone. The Broncos had five trips in the Colts redzone and came away with zero touchdowns.
Despite a tremendous effort by quarterback Kyle Orton, who set a career high with 57 attempts, the Colts were able to simply out-execute the Broncos by playing smart, efficient football. Colts committed zero turnovers, minimized penalties, and worked the short and intermediate passing game to near perfection. Peyton Manning had ice in his veins all game. Despite a pathetic rushing attack, Manning hooked up with Austin Collie twice for touchdowns and even managed to toss a nine-yard score to rookie Blair White. White was called up from the practice squad late last week due to the injury to Pierre Garcon.
Back to Collie, the second year receiver had a career day today, catching 12 balls for 171 yards and 2 TDs. He also caught a HUGE 48 yard bomb from Manning on 3rd and 15 in the fourth quarter on the Colts eventual game-icing drive.
Colts also had several strong red zone stands on defense, including an inspired goal-line stop of Laurence Maroney in the second quarter. Maroney was ruled in for a touchdown on fourth-and-one, only to have the score taken off the board after Colts head coach Jim Caldwell challenged the play. Indy stopped Denver four straight plays inside the Colts' own one yard line.
Colts move to 2-1, and are a half game behind the Texans in the AFC South.
Special thanks to Mile High Report for some great cross-blogging this week. Gutty game for the Colts. Gutty win.