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Colts lead Broncos 17-7 at halftime

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts entered today's game against the undefeated Denver Broncos and the league's top-ranked defense with a struggling offense and a 3-5 record.  At halftime of today's game, the Colts lead the Broncos 17-7 after the most impressive first half of the season for Indy by far.

Sure, they allowed a HUGE punt return touchdown as time expired at the end of the first half, and that's one that Pat McAfee can't do right there.  He can't outkick his coverage and should have just punted it out of bounds.  But don't let that one play pollute your view of the whole game (something that is common in NFL analysis - most recent is the most prevalent in analysis).  The Colts played a fantastic first half, outside of that one return.

The defense shut down the Broncos' offense in the first half, routinely forcing them into third-and-long situations.  The defense has allowed zero points so far and just 95 total yards, while the Broncos are just 3-of-8 on third downs.  Denver has punted five times and turned the ball over once.

The defense hasn't been the issue recently, though - that has been the offense.  And in the first half today, Andrew Luck and the offense looked as good as they have all year, considering the situation.  The Broncos hadn't allowed any points in the first quarter all year, and the Colts got seven.  The Broncos hadn't allowed more than 14 points in the first half all year, and the Colts got 17.  The Colts scored more points in the first half than the Broncos have given up in four of their seven games total.  That's impressive.

Andrew Luck completed 12-of-19 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, but most importantly, he didn't turn the football over.  T.Y. Hilton, who didn't practice all week, caught four passes for 75 yards.  Frank Gore rushed for 59 yards and a score on 13 carries, averaging 4.5 yards per rush.  And, as per usual, Adam Vinatieri drilled his field goal attempt, this one from 43-yards.

Of course, now the key is keeping it up.  The Colts played a good first half against the Patriots and had an awful second half.  The Colts get the ball back to start the second half, and they'll need to keep up their impressive play from the first half.  If they can do that, they'll get a huge win heading into their bye week.   Either way, here's your open thread for the second half.