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Week 15 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 25, Indianapolis Colts 13


What you need to know

Denver Broncos

Brandon McManus missed a 40 yard attempt in the 1st quarter. Trevor Siemian left at the end of the 1st quarter and will miss the rest of the season with a separated shoulder. Brock Osweiler came in to lead a Broncos comeback. Emmanuel Sanders also left late with an ankle injury and is day to day. Paxton Lynch took part in some pregame warmups but was not active.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts offense was unable to get anything going against the Denver Broncos defense. Jacoby Brissett completed one pass downfield but was otherwise unable to generate yardage in the passing game. Brissett either could not connect with open receivers, was not given enough time to find his receivers, or no one got open. The Colts made an effort to involve TY Hilton early but most of his targets were underneath. The Colts showed some commitment to the run game but quickly abandoned it upon losing the lead. Jack Doyle was largely uninvolved but racked up catches on the Colts final possession. Marlon Mack was not targeted and Chester Rogers failed to produce in limited opportunities.

Denver Broncos

QB Brock Osweiler, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 17 - 194 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 17 - 1
Osweiler was pressed into service after Siemian injured his shoulder at the end of the 1st quarter. Osweiler ran the play-action passing game to perfection behind Anderson's strong performance on the ground. The offense went three-and-out for his first series, but Osweiler led a scoring drive at the end of the 2nd quarter, capping it with an 18 yard touchdown run. The Colts ran man coverage with no one spying on Osweiler, and he barreled up the middle of the field to the end zone. Osweiler's first touchdown pass was a beautiful corner route to Cody Latimer, who beat his man from the left slot in a spread formation. Osweiler took the shotgun snap and lofted the the ball over the defender. Osweiler found Jeff Heuerman later in the 3rd quarter on a play-action post route that the tight end took to the house for a 54 yard score.

QB Trevor Siemian, 18 offensive snaps, Pass: 5 - 9 - 67 - 0 TD / 1 INT
Siemian killed the Broncos opening drive with a brutal interception, lobbing a play action pass into double coverage. He was looking for Demaryius Thomas but never had a chance of getting the ball through the safety and linebacker that had DT bracketed. Siemian and the offense marched down the field on the next drive, supplementing several CJ Anderson runs with a deep ball down the left sideline to Sanders then a crossing route that Thomas carried inside the Indy 5 yard line. They eventually settled for a field goal, and Siemian was knocked from the game at the end of the 1st quarter with a shoulder injury. He has since been diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and will be heading to IR.

RB C.J. Anderson, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 30 - 158 - 0 (1 targets)
The Broncos opened the game up with fullback Janovich leading the way for Anderson, who carried the ball for a few short gains before ripping a 14 yard run into Colts territory. Anderson had success up the middle all night, consistently carrying the ball several yards past the line of scrimmage before contact. The beleaguered Colts defense struggled to bring Anderson down at first contact, and Osweiler was able to capitalize on Anderson's success with great play-action passing. The Broncos pounded away with 2TE formations and plenty of Janovich's lead blocking. Anderson was only targeted once, but still dominated backfield touches with 30 carries.

RB Devontae Booker, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 39 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets)
Booker entered the game on the Broncos second offensive drive, carrying a toss play around right end for a short gain. Booker caught a swing pass late in the first half and hurdled a cornerback near the sideline before taking the pass to the end zone. Unfortunately, the highlight-reel play was called back for a holding penalty on the offensive line. Booker hauled in another short out route on the sideline on the next drive. Booker's longest carry of the day was a 12 yard run right up the middle in the 3rd quarter. Booker drew a facemask penalty that extended a drive on 3rd and 21 in the 4th quarter. His 12 touches were well behind Anderson's 30, but ahead of Jamaal Charles, who did not log any touches on his one drive.

RB Jamaal Charles, 2 offensive snaps
Charles entered the game with Brock Osweiler at the beginning of the 2nd quarter, running a couple of routes and pass blocking for a brief three-and-out. He was not seen again afterwards as Anderson dominated the backfield touches with Booker relieving him.

WR Emmanuel Sanders, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 68 - 0 (9 targets)
Sanders missed an out route that Siemian threw out of bounds on the opening drive, but converted 3rd down later in the drive with a short curl route from a bunch formation. Sanders motioned across the formation from left to right, catching a short out route on the next drive. Sanders jumped offsides on the next play, then redeemed himself with his longest reception of the contest, a back shoulder catch down the left sideline for 26 yards. Sanders secured a tough catch on an Osweiler pass that was thrown behind him to convert 4th and 2 near the end of the first half. He was clobbered after catching a short out route later that drive, but popped right back up to catch a crossing route on the next play. Sanders tapped his toes on the sidelines to secure one final out route in the 3rd quarter. Sanders left the game late with a bone bruise on his ankle, and is listed as day-to-day. He finished with a team-high 9 targets and 7 receptions.

WR Demaryius Thomas, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 69 - 0 (8 targets)
Thomas ceded a bigger share of his target total to Sanders in week 15, drawing 8 targets to Sanders' 9. He hauled in a quick slant route from Siemian on the Broncos opening drive. He was the target on Siemian's interception soon after, but the fault was on the quarterback for the terrible throw. DT hauled in a deep crossing route on the next drive, carrying the ball down to the Indy 5 yard line. Osweiler hit him on a another quick slant early in the 2nd quarter, and Thomas secured a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch on the following drive. Thomas drew a defensive holding penalty on 4th and 1 to extend a 3rd quarter drive that ended in a touchdown.

WR Cody Latimer, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 60 - 1 (4 targets)
Latimer appears to have entrenched himself as the third receiver in the rotation behind Thomas and Sanders. He was targeted with Osweiler's first pass attempt, a deep ball down the right sideline early in the 2nd quarter. Latimer didn't secure a catch until the 3rd quarter, hauling in a crossing route on flea-flicker. Latimer appeared to be the checkdown option as Demaryius Thomas was running a deeper go route that was covered. Latimer lined up in the left slot in a spread formation and beat his man on a corner route for his first touchdown of the day. Latimer lined up in the right slot and caught a shorter corner route at the end of the 3rd quarter for a 2-point conversion. He secured one final pass with a leaping grab over a defender on a deep crossing route in the 4th.

WR Jordan Taylor, 16 offensive snaps
Taylor returned punts but did not run any routes on offense.

WR Bennie Fowler, 39 offensive snaps
Fowler saw limited offensive snaps, but drew an offensive pass interference call on his only target in the 3rd quarter.

TE Jeff Heuerman, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 54 - 1 (1 targets)
Heuerman was only targeted once, but made the most of it on a 3rd quarter touchdown reception. Indy's defense, trying to stop CJ Anderson from ripping off long runs up the middle, bit hard on a play action fake by Osweiler. Heuerman, lined up on the left side of a run formation, took off on a deep post route. Heuerman shook the linebacker following him with a double move, then stiff-armed a cornerback who attempted to tackle him after the catch, outrunning one last defender for a 54 yard touchdown. Heuerman shared snaps with Virgil Green and Austin Traylor and shouldn't be a fantasy option at this point.

TE Virgil Green, 36 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Green started but was not very involved in the passing game. He was targeted once on a short out route at the end of the first half.


Indianapolis Colts

QB Jacoby Brissett, 54 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 30 - 158 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 18 - 1
Jacoby Brissett managed to not turn the ball over and took fewer unnecessary sacks than in previous games but could not get the passing game going. Almost all of Brissett’s throws traveled less than 10 yards downfield. The limited success the offense found came from long drives and not explosive plays. Starting in excellent field position following a turnover, the Colts offense put together a touchdown drive to open the game. Brissett completed to Frank Gore and TY Hilton before going untouched on a 7 yard touchdown scramble. Brissett set up a field goal attempt with a 20 yard completion to Ross Travis to give the Colts a 10-0 lead. To open the second half Brissett again got the Colts into field goal range with underneath passing and reliance on the run game. Brissett’s most noteworthy throw during the possession was a throw over the middle to Chester Rogers that should have been intercepted by Darian Stewart. The Colts managed just 2 first downs on their final three possessions as they went pass heavy trailing by 2 scores.

RB Frank Gore, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 31 - 0, Rec: 3 - 37 - 0 (4 targets)
Frank Gore was effective in his limited touches. Gore gained the edge on a screen pass and rumbled for a 22 yard gain. Frank Gore made two impressive cuts on a 9 yard run up the middle. Frank Gore left the game with injury but returned to open the second half. Gore picked up 10 yards on a check down from Brissett to convert a 3rd and 10.

RB Marlon Mack, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 14 - 0 (1 targets)
Marlon Mack continues to play second fiddle to Frank Gore and saw no involvement in the passing game against the Broncos.

WR T.Y. Hilton, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 41 - 0 (7 targets)
TY Hilton picked up 10 yards running an out route against Chris Harris. Hilton got his hands on a bullet from Brissett running a deep out route but could not haul in the pass. Hilton made a 13 yard catch running another out route the following play. TY Hilton was tackled by Aqib Talib crossing the middle of the field drawing a holding penalty. Hilton was shaken up on the play but returned to make a catch a few plays later. Hilton made a 6 yard catch running a curl. Hilton made a catch running a curl for 8 yards.

WR Chester Rogers, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0 (3 targets)
Chester Rogers was targeted twice over the middle. The first pass should have been intercepted by Darian Stewart and Rogers dropped the second.

TE Jack Doyle, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 47 - 0 (8 targets)
Doyle caught his first target underneath for 7 yards. Doyle made back to back catches for gains of 5 and 15 yards on the Colts opening possession of the second half. Doyle made catches of 4, 7, 4, and 5 yards on the Colts final drive.