(10/6/22) 8:15 PM Eastern.
Spread: Colts +3 / Broncos -3
Moneyline: Colts +140 / Broncos -165
Total: Over / Under 42.5
The Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos open week 5 of the NFL season on Thursday night. The Colts are coming off a 24-17 loss to the Titans while the Broncos just lost to the Raiders 32-23. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15p.m. eastern time at Empower Field Stadium, Mile high.
Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1)
The addition of Matt Ryan was supposed to propel the Colts forward, but they’ve appeared to go backwards. They have yet to score more than 20 points this season and Jonathan Taylor has been bottled up. After rushing for 1,811 yards at 5.5 yards per carry, he has just 328 yards and a 4.0 YPC through 4 games. He’s also not playing in this game tonight. Matt Ryan’s been a turnover machine as well, throwing 5 interceptions while losing 3 of his 9 total fumbles. They did beat a very good Chiefs team in week 3 and were on the verge of a comeback against the Titans before Jonathan Taylor fumbled it away.
Defensively the Colts still look great, despite a stagnant offense that’s turned the ball over 10 times, they have yet to allow more than 24 points. Unfortunately for the Colts their best player is out with a concussion, LB Darius Leonard was on the receiving end of some friendly fire last week. They rank 6th at 297 yards allowed per game and have been especially stout vs the run, allowing just 89.5 yards rushing per game. They are lacking in takeaways, after ranking 2nd in the league with 33 takeaways in 2021 they have just 3 so far in 2022, tied for 2nd least.
Denver Broncos (2-2)
Russel Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett have done the opposite of cooking. They’ve been absolutely dreadful; I mean Geno Smith is outplaying Russ through 4 games. They average just 16.5 points per game, which ranks 30th in the NFL. 2nd year RB Javonte Williams was just lost to the season with an ACL tear. Melvin “Butterfingers” Gordon takes over lead duties, he has 4 fumbles on just 45 touches in 2022. Cortland Sutton is the lone bright spot; he has 24 receptions for 343 yards and 1 touchdown. They could easily be sitting at 3-1 but did they everything they could to lose to Seattle in week 1.
Fortunately for the offense they have an Elite defense. They allow just 17 points per game (5th) and 284.8 yards per game (4th). The addition of Randy Gregory in FA has helped this pass rush, they have 11 sacks through 4 games which ranks 6th. The injury theme continues in this game as Randry Gregory was just placed on the IR. They do get their home confines where they’ve been dominant. They’ve let up a combined 19 points in 2 home games this year, the Broncos only 2 wins.
Take Nyheim Hines to go OVER 3.5 receptions. Hines snap count will drastically increase without Jonathan Taylor in the line-up and receiving is what Hines does best. Even with a healthy Jonathan Taylor being on the field for 75.4% of snaps, he’s had 4 or more receptions in 3 out of 4 games this season despite playing just 29% of snaps. He’s likely to see close to 70% of snaps in this game tonight. This Broncos defense just gave up 5 catches to Josh Jacobs too, he’s half the receiver that Hines is. Colts HC Frank Reich has always schemed up passing plays for Hines and those will only increase tonight. Denver also has an elite pass rush; Matt Ryan will be forced to get the ball out quick. Hines will see plenty of dump off opportunities.