Anatomy Of The Drives: Broncos Edition

Intro: The “Anatomy Of The Drives” series is back. Here’s a look at the three touchdown drives for the Colts first team in the season opener against Denver.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Here's a look at the Colts three scoring drives from their 2014 season opener in Denver.**

Andrew Luck's nine-yard touchdown runThe scene:Down 24-0 with 1:57 to play in the second quarter, the Colts took over at their own 20-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:8 plays, for 80 yards in 1:38.Key play:Overshadowed among the extremely impressive return of Reggie Wayne was that of Ahmad Bradshaw. On this final drive of the half, Bradshaw was a key spark in the Colts going full throttle hurry-up mode to try and get on the board. Bradshaw had three catches for 24 yards on the drive. For the game, the veteran running back had eight touches for 85 yards, serving as a more than capable receiving threat with the tempo picking up for the Colts.The score:Just another tremendous individual effort in the early career of Luck. Facing a first-and-goal from the Broncos nine-yard line, Luck was alone in the backfield with five wide receivers. Luck went through his progressions from left to right before a lane opened up to his right. Once Luck took off, he quickly realized that to avoid linebacker Brandon Marshall, stay in bounds and hit the pylon, the ball would have to be in his left hand (exposing himself a bit to Marshall). Luck knew exactly where he was on the playing field and was able to stay in bounds while keeping control of the ball for the score.**

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Dwayne Allen's 41-yard touchdown catchThe scene:Down 31-10 with 9:54 to play in the fourth quarter, the Colts took over at their own 20-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:7 plays, for 80 yards in 2:08.Key play:Bradshaw once again was a forgotten man from the Broncos defense. Facing a fourth-and-one on their own 29-yard line, it was now or never if the Colts wanted to try and muster one final comeback. Bradshaw snuck out of the backfield and the Broncos did not account for him. With plenty of open field in front of him, Bradshaw took off for 22 yards, pushing the Colts into Broncos territory.The score:Three plays later, the Colts had a third-and-two at the Broncos 41-yard line. Andrew Luck was in the shotgun with Bradshaw to his right, trips left (the wide side of the field) and Dwayne Allen attached to the offensive line. As Luck began rolling to his right, there was Allen releasing out of a pivot left and rolling with Luck towards the sideline. Allen did a tremendous job to keep himself available and then was sprung down the sideline behind a tremendous block from Bradshaw.**

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Hakeem Nicks' nine-yard touchdown catchThe scene:Down 31-17 with 4:15 to play in the fourth quarter, the Colts took over at the Denver 45-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:5 plays, for 45 yards in 0:49.Key play:Thanks to the defense putting together a seven-point second half, the offense had its chances late in the game. It was one final push for the Colts and there was No. 87 once again being the go-to-guy. Starting from the Broncos 45-yard line, Luck found Wayne for a 22-yard gain to set up the rest of the drive. Considering all the circumstances Wayne has had to deal with in the past 11 months, his nine-catch, 98-yard performance was truly special in the season opener.The score:** Hakeem Nicks caught all five of the balls thrown his way on Sunday night and was a key part in the second half comeback. With the Colts facing a third-and-goal from the nine-yard line, and needing 14 points, Luck turned to Nicks working against Broncos cornerback Tony Carter. Nicks did a nice job of sealing off Carter in the end zone but the Broncos corner deflected the pass from Luck. With the ball free in the air, Nicks kept his composure and made the catch for his first touchdown since the 2012 season.

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