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Indianapolis Colts

Anatomy Of The Drives: Broncos Edition

Intro: The “Anatomy Of The Drives” series is back. Here’s a look at the three Colts touchdown drives in their 27-24 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.


Frank Gore's seven-yard touchdown runThe scene: Tied at zero with 10:30 to play in the first quarter, the Colts took over at their own 20-yard line.The anatomy of the drive: 7 plays for 80 yards, in 3:42.Key play: All week long, the Colts were searching for a fast start, even if the opening quarter didn't end in a deficit. On the Colts second drive of the game, they faced a third-and-10 at their own 37-yard line. Here, T.Y. Hilton got behind Denver Pro Bowl cornerback Chris Harris for a 28-yard reception. Hilton not only made the catch but he held on after a hit from T.J. Ward tacked on another 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. Hilton was a game-time decision, at best, Sunday morning. He not only played in the game, but had five catches (in six targets) for 82 yards. Considering the circumstances, this might have been Hilton's best game of 2015.The score: This run is the epitome of why Frank Gore has been so successful in his 11 NFL seasons. With blocks from "fullback" Jack Doyle, right guard Hugh Thornton and center Jonotthan Harrison, Gore is able to slither his way through the Denver defense for the seven-yard touchdown run. This drive started with a Gore run of 17 yards and ended with him finding the end zone. These points were the first opening quarter points the Broncos had given up all season long.**

Jack Doyle's three-yard touchdown catch form Andrew LuckThe scene:Leading 10-0 with 10:55 to play in the second quarter, the Colts took over at their own 37-yard line following an interception from Mike Adams.The anatomy of the drive:8 plays for 63 yards in 3:43.Key play:While another big chunk from Hilton (for 30 yards) was the highlight, this drive was set up by the defense. We talked in the days leading up to the game, the Colts needed to force a turnover to create a short field against the NFL's best defense. A semi-short field came here with Mike Adams catching a tipped ball from fellow safety Dwight Lowery. Adams was injured on the play, but his NFL-best 10th interception since 2014 led to this touchdown and 17-0 lead.The score: On Sunday, we saw a major snap increase for all the Colts tight ends. That included Jack Doyle, who once again did a little bit of everything, including a big 15-yard catch in the eventual game-winning scoring drive in the fourth quarter. Here, we saw the Colts face a third-and-two from the three-yard line with the tight end trio all in the game. With Doyle lined up as an offset fullback to the right, he leaked into the flat where Luck found him. Doyle did the rest, absorbing a hit from safety Darian Stewart while extending across the goal line for this third career touchdown.

Ahmad Bradshaw's eight-yard touchdown catch form Andrew LuckThe scene:Tied at 17 with 4:57 to go in the third quarter, the Colts took over at their own 20-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:12 plays for 80 yards in 5:52.Key play:The Colts were reeling when they started this drive. Denver had scored 17 unanswered and the Colts only recent offensive production was via Andrew Luck's legs. That changed on this drive. The Colts converted four third-downs, ultimately finishing the game 12-of-20 on third-down against the second ranked defense on the money down. Griff Whalen had two of those conversions and he once again impressed. Whalen had five catches in six targets for 73 yards on Sunday.The score: **Talk about the right play call against a blitzing defense. On this third-and-five, Denver appears to be showing blitz from linebacker Danny Trevathan and safety T.J. Ward. With those two humming towards Andrew Luck, Ahmad Bradshaw slips free out of the backfield. Credit Luck for the recognition and then Bradshaw doing what he did so many times in 2014. It's been a while since we've seen the Bradshaw jump spike.

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