Anatomy Of The Drives: Divisional Round Edition

Intro: The “Anatomy Of The Drives” series is back. Here’s a look at the three touchdown drives the Colts had in their 24-13 Divisional Round win over the Denver Broncos.

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DENVER

Boom Herron's six-yard touchdown runThe scene: Down 7-0 with 4:19 to play in the first quarter, the Colts took over at their own 27-yard line.The anatomy of the drive: 9 plays for 73 yards in 5:05.Key play: When Denver went down and scored on their first possession on Sunday, the thought of Week One (and that sluggish start) was certainly there. The Colts weathered the start on Sunday very well though thanks to the defensive unit and this drive right here. On the Colts first 11 plays, they called 11 passes with just one of those targets going to a wide receiver. T.Y. Hilton had to get involved and he did with two catches for 43 yards. His grabs came on a second-and-nine and a second-and-13, giving the Colts plenty of life and moving them deeper into Denver territory.The score: The Colts would eventually face a third-and-one late in the drive, knowing seven points was a key. Red zone efficiency was a must on Sunday and the Colts found it often on Sunday. Pep Hamilton called a very nice counter on this third-and-one that developed into a wide hole for Boom Herron. Thanks to some impressive blocking from a unit that performed admirably all afternoon, Herron had plenty of room to the left side and dove into the end zone for the touchdown.

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Dwayne Allen's three-yard touchdown catch from Andrew LuckThe scene:Tied at seven with 11:04 to go in the second quarter, the Colts took over at the Denver 41-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:8 plays for 41 yards in 3:41.Key play:Leading into Sunday, the talk around the Colts defense was could they force that game-changing turnover that Robert Mathis produced last year against Denver. It came here to set up this scoring drive from another blindside hit. Rookie Jonathan Newsome went unblocked and drilled Manning. The bouncing ball was fallen on by Jerrell Freeman and the Colts had a short field to take a lead they would end up not relinquish the rest of the way.The score:** No one preached the need for better play in the red zone last week than Dwayne Allen. He was Mr. Red Zone for much of the 2014 season with eight touchdowns on the year. With the Colts facing a second-and-goal from the three-yard line, it was time for Allen to carve out some space. He opened up his body right to Andrew Luck and the quarterback found No. 83 for a traffic filled catch to give the Colts a lead they would not surrender.

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Hakeem Nicks' 15-yard touchdown catch from Andrew LuckThe scene:Leading 14-10 with 13:37 to go in the third quarter, the Colts took over at their own 28-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:11 plays for 72 yards in 5:16.Key play:After a key three-and-out to start the second half, the Colts had an early second-half chance to pad their lead. It was another clock-eating drive for the Colts with a couple of massive third-down conversions being the difference. Facing a third-and-16 from the Denver 40-yard line, the thought had to creep into Andrew Luck's head on whether a check down might be the safer choice for a field goal attempt. Instead, Luck lofted a dangerous ball down the middle of the field. The pass fell right into the hands of Coby Fleener for a 32-yard gain and the Colts were back hunting for seven.The score:** A holding penalty took the Colts back to the Denver 18-yard line though. With a second-and-goal, the thought again had to be that some points here were clearly better than forcing a potential momentum shifting turnover. Luck didn't flinch though. He threw a strike into another crowd where Hakeem Nicks' massive hands corralled the 15-yard touchdown. It was the fifth postseason touchdown for Nicks as he continues to make big plays for this Colts team down the stretch.

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