DENVER -- Andrew Luck brings unique challenges to defenses. Defenders admit he's the hardest quarterback to bring down in the pocket other than Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger. He runs with urgency and reckless abandon. The Broncos players put him through a wood chipper last November, lacerating his kidney on a high-low hit by Danny Trevathan and Malik Jackson. And the Colts still won.
"He lets routes develop," cornerback Aqib Talb said. "He will hang in there."
Let's be honest, Luck is the reason the Colts remain dangerous in this game. He plays his best against the Broncos. And with that, let's look at my Take 5 observations for game.
1) Make Luck's run out
Luck doesn't flinch against the Broncos. He is 2-1 with 850 yards passing, seven touchdowns and two picks. What makes it more impressive is that the Colts have no running game. They haven't had a 100-yard rusher since 2012 and no Colt has eclipsed 1,000 yards since 2007. The Broncos made two mistakes last year. They became tentative after two early penalties on the defense and played too much zone. I expect more man coverage today. Luck will put up numbers, but Denver should net two interceptions.
2) Run, CJ, Run
C.J. Anderson reported to training camp at 218 pounds. He was determined to be ready for the season opener, not ease his way into shape. It had paid dividends. Anderson looks like a bell cow. Get him 20 carries. The Colts defensive line is porous, and the Broncos offensive line is coming off one its best games in years.
3) Go deep Siemian
Last week, coach Gary Kubiak showed confidence in Siemian by throwing on the first five plays. He has given Siemian freedom to change the plays at the line of scrimmage. And he's not afraid to let him go deep. Those opportunities should present themselves against the Colts, whose secondary is ravaged by injuries. It would be a surprise if Emmanuel Sanders doesn't have at least one reception of more than 25 yards today. If he doesn't, the Broncos could be in trouble.
4) Don't worry about fines
Pardon me for a second as I revert back to my baseball life to explain the Broncos defense. When you pitch inside, guys are going to hit. It's the price of doing business. The Broncos aren't going to change. They are physical. They will hit teams in the mouth. More than half the defense told me they won't alter their style. The key remains simple: play aggressive, and don't be selfish with penalties that extend drives.
5) Better be special
The Broncos special teams need improvement. Rookie punter Riley Dixon might not realize this after kicking most of his college games in a dome, but Denver's weather is rarely this good. Take advantage of the sun and heat, and boom some kicks. Get some confidence. Brandon McManus admit he's making an adjustment to a new snapper and holder, but he appears to be settling in. I don't worry about him unless he gives a reason. Dixon hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt. He needs to make progress this week. Also, for those joining us late, here are Sunday inactives: Austin Davis, Lorenzo Doss, Connor McGovern, Jeff Heuerman, Ty Sambrailo, Kyle Peko. And for Colts, including two defensive backs: Vontae Davis, Patrick Robinson, T.J. Green, Trent Cole, LeRaven Clark, Austin Blythe, Henry Anderson.
Renck prediction: Broncos 30, Colts 24