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DENVER — The Broncos are going for their second win of the season, hosting the Indianapolis Colts on a sun-splashed Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
It was 85 degrees when the game started. It’s the Broncos’ first game since rallying in the fourth quarter on Sept. 8 to beat the Carolina Panthers, 21-20, in the NFL regular-season opener.
The Broncos took the opening drive and got into Colts territory, only to stall. Brandon McManus attempted a 54-yard field goal, but it went wide left with 11:41 left in the first quarter.
The Colts then drove 26 yards but the Broncos defense came up big on third-and-1, and Indianapolis settled for a 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri to take a 3-0 lead with 8:21 left in the first quarter.
The Broncos again got into Colts territory on their next possession, with Demaryius Thomas taking a tipped pass down the left sideline for 44 yards to the Indianapolis 10.
But the Broncos couldn’t punch it into the end zone, getting a 23-yard field goal from McManus to tie the game, 3-3, with 5:33 to play in the first quarter.
The Broncos took their first lead of the game with 11:41 left in the first half when C.J. Anderson scored from 4 yards out, capping a six-play, 69-yard drive. The Broncos were helped by a 16-yard pass interference penalty that pushed them to the Colts 9-yard line.
The Broncos got lucky with 6:19 to play in the second quarter. As they were driving for another score, quarterback Trevor Siemian was intercepted by Darius Butler at the Colts 26.
Butler had nothing but daylight that should have resulted in a touchdown, but he went down with an apparent injury at the Colts 45. What made it more strange was Butler popped back up and walked off the field under his own power.
The Colts cut the Broncos’ lead to 10-6 with 2:43 left in the first half when Vinatieri drilled a 52-yard field goal. The Colts’ drive was stopped after Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware teamed up to sack Andrew Luck on third down.
Siemian drove the Broncos into Colts territory and got a 43-yard field goal from McManus with 5 seconds left in the first half to extend the lead to 13-6.
The Broncos dominated in the first half, outgaining the Colts 294-72 and having 16 first downs to the Colts’ four, but only had the seven-point lead.
The Colts tied the game on the opening possession of the second half when Robert Turbin scored from 5 yards. Indianapolis drove 79 yards in 13 plays, chewing 6:54 off the clock.
Indianapolis converted three third downs, including a third-and-20 play in which Luck ran for 21 yards. The Broncos later appeared to stop the Colts but were called for a defensive holding penalty and an automatic first down.
The Broncos then engineered their own long drive, getting to the Colts 15 before stalling. McManus made a 33-yard field goal to put the Broncos ahead, 16-13 with 1:09 left in the third quarter.
The Broncos drove 60 yards in 13 plays, taking 6:57 off the clock.
On the Colts’ next possession, the defense rose to the occasion. On third-and-15 from the Colts 35, Luck was intercepted by Aqib Talib, who returned it 46 yards for a touchdown to make it 23-13 with 13:52 to play.
It was the fifth pick-six for Talib with the Broncos, the most in team history.
The Colts cut the Broncos’ lead to 23-20 with 4:02 to play when Luck found Frank Gore in the left flank. Gore then tiptoed along the sideline and dove into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown.
The Broncos offense then was able to chew off more than two minutes, but couldn’t convert on third-and-1 on the first play after the two-minute warning. Brandon McManus made a 35-yard field goal to make it 26-20 with 1:51 to play.
Relive the action in the live blog below.