Broncos hope win at Indy could be start of long road back

Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos receiver Cody Latimer (14) scores a touchdown in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Thomas J. Russo-USA Today Sports)
Updated 15 December 2017
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Broncos hope win at Indy could be start of long road back

INDIANAPOLIS: The Denver Broncos know where they stand.
There will be no playoffs and no winning record this season. But at least after Brock Osweiler’s relief appearance Thursday night, they’ll no longer be talking about a road losing streak next week.
Osweiler ran for one touchdown and threw for two more after replacing an injured Trevor Siemian, leading the Broncos back from a 10-point deficit to beat the Indianapolis Colts 25-13 and snap an eight-game skid away from home.
“It’s just fun to win,” Denver coach Vance Joseph said. “It started Monday, getting ready for this game. It’s tough to play two games in five days and you have to embrace it.”
Sure, the Broncos (5-9) could have played out the string after watching a promising start turn into a recurring nightmare.
Instead, they snapped an eight-game losing streak with Sunday’s shutout against the New York Jets and followed that up with their first win outside Denver since Dec. 4, 2016.
And now that they’ve averted the possibility of their first winless season on the road since 1964, the Broncos can go after their third straight victory when they visit Washington in nine days.
The problem is, Joseph doesn’t know yet who will be starting at quarterback.
Siemian left after being driven into the ground by linebacker Barkevious Mingo on Denver’s second series and was diagnosed with a sprained left shoulder. Joseph couldn’t say whether a few extra off days would be enough to get back Siemian back on the field.
It might not matter if Osweiler continues to play as well as he did against the reeling Colts (3-11).
The one-time quarterback of the future in Denver rekindled those memories by going 12 of 17 for 194 yards and scoring on an 18-yard run that ended with a dive into the end zone.
“Whether you are the first string, second string, third string or fourth string, you are getting paid to be a professional quarterback and be prepared,” Osweiler said. “That’s really it. I was just simply doing my job.”
Having fun, too.
For the Colts, it was another miserable game.
After scoring the first 10 points, they gave up Osweiler’s scoring run. And after taking a 13-7 lead early in the third quarter, they allowed Osweiler to hook up with Cody Latimer on a 22-yard TD pass, Jeff Heuerman on a 54-yard TD pass and Latimer on a 2-point conversion to seal the game and Indy’s first losing season at home in six years.
“You stick with it, you learn the tough lessons and if you learn from it, it will be good down the road,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said.
Here are some other observations from Thursday’s game:
Injuries hurt
Colts tight end Brandon Williams gave everyone a scare when he went down and stayed down 59 seconds into the second quarter after apparently being involved in a helmet-to-helmet collision.
Trainers and team doctors strapped Williams to a backboard before he was carted off the field and taken to a hospital. By the end of the game, he was back in the team training room, diagnosed with a concussion.
The bigger impact might have been losing inside linebackers Jon Bostic (knee) and Jeremiah George (burner) in quick succession in the second half. The Colts’ defense never really recovered.
“We won’t make any excuses,” Pagano said. “But you lose Bostic, then you lose George. And credit them — they converted.”
Finding balance
One reason Osweiler excelled was because he didn’t have to win this one by himself.
Emmanuel Sanders caught five passes for 68 yards before leaving with an injured ankle, Demaryius Thomas had five receptions for 69 yards, and Latimer and Heuerman had scoring catches.
But it was C.J. Anderson who helped the most. By rushing 30 times for a season-high 158 yards, the Broncos controlled the game and the clock. They’ll need more of that kind of balance to keep building momentum during the final two games of the season.
“He is a volume back. He needs multiple carries to get going and you can see what he can do,” Joseph said.
Finishing slow
The Colts flipped the script a bit by scoring a touchdown on their opening drive and making a field goal on their first drive of the third quarter. They still couldn’t finish.
Indy again blew a double-digit lead and again struggled to do much at all in the second half. It’s been a problem the Colts still haven’t figured out.
“It’s very frustrating,” receiver T.Y. Hilton said after finishing with five catches for 41 yards. “I don’t have the answers. I don’t know what’s going on with this.”
Dominant defense
Denver’s defense went into Week 15 ranked No. 1 in the NFL.
In five days, the Broncos have shown why. They’ve allowed only 328 yards and 13 points in the last two games.


Felipe Massa ready for Formula E challenge around the streets of Riyadh

Updated 5 min 53 sec ago
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Felipe Massa ready for Formula E challenge around the streets of Riyadh

Noor Nugali Riyadh: Felipe Massa cannot wait to get behind the wheel of a Formula E car and jumpstart his new career when the spectacle of speed storms into Riyadh for the season opener on Dec. 15.
The Saudi Arabia capital was named as the newest stopping point for the sport in May, with it being the first race of a 13-race season, which sees the electric-powered cars tackle street circuits across the globe.
Not only will the December date mark the Kingdom’s entry into Formula E, but it will also mark Massa’s debut, having left the Formula One paddock for the growing sport. And the 37-year-old told Arab News he is excited about the prospect of tackling the streets of Ad Diriyah, the oldest part of the capital, in one of the electrically powered speed machines.
“I am ready for the race. It’s a fantastic feeling driving around the city, the town, it’s historical. It will be a big event,” Massa said at press conference to announce Saudi Arabian Airlines’ new long-term partnership as official airline partner of the all-electric series.
“I’m really happy to be a part of this new challenge for my career. In a new place and country, it’s motivating.”
Having won 11 Grands Prix during an illustrious career in F1, during which time he raced for Ferrari, some might think Massa would not be daunted by the move to Formula E. The Brazilian, however, is taking nothing for granted.
“It’s a big challenge for me to change categories, to Formula E,” he said, having got a chance to put some early practice in as he took a Gen2 car around the streets of the capital.
“Learning everything is a challenge. It’s different cars, different tracks and a different way of driving. I need to learn and grow to understand but I like new challenges.”
Massa called the Formula E vehicles “the car of the next generation” and it is hoped that the Ad Diriyah race helps the changing face of Saudi Arabia by inspiring more women to get behind the wheel in the Kingdom — something not lost on Massa.
“I heard that women are driving (in Saudi Arabia) now and that’s fantastic — hopefully in the future there will female racers,” he said.
“We are racing in a country (whose main export is oil), and we are racing with electric cars. I think it shows that this country wants to change its mentality and its thinking of the future. It’s really positive and I’m so happy to be a part of this.”
Thanks to the Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, the Middle East has long been associated with motorsport, and it is well known that the region is awash with petrolheads. The Riyadh Formula E race, however, will be international motorsport’s first move into Saudi Arabia.
But rather than look to bring F1 to the country his Abdul Aziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice-chair of the General Sports Authority, revealed that Formula E was the only format they wanted to see in the capital.
“This is a truly game-changing moment for Saudi Arabia and one that we can share with the world,” he said. “It is very fitting that the such a futuristic and sustainable sport as Formula E is pointing to the future direction of our country.
“Saudi Arabia is home to literally millions of passionate young fans of motorsport, many of whom simply cannot believe that Felipe Massa took the Gen2 car around the streets of the capital today and that they now have a ‘home race’ on the Formula E calendar. So already the excitement is building, especially since we’re adding live music concerts to the weekend line-up.”
The track Massa and Co. will be tackling this December was revealed at the press conference. At 1.76 miles long, the first road circuit in the Middle East features 21 corners, a number of which are long flowing ones taken at high speed. It is hoped that the race will get both Saudi Arabia’s entry to the sport and the season itself off to a spectacular start, and in doing so inspire a new generation of speed demons.
Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal Al-Saud, president of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said: “Something we haven’t announced yet, is that there will be a support race for Formula E.
“It’s the Jaguar I-Pace trophy, it will race around the world with the Formula E circuit.
“Saudi Arabia will participate in that championship as a national team with two Saudi Arabian drivers and we will announce the names soon.”