John Elway and the Denver Broncos hope to turn their season around when they face the Indianapolis Colts in tonight’s nationally televised game.
Elway is expected to throw frequently against the Colts, a team that yielded 444 yards passing to Tampa Bay in its last home game and 315 to Buffalo a week earlier. Indianapolis is ranked 25th in the league against the pass.
Denver is hoping to improve with the return of three key injured players--Elway, wide receiver Mark Jackson, who spent 4 weeks on injured reserve after suffering a broken collarbone while making a block, and tight end Clarence Kay, who bruised his spinal cord in the season opener. Elway missed Denver’s 39-21 loss to Pittsburgh last week with a sprained ankle.
Denver (4-4), bidding to make its third straight Super Bowl appearance, is battling Seattle (5-4) for the American Football Conference West lead. Indianapolis (3-5) is far behind AFC East leader Buffalo (8-1).
Elway said the Broncos have had difficulty adjusting to a new coaching staff. Mike Shanahan, the offensive coordinator for Denver during most of Elway’s career, became the Raiders’ coach last February. Joining Shanahan in the move to Los Angeles were former Denver assistants Alex Gibbs and Nick Nicolau.