Fans leave stadium before overtime of ugly Broncos-Colts game


As the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts headed for overtime, fans headed for the exits.

For those attending the Thursday Night Football matchup in Denver, the potential sudden-death extra session went from being can't-miss to can't-watch-any-more-of-this.

In all honesty, who could blame them? The only spectators who enjoyed the first four quarters of the game were probably the relatives and fantasy owners of each team's field goal kicker.

Had the fans stayed for overtime, they would have seen more of what they had watched for roughly three hours: ugly football. Oh, and one last field goal, the seventh of the game, which gave the Colts a 12-9 win over the Broncos in the touchdown-less game. 

Chase McLaughlin converted a 48-yard field goal on the Colts' opening possession of overtime. The Broncos quickly moved down field after Russell Wilson connected with Melvin Gordon for a 24-yard gain and Jerry Jeudy for a 37-yard completion that brought them to the Colts' 14-yard line. 

While facing fourth-and-1 with 2:38 remaining, rather than attempt to even the score with yet another field goal and likely end in a very fitting tie for a game neither team really deserved to win, the Broncos attempted to go for the impossible: a touchdown. 

But Wilson didn't spot a wide open K.J. Hamler in the end zone, and his pass to Courtland Sutton was incomplete, mercifully ending the game. 

Many immediately questioned why the Broncos didn't run the ball and pick up the first down to extend the drive, evoking memories of Super Bowl XLIX when the Seahawks opted not to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch and Wilson instead threw a game-ending interception in the end zone.

Wilson tossed a few of those on Thursday, as well. He completed just 21 of 39 passes for 274 yards and two interceptions, one of which was in the end zone to set up the game-tying field goal. The numbers were equally as unimpressive for winning quarterback Matt Ryan, who went 26-for-41 for 251 yards and two interceptions. Wilson was sacked four times, Ryan six. 

It was an injury-laden game, with Indy's Kwity Payne (leg) and Denver’s Garett Bolles (right knee) both getting carted off. Colts running back Nyheim Hines, starting in place of the injured Jonathan Taylor, exited with a head injury after playing just three snaps.

Deon Jackson had 13 carries for 62 yards and Alec Pierce had eight catches for 81 yards to lead the Colts. 

But the only stats that truly mattered were those of the field goal kickers who accounted for each and every point on the scoreboard. The Broncos' Brandon McManus went 3-for-4, converting from 45 yards out to give Denver a 9-6 lead late in the third quarter. McLaughlin went 4-for-4, including a 31-yarder with five seconds remaining to force overtime and send fans to the exits.  

For 49ers, it's best to forget about this ugly Thursday night affair and look ahead to Sunday's Week 5 matchup at the Carolina Panthers.

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