By Tom James
---- — INDIANAPOLIS -- Pep Hamilton has a game plan on how the Indianapolis Colts (4-2) can pull off an upset win over the undefeated (6-0) Denver Broncos Sunday night.
The Colts’ first-year offensive coordinator, though, knows that the task won’t be easy. After all, Denver comes to Lucas Oil Stadium for the nationally-televised (NBC Sports, 8:30 p.m.) as the National Football League’s most potent offense. The Broncos have scored 265 points so far this season, the most by any NFL team in the first six games of a season.
As for Hamilton’s game plan, it’s relatively simple. Play keep away. Limit the number of opportunities that Denver’s offense is on the field. Don’t get into a play-for-play, point-for-point scenario. Control the tempo.
“It’s important for us to control the line of scrimmage and establish a running game. I feel like that’s the formula that works for us,” Hamilton said Thursday.
“We had a few games where we won the time of possession battle and as we all know in this room, we didn’t do that this past Monday night [in a 19-9 loss at San Diego]. We feel like it’s important that we control the line of scrimmage.”
But while the game plan is pretty basic, executing it will be the tough part.
“Quite naturally, the game and the score of the game will dictate what we’re able to do offensively. So the flow of the game, it’ll kind of take care of itself,” the Colts assistant coach said. “It’s our goal as an offense to, at the end of the game, have at least one more point than the opponent and have a chance to win the game of course.”
When it comes to a possible game scenario, Denver head coach John Fox thinks that he has a pretty good idea what to expect.
“Well, through six games, we’ve had a lot of different [game plans]. That’s all part of football, that’s what we do is adjust. Sometimes you get un-scouted looks, sometimes you get a completely different game plan and that’s whether we were playing the Colts or Jacksonville last week or Baltimore [in] Week 1. We’ve been fairly salty against the run as well, statistically, and people have opened it up,” Fox said in a teleconference with the Colts media.
“Really, that’s a quandary, as it is for everybody, every team, every coaching staff every week because again, you’re adjusting to what your opponent does. Again, offensively I always say it’s their ball, they get to do with it what they want. It’ll just be up to us to adjust to whatever style they bring to the table.”
Circus in town -- What with all the Twitter wars that’s been going on between Colts owner Jim Irsay, former general manager/team president Bill Polian, and various members of the national media, it’s no surprise that the team’s media and locker rooms have taken on somewhat of a circus atmosphere.
ESPN was in on Wednesday. NFL Network, meanwhile, had two different crews on scene Wednesday and Thursday.
Often times over the last two days, media members have outnumbered players in the locker room.
“Y’all are turning this into a circus. It’s a circus coming in town. [For Indianapolis’ players] it’s just another game, another opportunity for us to go out there and play what Colts football is all about,” veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne said.
“Hopefully we do better than last week and keep it moving. I’m just ready to play, ready to get it over with. It’s like the Ringling Brothers.”
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis was asked Thursday if this week had a special feel to it.
“Besides from maybe triple the size of media guys around here, not really,” Mathis said. “It’s another team. We’re worried about what we do, not about the other team. [Sunday night is] going to be different. It’s going to be whatever you want to call it. But it’s [still] going to be a game to us. We just come out to play.”
Injury list -- Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (concussion) was upgraded Thursday. Freeman was hurt in the first half of Monday night’s loss at San Diego.Safety Delano Howell (neck) was also upgraded from limited work on Wednesday to full practice Thursday. Inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (hamstring) was downgraded from limited Wednesday to sitting out the Thursday workout.
Cornerback Darius Butler (groin) saw limited work both days. Safety LaRon Landry (ankle) saw full practice time Wednesday and Thursday. Landry has been sidelined for the last four games but is expected to play Sunday night.
Rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner (foot) has yet to practice this week. He did not play last week against San Diego and is not expected to be available for the Broncos game.