For a cool $3,500 you too can sit behind the visitor's sideline, with an up-close view of Peyton Manning at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. That's right - $3,500 is the asking price for a club-level seat on Craigslist. At least it includes a parking pass. "It's really kind of exciting (around the city) right now. There's a lot of anticipation," Mayor Greg Ballard said in a phone conversation. "I think everybody wants to see Peyton." One report suggested 5,600 hotel rooms are booked in relation to Sunday's game. If the Peyton Effect on Indianapolis is this extreme for a single Sunday, it's not hard to imagine his impact over 14 seasons in Indianapolis. There are tickets available for around $150. That puts you sky-high in the stadium stratosphere, up in the 600 Level at the 67,000-seat arena.
As the Broncos went through their stretching exercises prior to Wednesday's practice at Dove Valley, a strength and conditioning coach had an announcement to make: "The media's been all over it. He's going back to Indy ... Jacob Tamme!" Good one, coach. The Broncos tight end was a fourth-round draft pick of the Colts in 2008. The other returning Colt, Peyton Manning, is scheduled for a pregame tribute. "How I'll feel walking into the stadium?" Manning said. "I can't tell you that right now." Here's an educated guess: Manning will be just as fired up as the 67,000-plus packed into Lucas Oil Stadium. The question is: Does Colts owner Jim Irsay have an ulterior motive in planning a pregame ceremony - to shake Manning from his torrid hot streak? The drama continues.
Here's the rap on the Broncos: Sure, Peyton Manning's offense scores at a historic rate. But the defense sure gives up a lot of points. Too often, that evaluation ignores a significant factor in the equation: We haven't seen the Denver defense yet. Not at full strength, anyway. Sunday is the day when Jack Del Rio's defense becomes what it was supposed to be. Linebacker Von Miller returns after a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy. "I do have a sack celebration up my sleeve," Miller said in the locker room. Champ Bailey returned against the Jaguars and led all cornerbacks by playing in 72 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Robert Ayers and Wesley Woodyard are expected to return, as well. Finally, the Broncos defense is healthy. "He's fresh," John Fox said of Miller. "This is his opening game of the season."