The Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1) head into a short Week Five as they look to rebound against the Denver Broncos (2-2). With the Colts missing Jonathan Taylor, will Matt Ryan and company be able to get the offense rolling?
The Indianapolis Colts are coming fresh off a Week Four loss to the reigning divisional champions, the Tennessee Titans. The Indianapolis Colts are looking to rebound against the Broncos on Thursday night and bring their record to 2-2-1. Indianapolis will be without linebacker Shaquille Leonard (concussion) and running back Jonathan Taylor (ankle). It’s bold prediction time.
Colts And Broncos Combine For High Scoring Affair
Through four weeks, both teams have struggled to put up over 20 points. The Colts have only scored 20 points twice this season: Week One versus the Texans and Week Two versus the Chiefs. The Broncos have only scored 20 plus points once this season. (They scored 23 points against the Raiders in Week Four.) Could this week be different?
Through four weeks of football, Thursday Night Football games have ended with combined points of: 41 (Week One – Bills vs. Rams), 51 (Week Two – Chiefs vs. Chargers), 46 (Week Three – Browns vs. Steelers), and 42 (Week Four: Browns vs Dolphins). If you are a sports better, you know three of the four games have gone under. The over/under for the Colts/Broncos matchup is at 43. Both teams are coming off short weeks and are banged up, but this is the type of game that just feels high scoring. Bold prediction: the Colts and Broncos combine for over 53 points. YES, 53 POINTS! (I think both teams go over 21 points in this matchup.)
Fewest PPG in the NFL this season: Colts: 14.3 Bears: 16.0 Broncos: 16.5 pic.twitter.com/oi8je67J2z — NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) October 4, 2022
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Colts Roll Without Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor left the Colts/Titans game early with an ankle injury, and with the short week, Indianapolis will be without Taylor when they take on the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Call me crazy, but I believe the Colts offense will roll without Taylor. Indianapolis will look to have a running back by committee approach with Nyheim Hines, Philip Lindsay (perhaps) and Deon Jackson. (Of course, I believe Hines will see the majority of the work.)
The offensive line looked improved in pass protection against the Titans. The line gave Matt Ryan time in the pocket for him to get the ball downfield to his receivers and tight ends. Ryan completed 72.9% of his passes for 356 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. The continuity on the offensive line will keep ascending going into Week Five. The line will keep Ryan upright and give him time to carve up the Broncos defense.
MOving those chains. 💪 📺: FOX pic.twitter.com/YOiyHRoPPo — Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 2, 2022
Alec Pierce is showing why Ballard drafted him with Indianapolis’ first pick in the 2022 draft. He has shown he has the ability to stretch the field and to go up and make the contested catches. Pierce has put together back to back games with over 60 receiving yards (61 yards in Week Three, 80 yards in Week Four). This is the game where Pierce gets his first receiving touchdown of his young rookie season.
Alec Pierce coming up CLUTCH for the Colts with this catch 👀 pic.twitter.com/vnu7xD0zkX — NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) October 2, 2022
Colts’ Defense Pressures Russell Wilson
The Indianapolis defense has been able to get pressure on quarterbacks the past two weeks. The unit started the season with just 7 pressures. According to Pro Football Focus, the defense generated 12 pressures in Week Three and 11 pressures and two sacks in Week Four. Look for the pressure to keep coming on Thursday night.
(The Broncos will be without starting right guard Quinn Meinerz on Thursday who has not played since Week One because he is dealing with a hamstring issue). The offensive line has had a hard time protecting Russell Wilson this season. Russell Wilson has been pressured on 33.8% of his drop backs and has been sacked 12 times through four games. According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson is completing only 44.4% of his passes when under pressure. With Javonte Williams out for the rest of the season due to tearing his ACL on Sunday, the Broncos may lean on more on the passing game this week.
The Niners SACK Russell Wilson on third down! pic.twitter.com/TOs2Tx5Vpc — Brian Y (@byysports) September 26, 2022
If the coverage can hold up on the back end, the Colts should be able to pressure Russell Wilson and get to him often. The 49ers sacked Wilson four times, and the Raiders were able to sack him three times in their Week Four matchup. Indianapolis will rack up four sacks on Thursday night in Mile High.
Former Penn State DT Kevin Givens sacks Russell Wilson. pic.twitter.com/SQEJUyiP9E — Joe Smeltzer (@joesmeltzer775) September 26, 2022
Indianapolis will keep the pressure on Russell Wilson all night and force him into a couple of turnovers that will ultimately lead to Indianapolis winning the game. As I mentioned above, the teams will combine for over 53 points, but the pressure and turnovers will ultimately lead to the Broncos’ demise on Thursday night.
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