INDIANAPOLIS – A future Hall of Fame quarterback is the challenge for the Colts in Week 11.
It’ll be the Colts (6-3) and Packers (7-2) meeting inside of Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday at 4:25 PM.
Here are 7 things to watch for as the Colts play their toughest home game of the season:
1. First Ballot Hall of Famer Challenge
Outside of Patrick Mahomes, there is no better pure thrower of the football, with the ability to also make plays outside of the pocket, than Aaron Rodgers.
Frank Reich gushed this week about the incredible talent of Rodgers, which is why he’ll be a first ballot Hall of Famer one day.
In a season in which the Colts simply won’t play many top-flight passing offenses, Rodgers and the Packers offer that challenge. And you know Darius Leonard has some extra motivation this week.
2. Maintaining Offensive Success
In the big-time win over the Titans last Thursday, the Colts found some of their best offensive rhythm all season by going up-tempo.
Publicly, the Colts say they don’t want that pace to be used all the time.
In a more methodical approach, will the Colts be able to maintain that offensive success, while facing a Green Bay defense dealing with injuries, to the top of its cornerback depth chart?
3. Plan for Davante Adams
Any list of the NFL’s top wideouts this season must have Davante Adams on it.
Adams has an eye-popping 105.9 receiving yards per game and has hauled in 9 touchdowns in just 7 games played this season.
Is this another NFC North challenge that Xavier Rhodes will be looking to match up against?
4. Secondary Health
On a list of the most indispensable Colts last season, Kenny Moore is very high up on it. If you want to debate that, listen to how Chris Ballard described the loss of Moore in the final four games of 2019.
A ribs injury has Moore’s availability for this Sunday’s matchup with the Packers in question. But he did practice this week, along with S-Khari Willis (ribs) and S-Julian Blackmon (pelvis, knee). That’s good news after some uncertainly earlier in the week.
Unlike last season, the Colts feel much better about their nickel corner depth with veteran T.J. Carrie in the fold.
5. Michael Pittman’s Emergence
Before last Thursday’s game against the Titans, the Colts offensive brass discussed the need to get Michael Pittman more involved.
It worked. Quite well.
As the Colts close out the 2020 season, they need Pittman to string together consistent and productive outings to help an offense that has struggled in the reliable playmaking department this year.
6. Colts Running Back Reps
Good luck, fantasy owners.
It’s borderline impossible to predict how Frank Reich and the Colts will use their running backs in a given week.
But you have to think Nyheim Hines is going to be a double-digit touch guy in the immediacy. Will Jonathan Taylor maintain a notable role?
7. Short-Yardage Success
One of the most frustrating aspects to the Colts season for Frank Reich has been their lack of success in short yardage.
It showed up again in the win over the Titans.
In a game facing a team like the Packers, sustaining drives, thus keeping Aaron Rodgers off the field, is a major part of the Colts pulling off the impressive victory (think Kansas City game last year, where the Colts ran it 45 times and had the ball for 15 more minutes than the Chiefs).
Bowen’s Prediction: Packers 30-23. Those in Vegas feel good about the Colts this week, giving them a slight favorite nod. This is a tough one though for me. Unlike the Ravens and Titans, the challenge from the Packers mainly comes through the air. Aaron Rodgers is an incredible talent, who is having an MVP type season. I see Rodgers doing enough damage through the air to get the Packers to 30 points. While I liked some of the offensive spark the Colts received against the Titans, I don’t believe it’ll translate to surviving a shootout type of game against the Packers.