The Indianapolis Colts (2-4) are heading to the west coast for a Week 7 prime-time matchup against the San Francisco 49ers (2-3) at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday night.
Here’s how the Colts Wire staff sees this game shaking out:
Kevin Hickey (@KevinHickey11): Colts 17, 49ers 14
Given the harsh weather conditions for this game, I’m not expecting a shoot-out. Both teams are going to have rely on their run games, which is exactly what they want. Frank Reich wants to establish the run with the hot hand of Jonathan Taylor while Kyle Shanahan is one of the best minds in the game when it comes to running the football.
Since quarterback play is largely going to be taken out of this game, it’s likely to come down to who can stop the run. There have been few teams better than the Colts in that regard this season even if Shanahan’s blocking scheme can explode any given week.
The Colts will be seeing the return of Quenton Nelson, which will boost the run game, while Matt Pryor has been an adequate replacement for Braden Smith. The 49ers are likely going to be without two defensive tackles and left tackle Trent Williams so the advantage goes to the Colts there.
With a low-scoring game expected, the Colts wind up with an upset on the road thanks to their run game and run defense working together for a close win.
Cody Manning (@CodyTalksNFL): Colts 27, 49ers
The Indianapolis Colts enter Sunday night with some momentum because of how their offense has played over the last few weeks. With the return on Quenton Nelson, they open up the rushing attack with Jonathan Taylor and company. The unit takes advantage of the San Francisco 49ers missing their top interior defensive lineman, Javon Kinlaw, and eat up the middle of their defense with the ground attack. DeForest Buckner does his part in the trenches to be a nightmare to his former teammate Jimmy Garoppolo. The Colts defense looks to shut down the rushing attack and force the 49ers to lean on the pass in a potential rain game. It’s not going to be easy, the efficiency shows up for San Francisco and they get some scoring drives throughout the game to battle it out with Indianapolis. But, this time in the 4th quarter, Carson Wentz puts together a drive to help take the lead and close it out with a win. Colts grab one on the road,
John Alfieri (@alfierijohn): Colts 24, 49ers 20
After a dominant performance against the Texans, the Colts head into a Sunday Night Matchup in San Francisco. While the 49ers are dealing with injuries of their own, this should be a physical matchup featuring two teams that do not like their current records.
Losing Julian Blackmon for the season hurts the Colts young secondary, but with Isaiah Rodgers as an emerging talent, he should be able to pick up some of the slack in pass coverage. Look for him to have a big game matched up against Deebo Samuel at times. This game also features, in my opinion, a battle of the two best linebackers in the NFL. Darius Leonard and Fred Warner are tied with tackles on the year at 45. Both linebackers will have to step up in pass coverage in this one, with Leonard having the advantage against the less talented San Francisco backfield.
In the end the Colts will come away with a win. The pass rush will come alive against a quarterback who is banged up and inconsistent. This will be a huge win on the resume going into the second half of the season.
Nick Melillo (@CircleCity21): TBD
1. John (5-1)
2. Kevin (4-2)
3. Cody (4-2)
4. Nick (1-5)