Quenton Nelson Vs. Aaron Donald
I would honestly pay just to watch this matchup one-on-one. Just two all-time greats at their positions (Nelson is still a long way to go, but he will get there), battling it out in the trenches. The NFL’s best inside offensive lineman against the NFL’s best defensive tackle. Just grab your popcorn and enjoy the show, but don’t expect Nelson to keep Donald in check all game, as that is quite literally impossible. Sidenote: If Nelson is out for the game, then it’s over, just no chance of getting any offense.
Michael Pittman Jr. Vs. Jalen Ramsey
Jalen Ramsey can’t shut down our #1 receiver if we don’t have a #1 receiver… now most likely Ramsey will be shadowing Pittman Jr. throughout the game, as he is the Colts’ most dangerous weapon in the passing game. Tough test for MPJ, going up against the best lockdown cornerback in the NFL, and I honestly would not be surprised if Pittman finishes the game with no catches.
Frank Reich Vs. Non-scripted play-calling
Reich struggled a lot against the Seahawks, as his play-calling was undoubtedly mediocre at best, and absolutely terrible at worst. A tendency is starting to show where the Colts do just fine with their scripted play-calls in the first few drives, but then fall off a cliff when the wheels come off. Reich needs to do a better job at putting his players in a position to succeed. The Colts offense has plenty of talent, it just needs some time together and some better coaching from Reich in order to succeed.
Colts Vs. Injuries
What is up with all the injuries this year? Now I know all NFL teams go through this, but it seems like this season we are really unlucky. Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith did not practice at all this week, as their status for Week 2 remains up in the air. Eric Fisher could return this week. Defensive stars Darius Leonard and Xavier Rhodes have also missed practice. If Nelson and Smith are out, then my hopes for the offense crumble. Leonard missing the game would be a huge blow, as the Colts’ linebacker group is not really deep at the moment. The Colts managed to get through just fine despite Rhodes’ injury, but the Rams’ passing attack is also rather dangerous, with receivers like Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Van Jefferson, led by new franchise quarterback Matt Stafford.
Kwity Paye Vs. Andrew Whitworth
Paye had a really tough debut matchup against Duane Brown, and this week it does not get any easier against the experienced Andrew Whitworth. If AQM still commands the majority of snaps at the SDE, then all hope of pass rush from that edge is lost, so the only hope for edge pressure is Paye. Perhaps Paye will be able to put his explosiveness and athleticism to better use against a less agile tackle.