(8-6-1) Indianapolis (4-10-1)
their Monday night game with the Los Angeles Chargers, the Indianapolis Colts
were trailing by just one touchdown at halftime. They failed to score another
point, and took a 20-3 loss to the Chargers.
Last Saturday the Giants lost
a tough one in Minnesota. Their game was heading into overtime when the Vikings
kicked a 61-yard field goal on the last play of regulation time. That gave the
Vikings a 27-24 win.
Colts won the AFC South division title nine times from 2003-2014. In those 13
years, they went to the playoffs 12 times. Though they have made it to the playoffs
twice since then as a wildcard team, winning the division has eluded them. Andrew
Luck took the Colts to the playoffs in his 2012 rookie year, and the next two.
In 2018 Frank Reich became the head coach and got the team back on track. The
team won one playoff game before losing the next.
The Colts were caught by
surprise when Luck suddenly retired, and since then, in a short period of time,
the starting quarterbacks were Jacoby Brissett, Brian Hoyer, and Philip Rivers.
In 2020 Rivers led the team to another playoff shot, and then he retired. Last
year the Colts acquired Carson Wentz from Philadelphia, who had his best year
working with Reich, who was his offensive coordinator in 2017. That
all did not work out, and in the offseason Wentz was traded to Washington. Matt
Ryan became available from Atlanta, and this year with the team at 3- 5-1 Reich
Colts are having a down year, and the offensive line has been no help. They have
allowed 56 sacks this season. Matt Ryan had been hit numerous times and sacked
24 times in seven games. Sam Ehlinger got his first start because of his mobility.
After another loss, the offensive coordinator was fired. Head coach Frank Reich
was let go after the next game. Management appointed Jeff Saturday to be their
interim coach. Saturday had never coached, but was a center for the Colts for
13 seasons, and was currently working as a paid consultant to the team. Ryan was
back in and won the next game.
Following a few more losses Nick Foles got his
first start this season last week, threw 3 interceptions and was sacked 7 times.
The Colts have scored over 20 points only twice this season, and in that loss
to the Chargers, scored just 3 points. Despite the quarterback switches, their
biggest drop on offense has been with their rushing attack, which was ranked 2nd
last year, and now stands at 25th. That has led them to fall from being a top
ten team in scoring points to next to last in the league.
run defense is giving up 122 yards per game, and they know they have to stop running
back Saquon Barkley. He's rushed for 87 and 84 yards in the last two games, and
Barkley leads the team with 1,254 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Daniel Jones,
aside from his passing abilities, is the second leading rusher on the team. Jones
and Barkley have combined for 109 of the teams 130 total rushing first downs.
Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner will be a big disruptive force the Giants will
have to deal with getting the ground game going, and he can also get to the quarterback
on passing plays.
Buckner leads the team in pressures, and has 8 sacks on
the year, sitting just behind Yannick Ngakoue, the leading pass rusher on the
team with 9.5. Three more sacks in these last two games would give him a new career
high. Along that line, the team now has 43 sacks, 10 more than all of last year,
and are only 4 away from breaking the team record of 46. Veteran safety Rodney
McLeod has a season career high of 85 total tackles,also tackles for a loss, and
pass deflections. McLeod could reach 100 tackles on the season at the rate he
is playing. LATE NEWS - The Colts announced defensive end Yannick Ngakou, who
was listed as questionable for this game, is being placed on IR.
Even though they lost a close game
last week playing against one of the top teams in the NFL, the offense showed
signs that they are putting things together. The Giants opened things up a bit
more, and Daniel Jones rose to the occasion by completing 71 percent of his passes.
Jones completed 30 of his 42 passes for 334 yards and 1 touchdown. Jones passing
attempts and completions were both season highs, and his yardage total was the
second highest this season.
Saquon Barkley had a season high 8 receptions last
week, as well as Richie James and Isaiah Hodgins, who also scored one touchdown.
Those two receivers saw more passes come their way than in any other game they've
played. Darius Slayton, who draws major attention from opposing teams, caught
4 of his 6 targets for 80 yards. Slayton leads the team with 710 receiving yards
on the season, averaging 16.1 yards a catch.
Barkley, aside from his receptions,
had 14 carries for 84 yards and his 27 yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-2 helped
tie the game up at 24-24 late in the fourth quarter after Jones completed a pass
to Daniel Bellinger for a two point conversion. Jones ran with the ball 4 times
for 34 yards, and the Giants totaled 445 total yards, the most they've had all
Last week they were able to get
the pressure on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, recording 4 sacks and 11 quarterback
hits. Nick Foles hadn't played in a long while, and he didn't get much help from
the Colts offensive line allowing him to be sacked 7 times. The Giants blitz a
lot, and they won't be cutting Foles any slack. They'll still have to keep an
eye on Michael Pittman who is the Colts most targeted receiver by far. He leads
the team with 90 receptions for 854 yards. Pittman's on track to break over 1000
yards as he did last year if Foles gets him his average over the next two games.
top running back Jonathan Taylor had played in only 11 games, and was placed on
injured reserve. That's one additional reason their offense has struggled. They
are now leaning on Zach Moss, who has 36 carries in the last two games for 146
yards, averaging just over 4 yards per carry.
The Giants are not the best covering
tight ends, and the Colts have two good ones, Kylen Granson and Jelani Woods.
It helps that It looks like safety Xavier McKinney will be back for this game
after missing the last seven. Landon Collins has shown what he can do in his limited
time back with the Giants, including last week against the Vikings.
There are only two regular season games left to play, and the Giants have an opportunity
to secure a playoff spot with a win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Giants have
exceeded expectations this year, and considering the lack of available talent,
coaching has been a major factor in their success. Head coach Brian Daboll has
kept the team focused.
The Colts moved on from their head coach during this
disappointing losing season. Jeff Saturday stepped in, but there was too much
that needed to be fixed. In this game with the Colts you'll see professional NFL
players playing for pride, and there are some individual records and team records
NFC East Games
Thursday at 8:15pm Cowboys (11-4) at Titans (7-8)
at 1:00pm Colts (4-10-1) at Giants (8-6-1)
Sunday at 1:00pm Saints (6-9) at
Sunday at 1:00pm Browns (6-9) at Commanders (7-7-1)
Giants, Eagles and Commanders are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
On The Air. Listen to the Radio Broadcasts.
TeamGiants on Twitter.
7/8 at Philadelphia