Coming off their first loss of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles will be back in action Sunday afternoon for a matchup against the Colts in Indianapolis. Before the season began, there were many analysts and fans saying the upcoming three games (Colts, Packers, Titans) would be the toughest part of the Eagles’ schedule this season.
It hasn’t really worked out that way. The Packers are 4-7, the Titans are good, but the Colts are in complete disarray. Outside of an emotional victory last week against the Raiders, there is an argument to be made that Indianapolis is the worst roster in football this year. Frank Reich is gone, as are key pieces to a team that many considered to have upgraded at the quarterback position and would be in line for a potentially deep playoff run.
The Colts aren’t completely without success though. Sunday’s win over the Raiders also highlights their early regular season win against the Kansas City Chiefs. This is a team that can sneak up on people when possible and they have a key edge over Philadelphia in one aspect.
We have everything you need to know about the Colts here.
Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1)
Last Game: 25 loss to the Minnesota Vikings
Offensive Ranking: 24th
Defensive Ranking: 28th
Head-to-Head Matchup: Series tied 10-10
Indianapolis Colts Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Jeff Saturday (Interim)
Offensive Coordinator: Parks Frazier
Defensive Coordinator: Gus Bradley
Special Teams Coordinator: Bubba Ventrone
The Colts have one major key that can beat Philadelphia. His name is Jonathan Taylor. Taylor, the NFL’s reigning rushing champ has just 600 yards rushing but averages close to five yards a carry. Injuries have gotten in the way this year. And yet, Taylor is expected to be healthy for Sunday and will look to continue his recent stretch of good play.
Against Vegas, Taylor ran for 147 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. If the Eagles are to win on Sunday, stopping the run is the biggest key. It’s something they’ve struggled with all year and could be the thing that keeps them out of the division title or #1 seed. The Colts, Packers, Titans and Giants all have great running games. If Philly can’t stop them, it’s going to be a really tough stretch for them starting on Sunday.
Shaq Leonard is gone for the rest of the season. In his place, the Colts secondary and linebacking core is pretty poor. Even without Dallas Goedert, there are plays to be had in the passing game. That doesn’t mean every facet is poor in Indy. Yannick Ngakoue and DeForest Buckner are two stalwarts along the defensive line that is pretty good against the run. Philadelphia will need to be more balanced than they were on Sunday if they are to score a lot of points on the road. Limiting the turnover margin will be key as well. Facing off against Rodney McLeod will be a nice little addition here as well.
Questionable: Deon Jackson, Jelani Woods, Kwity Paye, Zaire Franklin, Kenny Moore II
X-Factor: Jonathan Taylor
There isn’t anyone else to mention. If the Eagles stop Jonathan Taylor from getting anything on the ground, chances are they will win Sunday convincingly. If they can’t stop him, and he runs as well as Dameon Pierce, Brian Robinson or others have done, the Eagles could be looking at a two-game losing streak. The basic premise stands: can Philly stop the run, and can they tackle like a professional football team?
Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire