2018 Colts Preview: Colts/Giants, Week 16

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INDIANAPOLIS — This Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts (8-6) play host to the New York Giants (5-9) as they continue to ramp up their efforts for an AFC playoff push.

The Colts currently sit in the seventh seed, needing to finish sixth or better to get a spot in the postseason. Standing in their way is perhaps the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in running back Saquon Barkley and the Giants. While these are two teams heading in different directions — the Giants were eliminated from playoff contention last Sunday — New York is playing much better overall football of late, so the Colts must continue with going 1-0 each week being their sole focus.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

  • Sunday, Dec. 23 at 1 p.m. ET
  • Indianapolis; Lucas Oil Stadium
  • TV: CBS — Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Rich Gannon (color) and Steve Tasker (sideline)
  • To find out what games will be on in your area, check here
  • Radio: WFNI “1070 The Fan” and WLHK “HANK FM” — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Jim Sorgi (color) and Barry Krauss (sideline)

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Colts lead, 9-6 (2-0 in the playoffs), and are 1-0 against the Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts have won four of the last five dating back to 1999.
  • Last game — Week 9 of 2014. The Colts won, 40-24.

COACHING STAFF

Colts:

  • HC Frank Reich
  • OC Nick Sirianni
  • DC Matt Eberflus
  • STC Bubba Ventrone

Giants:

  • HC Pat Shurmur
  • OC Mike Shula
  • DC James Bettcher
  • STC Thomas McGaughey

LAST WEEK

Colts:

  • Won vs. Dallas Cowboys (8-6), 23-0

Giants:

  • Lost vs. Tennessee Titans (8-6), 17-0

INJURY UPDATE

Colts:

  • S Clayton Geathers (knee): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • OG Mark Glowinski (ankle): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday, limited participant Thursday and Friday
  • WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday and Thursday, limited participant Friday
  • S Mike Mitchell (calf): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday and Thursday, full participant Friday
  • S George Odum (knee): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday and Thursday, limited participant Friday
  • LB Anthony Walker (shoulder): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Giants:

  • WR Odell Beckham Jr. (quad): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • LB Alec Ogletree (concussion): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • C Spencer Pulley (calf): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • WR Russell Shepard (ankle): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • DL Kerry Wynn (thumb): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH

  • About Last Night... — Two teams that the Colts are directly competing for a playoff spot with — the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans — both play on Saturday night. No matter how you slice it, the Colts need to and will play hard on Sunday, but it could give them a little extra juice knowing that they can either keep the status quo or could all but lock up a playoff spot by winning out this and next week.
  • No Odell Beckham Jr. — Beckham, who is among the best players in the NFL, missed the last two games for the Giants while nursing a quad injury, and he has been declared out again this week. Receiver Russell Shepard was also ruled out. In their absence, expect to see a healthy dose of Sterling Shepard, Bennie Fowler and Evan Engram.
  • Maniac On A Mission — Despite being one of the league's most productive defensive players all season, Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard was snubbed from the Pro Bowl when rosters were announced this week. It was one of his big goals for the year, especially after the body of work he's put on film. A highly-motivated person already, Leonard told tight end Eric Ebron that he may get 40 tackles against the Giants on Sunday. “A whole lot. A whole lot more,” Leonard told reporters this week when asked how much fuel being snubbed adds to his always-burning fire.
  • Marlon Mack And The Run Game — With starting center Ryan Kelly and tight end Mo Alie-Cox back in the lineup from injuries last week, Colts running back Marlon Mack ran for a career-high 139 yards against the Dallas Cowboys, who were a top-three team against the run. This week, the Colts could also be getting starting right guard Mark Glowinski back from injury against a Giants run defense that ranks near the bottom of the league. This could be another huge performance for Mack.
  • The Final Manning Appearance At Lucas Oil Stadium? — At 37 years old and only visiting every eight years, this is likely Giants quarterback Eli Manning's final game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Unless he or Peyton Manning has a child that eventually plays in the NFL, this could be the Manning family's final game in Indianapolis overall. We all know about Peyton's accomplishments in the building, but Eli won a Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium as well in 2012 in Super Bowl XLVI. “I’ve always enjoyed watching him as a kid. I remember watching him at Ole Miss when I was probably in middle school," Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said of Eli this week. "Early on in the NFL – ‘Man, I get to play the Giants. Eli Manning is on that team.' Or the Patriots with Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers. Eli has certainly carried the torch for quarterbacks for many, many years and I very admire and respect how he handles his business both on and off the field.”

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Giants CB Janoris Jenkins/B.W. Webb — Hilton is technically questionable this week, but he was able to play through his ankle injury last Sunday despite not practicing that week. If he plays Sunday then he draws a good matchup primarily against Webb, who ranks 115th among corners this year according to Pro Football Focus. Hilton leads the league in receiving yards since Week 10 (718), so he's got plenty of momentum.
  • Colts LT Anthony Castonzo vs. Giants ED Olivier Vernon — This is a really solid matchup pitting a team's top tackle against their opponent's top edge rusher. Vernon doesn't put up big sack numbers, but he consistently wins his matchups and harrasses the backfield. Castonzo has a nice test ahead of him Sunday.
  • Colts DEs Jabaal Sheard/Tyquan Lewis vs. Giants OTs Nate Solder/Chad Wheeler — Sheard, the Colts' dependable veteran edge defender faces New York's young, struggling right tackle, Wheeler. Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the line, Colts rookie defensive end Lewis — coming off of two sacks last week — faces New York's veteran left tackle, Solder. It's a nice blend of matchups pitting young players against veterans.
  • Colts CB Kenny Moore II vs. Giants WR Sterling Shepard — This matchup becomes amplified with Beckham out. Shepard travels between the slot and the boundary for New York, as does Moore as a defender. Moore has quietly had a solid sophomore season while occasionally being assigned to the opponent's best receiver.

REFEREE ASSIGNMENT

BETTING LINE

LEADERS

Colts:

  • Passing — QB Andrew Luck (3,951 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (755 yards)
  • Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (1,071 yards)
  • Touchdowns — TE Eric Ebron (13)
  • Tackles — LB Darius Leonard (146)
  • Sacks — DL Denico Autry (9.0)
  • Interceptions — CB Kenny Moore II (2)

Giants:

  • Passing — QB Eli Manning (3,689 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Saquon Barkley (1,155 yards)
  • Receiving — WR Odell Beckham Jr. (1,052 yards)
  • Touchdowns — RB Saquon Barkley (13)
  • Tackles — S Landon Collins (96)
  • Sacks — DT B.J. Hill (5.0)
  • Interceptions — LB Alec Ogletree (5)

COMPARING 2018 STATS

Colts:

  • Total offense — 8th (381.5 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 8th (26.6 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 7th (273.6 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed — Tied-1st (16)
  • Running offense — 20th (107.9 YPG)
  • Third down offense — 1st (48%)
  • Red zone offense — 6th (67.9%)
  • Total defense — 10th (341.5 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 11th (21.4 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 15th (237.9 YPG)
  • Sacks — Tied-12th (38)
  • Running defense — 8th (103.6 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 26th (41%)
  • Red zone defense — 9th (51.3%)
  • Time of possession — 26th (29:29)
  • Turnover differential — 16th (+1)

Giants:

  • Total offense — 20th (347.4 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 20th (21.9 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 13th (245.7 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed — Tied-28th (46)
  • Running offense — 25th (101.7 YPG)
  • Third down offense — 26th (35%)
  • Red zone offense — 28th (46.7%)
  • Total defense — 21st (365.8 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — Tied-22nd (24.9 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 14th (237.4 YPG)
  • Sacks — 30th (25)
  • Running defense — 28th (128.4 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 16th (39%)
  • Red zone defense — 10th (52.0%)
  • Time of possession — 28th (28:44)
  • Turnover differential — 12th (+3)

NOTES AND QUOTES

  • This week, the Colts made the following moves: Signed free agent S J.J. Wilcox, placed LB Skai Moore and DT Al Woods on Injured Reserve. Signed LB Tegray Scales to the practice squad.
  • Luck needs one touchdown pass to tie Andy Dalton (167) for the sixth-most passing touchdowns in a player's first seven seasons in NFL history. Luck also needs one rushing touchdown to pass Bert Jones (14) for the second-most in franchise history among quarterbacks.
  • Hilton needs two receptions to join Marvin Harrison (665) as the only player in franchise history to reach 500 receptions in their first sevens seasons with the team. With one receiving touchdown, Hilton will pass Jim Mutscheller (40) for the seventh-most receiving touchdowns in franchise history, and also tie Raymond Berry and Dallas Clark (41) for the third-most receiving touchdowns in a player's first seven seasons in franchise history.
  • Colts tight end Eric Ebron needs one receiving touchdown to tie Tyler Eifert (2015), Billy Howton (1952), Vernon Davis (2009, 2013), Antonio Gates (2004) and Ken Kavanaugh (1947) for the ninth-most touchdown receptions (13) by a tight end in a single season in NFL history. Ebron would also pass Marvin Harrison (1999, 2005, 2006) and Reggie Wayne (2004) for the fifth-most receiving touchdowns in a single season in franchise history. With one touchdown from scrimmage, Ebron will pass Davis (2009, 2013), Eifert (2015) and Gates (2004) for the third-most scrimmage touchdowns (13) by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.
  • Leonard currently has 146 tackles on the season. He could pass the following former Colts on Sunday for their spot in franchise history in a single season: Pat Angerer (146 in 2011) for the fifth-most (according to Stats Pass), Quentin Coryatt (150 in 1993) and D’Qwell Jackson (150 in 2015) for the third-most, Mike Peterson (158 in 2000) for the second-most, and Jeff Herrod (160 in 1991) for the most.
  • Colts running back Nyheim Hines currently has 56 receptions on the season. He could pass the following former Colts rookies on Sunday for their spot in franchise history in a single season: Austin Collie (60 in 2009) for the fourth-most receptions by a Colts rookie since 1970, Edgerrin James (62 in 1999) for the third-most, Marvin Harrison (64 in 1996) for the second-most, and Bill Brooks (65 in 1986) for the most.
  • Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri needs to appear in one game to tie Jeff Feagles (352) for the third-most regular season games played in NFL history. He would also tie Justin Snow and Robert Mathis (192) for the seventh-most games played in franchise history. Vinatieri needs one made field goal from 50-plus yards to pass Phil Dawson and John Kasay (42) for the fourth-most 50-yard field goals in NFL history

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) (@ Seattle Seahawks [8-6])
  2. Houston Texans (10-4) (@ Philadelphia Eagles [7-7])
  3. New England Patriots (9-5) (Buffalo Bills [5-9])
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1) (@ New Orleans Saints [12-2])
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (11-3) (Baltimore Ravens [8-6])
  6. Baltimore Ravens (8-6) (@ Los Angeles Chargers [11-3])
  7. Indianapolis Colts (8-6) (New York Giants [5-9])
  8. Tennessee Titans (8-6) (Washington Redskins [7-7])
  9. Miami Dolphins (7-7) (Jacksonville Jaguars [4-10])
  10. Cleveland Browns (6-7-1) (Cincinnati Bengals [6-8])

*Clinched playoff spot.

NEXT WEEK

Colts:

  • Tennessee Titans (8-6) (away)

Giants:

  • Dallas Cowboys (8-6) (home)

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