2018 Colts Season Preview: Colts/Giants, Week 16

An early look at the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants Week 16 regular season matchup.

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts prepare for their final home game of the regular season when they welcome Eli Manning and his potentially high-powered New York Giants offense.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

  • Date TBD (Saturday, Dec. 22, or Sunday, Dec. 23)
  • Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium)
  • TV — CBS

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Colts lead, 9-6 (2-0 in the playoffs). Colts have won four of the last five going back to 1999.
  • Last game — Week 9 of 2014. 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

KEY NEW FACES

Colts:

  • OG Quenton Nelson
  • TE Eric Ebron
  • WR Ryan Grant
  • RB Nyheim Hines
  • DT/DE Denico Autry

Giants:

  • RB Saquon Barkley/Jonathan Stewart
  • WR Cody Latimer/Russell Shepard
  • OL Nate Solder/Will Hernandez
  • LB Alec Ogletree
  • CB Sam Beal

OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGES

Colts:

  • The Colts got an almost entirely new coaching staff this offseason, and general manager Chris Ballard went into his second offseason of flipping the roster.
  • With the coaching change came a switch to a 4-3, Tampa-2 style defense from the hybrid 3-4 defense.
  • From 2017 to 2018, there could be as many as a dozen or more new starters.
  • One of those new starters will be at running back. Frank Gore is now on the Miami Dolphins, so a new face will be stepping into the starting tailback spot.

Giants:

  • Like the Colts, the Giants got a new coaching staff this year led by new head coach Pat Shurmur.
  • They are moving to a 3-4 defense under new coordinator James Bettcher after playing a 4-3 for the last several years.
  • There is plenty of shuffling that was done at running back. Paul Perkins started out as the lead back last year before Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman took over. Perkins and Darkwa are now gone, and rookie phenom Saquon Barkley is taking over in the backfield. Veteran Jonathan Stewart will spell him when needed.
  • There has also been quite a bit of turnover on the offensive line. Former left tackle Ereck Flowers is moving over to the right side, while the Giants replace Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg and D.J. Fluker with Nate Solder, Will Hernandez and Brett Jones.

EARLY STORYLINES

  • Playoff Watch — Two games left, and either team could be in the playoff hunt.
  • Award Watch — There are several players in this matchup who could be up for some of the league's major awards: MVP (Andrew Luck), Offensive Player of the Year (Luck, Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr.), Defensive Player of the Year (Malik Hooker, Landon Collins), Offensive Rookie of the Year (Barkley, Nyheim Hines), Defensive Rookie of the Year (Darius Leonard, Sam Beal) and Comeback Player of the Year (Luck, Beckham). There could even be a few surprise outliers.
  • Preparing For Life After Eli? — Last year, the Giants temporarily started the process of preparing for life after quarterback Eli Manning (37). They selected quarterback Davis Webb in the third round and another in Kyle Lauletta this year in the fourth round. If the Giants are out of playoff contention late in the year, could we see either Webb or Lauletta getting snaps?
  • Fantasy Championship Implications — For millions of us across the country, Week 16 will be the fantasy football championship round. This game should have plenty of fantasy implications, as Luck, Beckham, Barkley, Evan Engram, T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle will all likely be regular fantasy starts. Manning, Hines, Marlon Mack, Sterling Shepard, Ryan Grant, Chester Rogers and Eric Ebron could all hypothetically be playable this week as well.

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts OG Quenton Nelson vs. Giants DT Damon "Snacks" Harrison — Snacks may be the best run-stuffing nose tackle in the league, and the Colts will need the rookie Nelson to help neutralize him.
  • Colts DE Jabaal Sheard vs. Giants OT Ereck Flowers — Flowers is known for his struggles since entering the league in 2015. Perhaps a move to right tackle will help him, but the Colts' best pass rusher in Jabaal Sheard will likely line up primarily against the offense's right tackle.
  • Colts CB Quincy Wilson vs. Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. — Cornerbacks can throw Beckham off his game if they get physical with him. Look at Josh Norman and Xavier Rhodes as examples. Wilson has good size and physicality. If his approach this week is to get into Beckham's grill, he could make him blow his cool.

RETURNING LEADERS

Colts:

  • Passing — QB Jacoby Brissett (3,098 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (358 yards)
  • Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (966 yards)
  • Touchdowns — QB Jacoby Brissett, WR T.Y. Hilton, TE Jack Doyle (4)
  • Tackles — LB Antonio Morrison (108 total)
  • Sacks — DE Jabaal Sheard (5.5)
  • Interceptions — S Malik Hooker (3)

Giants:

  • Passing — QB Eli Manning (3,468 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Wayne Gallman (476 yards)
  • Receiving — WR Sterling Shepard (731 yards)
  • Touchdowns — TE Evan Engram (6)
  • Tackles — S Landon Collins (104 tackles)
  • Sacks — DE/OLB Olivier Vernon (6.5)
  • Interceptions — CB Janoris Jenkins (3)

COMPARING 2017 STATS

Colts:

  • Total offense — 31st (284.8 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 30th (16.4 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 30th (180.8 YPG)
  • Running offense — 22nd (103.8 YPG)
  • Total defense — 30th (367.1 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 30th (25.2 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 28th (246.6 YPG)
  • Sacks — 31st (25)
  • Running defense — 26th (120.4 YPG)
  • Time of possession — 22nd (29:41)
  • Turnover margin — 13th (+5)

Giants:

  • Total offense — 21st (314.2 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 31st (15.4 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 19th (217.4 YPG)
  • Running offense — 26th (96.8 YPG)
  • Total defense — 31st (373.2 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 27th (24.2 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 31st (252.4 YPG)
  • Sacks — 29th (27)
  • Running defense — 27th (120.8 YPG)
  • Time of possession — 29th (28:42)
  • Turnover margin — 21st (-3)

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