INDIANAPOLIS — A nationally-televised Monday Night Football audience awaits the Indianapolis Colts (6-7) and New Orleans Saints (10-3) this week as the two sides square off at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in their Week 15 matchup.
While the Colts have lost their last three contests, a victory in New Orleans would be huge toward keeping their playoff hopes alive. The Saints, meanwhile, are still in play for the top seed in the NFC, so this should be a spirited, hard-fought contest.
Here's everything you need to know heading into Monday's showdown.
- Monday, Dec. 16, at 8:15 p.m. ET
- New Orleans; Mercedes-Benz Superdome
- TV: ESPN — Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Booger McFarland (color) and Lisa Salters (sideline)
- Watch the Colts on Yahoo Sports or the Colts app, free on your phone or tablet.*Geographic and device restrictions apply. Local & primetime games only. Data charges may apply.
- Click here for more ways to watch.
- 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 Larra Overton (sideline) | Westwood One — Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Kurt Warner (color) and Hub Arkush (sideline)
- Saints lead, 7-5 (Colts are 0-1 in the playoffs), and have won the last three games dating back to 2010.
- Last game — Week 7 of 2015. Saints won, 27-21.
- HC Frank Reich
- OC Nick Sirianni
- DC Matt Eberflus
- STC Bubba Ventrone
- HC Sean Payton
- OC Pete Carmichael
- DC Dennis Allen
- STC Darren Rizzi
- Lost @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7), 38-35
- Lost vs. San Francisco 49ers (11-2), 48-46
- OUT — CB Kenny Moore II (ankle)
- DOUBTFUL — N/A
- QUESTIONABLE — CB Pierre Desir (groin), WR T.Y. Hilton (calf)
- OUT — LB Kiko Alonso (quadricep), CB Johnson Bademosi (foot), S Vonn Bell (knee), G Andrus Peat (forearm), CB Patrick Robinson (calf)
- DOUBTFUL — N/A
- QUESTIONABLE — N/A
STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH
- Can The Colts Establish The Run? — New Orleans is one of the best defenses against the run, allowing just 94.2 yards per game. The Colts, meanwhile, are one of the league's best rushing offenses, averaging 133.4 yards per game. The Colts have run for 148 yards combined in the last two games, so they'll be looking to re-establish the run with running back Marlon Mack just 100 yards away from 1,000 on the season.
- Fix The Defensive Miscues — The Colts have had some uncharacteristic miscues on defense lately, allowing long touchdowns of 20, 30, 34, 35, 40 and 61 yards over the last four weeks. Several have been attributed to miscommunications in the secondary, so it's obviously of the utmost importance those miscues get corrected against a passing game led by Drew Brees.
- Getting Back On Track On The National Stage — There aren't any bigger stages in the regular season than Monday Night Football, and the Colts have a chance to shake their recent woes after losing five of their last six games. Their playoff chances aren't totally dead, but they will be if they can't come away victorious Monday night, so this game is critical.
- Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Saints CB Marshon Lattimore — This is of course dependent on if Hilton is available to play on Monday. Now in his third season, Lattimore is widely considered to be one of the league's top cover corners, and Hilton one of its biggest playmakers.
- Colts OT Braden Smith vs. Saints ED Cameron Jordan — Jordan is capable of beating any tackle at any time with his blend of speed and power. The Colts have a bright, young right tackle in Smith, so this will be a big test for the second-year protector.
- Colts LB Darius Leonard vs. Saints RB Alvin Kamara — With how involved Kamara is in the Saints' passing game, we're almost certain to see numerous meetings between 2017's Offensive Rookie of the Year and 2018's Defensive Rookie of the Year.
- Colts CB Pierre Desir vs. Saints WR Michael Thomas — Thomas is one of the NFL's most consistent, dominant receivers (he's on pace to break Marvin Harrison's NFL single-season catch record), but luckily the Colts have a corner who could match up well with him in Desir. Like Hilton, Desir is questionable for Monday's matchup. At 6-1, with 33-inch arms, Desir could use his length to help counter Thomas' size (6-3, 212).
- Colts S Malik Hooker vs. Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. — Ginn has perfected the art of the downfield bomb over the course of his career, and even though he's 34 years old, he's still one of the best at it. The Colts' center fielder will likely have his attention set on Ginn at least a few times throughout the game.
- Head referee: Shawn Hochuli (six years). Click here to see all referee assignments for Week 15.
- Favorite: Saints (-9)
- Over/Under: 47.0
REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
- Passing — QB Jacoby Brissett (2,496 yards)
- Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (900 yards)
- Receiving — WR Zach Pascal (547 yards)
- Touchdowns — WR T.Y. Hilton, RB Marlon Mack, WR Zach Pascal (5)
- Tackles — LB Darius Leonard (92)
- Sacks — DE Justin Houston (9.0)
- Interceptions — LB Darius Leonard (4)
- Passing — QB Drew Brees (2,140 yards)
- Rushing — RB Alvin Kamara (612 yards)
- Receiving — WR Michael Thomas (1,424 yards)
- Touchdowns — WR Michael Thomas (7)
- Tackles — LB Demario Davis (95)
- Sacks — DE Cameron Jordan (13.5)
- Interceptions — S Marcus Williams (4)
COMPARING 2019 STATS
- Total offense — 22nd (341.1 YPG)
- Scoring — 17th (22.8 PPG)
- Passing offense — 25th (207.7 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — Tied-8th (25)
- Running offense — 6th (133.4 YPG)
- Third down offense — 9th (44%)
- Red zone offense — 7th (63.8%)
- Total defense — 15th (345.1 YPG)
- Scoring defense — 16th (22.7 PPG)
- Passing defense — 22nd (245.4 YPG)
- Sacks — Tied-18th (33)
- Running defense — 8th (99.7 YPG)
- Third down defense — 22nd (41%)
- Red zone defense — 14th (55.3%)
- Time of possession — 8th (31:12)
- Turnover differential — 16th (0)
- Total offense — 12th (369.4 YPG)
- Scoring — 5th (26.5 PPG)
- Passing offense — 8th (261.4 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — Tied-4th (21)
- Running offense — 16th (108.0 YPG)
- Third down offense — 11th (42%)
- Red zone offense — 19th (55.3%)
- Total defense — 13th (338.3 YPG)
- Scoring defense — 17th (22.8 PPG)
- Passing defense — 20th (244.1 YPG)
- Sacks — Tied-4th (43)
- Running defense — 5th (94.2 YPG)
- Third down defense — 10th (36%)
- Red zone defense — 24th (59.5%)
- Time of possession — 5th (31:50)
- Turnover differential — 4th (+11)
NOTES AND QUOTES
- Mack needs one 100-yard rushing performance to tie Joseph Addai (eight) for the fifth-most such games in Colts franchise history.
- Colts running back Nyheim Hines needs eight receptions to pass Marshall Faulk (108) for the second-most receptions by a Colts running back in their first two seasons in the NFL.
- Hilton needs one touchdown to pass Dallas Clark (46) for the 11th-most total touchdowns in franchise history. Hilton also needs one receiving touchdown to tie Clark (46) for the sixth-most receiving touchdowns in franchise history. With one reception, Hilton will also tie Clark (70) for the eighth-longest streak of games with a reception in franchise history. With one game with 10-plus receptions, Hilton will pass Don McCauley, Lydell Mitchell, Joe Washington, Anthony Johnson and Clark, all with three, for the third-most such games in franchise history.
- Colts tight end Jack Doyle needs 23 receiving yards to pass Coby Fleener (2,154) for the fifth-most receiving yards by a tight end in franchise history. With one receiving touchdown, Doyle will pass Ken Dilger (18) and tie Tom Mitchell (19) and Dwayne Allen (19) for the fourth-most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in franchise history.
- Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus on what makes it so difficult to sack Brees: "The numbers would bare that out. It's 2.4 I believe in regards to the time it takes for the football to come out. He reads it quick and he gets it out quick. They do a good job protecting him. But mostly it's time. He's getting the ball out really fast and I think he's second or first in the league right now in that regard."
- Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni on Mack reaching 1,000 rushing yards in a season: "Yeah, very important. We are going to do everything we can do to get him that 1,000 yards. That is a great thing for Marlon (Mack) to have and everybody takes pride in that. I know that the offensive line will be excited when that happens. As coaches we will be excited, the receivers will be excited and the tight ends will be excited. Everybody will be excited when he gets that. It is just a matter of time. So yeah, we are excited for him to get that."
- This week, the Colts made the following roster moves: Signed free agent wide receiver Dontrelle Inman. Elevated offensive lineman Jake Eldrenkamp to the active roster from the practice squad. Placed wide receiver Parris Campbell and kicker Adam Vinatieri on the Injured Reserve list.
CATCH BEFORE THE GAME
- Carolina Panthers (home)
- Tennessee Titans (away)