INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time since 2010, the Colts are hosting Monday Night Football.
The opponent is the defending NFC East Champion Philadelphia Eagles and their fast-break offense.
What should fans be looking for when the Colts appear on Monday Night Football against the Eagles?
1. Slowing Down The Eagles
-Fans at Lucas Oil Stadium that are looking to make an impact on Monday night better start their yelling as soon as the play is blown dead. The Eagles snapped the ball with around 25 seconds left on the play clock in Week One. That's a far cry from what we see virtually any NFL team do throughout an entire game. Communication is a must for the Colts defense, knowing that the unit will only have around 15 seconds to get on the same page.
2. Converting Opportunities
-The biggest takeaway coming out of Week One for the Colts is the fact that they had their chances in Denver. The Colts had eight drives in Denver territory and now the next step comes in finishing off those chances. Taking full advantage of those opportunities is at a premium against playoff caliber teams like Denver and Philadelphia.
3. Getting To Nick Foles
-Where will the Colts pass rush will come from has been a major storyline throughout the week. Foles was one of the least sacked quarterbacks last year (thanks to the same starting offensive line for all 16 weeks and a focus on getting the ball out quick), however in Week One he was taken down five times. All five of those were in the first half though and a major reason why the Jaguars jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead against the Eagles.
4. Establishing A Ground Attack
-The Colts had just 14 carries on Sunday night with the score dictating a move to the air attack. Sustaining drives is especially a key for the Colts offense this week and that means being able to chew up yards on the ground. Trent Richardson (nine touches for 51 yards) and Ahmad Bradshaw (10 touches for 89 yards) both had productive openers, now the need is just to stay ahead of schedule so the rushing game can be a focus throughout the four quarters.
5. Defending The Big Play
-The Eagles ability to move so fast stems from them being able to pile up chunk plays. They led the NFL with 99 plays of at least 20 yards last year and had six of those in the season opener. Open field tackling against the elusive backs of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles is a key to force Philadelphia to string together long drives.
6. Winning The Field Position
-In the Eagles season opener, both of the touchdowns given up by the defense came on short fields after Nick Foles' fumbles. In the second half that all changed with the Jaguars not starting one drive past their own 20-yard line. Pat McAfee will once again be a weapon and the probable return of Sergio Brown would be huge for the Colts coverage units.
*7. Reggie's Return To Lucas Oil *
-Reggie thanked the home fans back in the preseason but there will clearly be a different feel in front of a primetime, packed house on Monday. The fact that Wayne is coming off a nine-catch, 98-yard performance last week just only adds to the remarkable accomplishments in the 14-year career of the fan favorite.