INDIANAPOLIS – For the only time in 2015, the Colts will play consecutive home games.
This Sunday's game back at Lucas Oil Stadium will see the Colts start a stretch of four NFC South games in the next five weeks with the New Orleans Saints on the schedule.
Here are seven things to watch for with the Colts (3-3) and Saints (2-4) getting together in Week Seven:
1. Bounce Back Colts
-Under Chuck Pagano, the Colts are 15-2 in following up a loss with a win (best mark in the NFL). They will try to push that mark to 16-2 on Sunday afternoon. The "hangover" effect of this week is a tad different from most losses. Playing New England like the Colts did on Sunday night might have that normal 24-hour rule linger a bit into the week. We will find out on Sunday if the resilient Colts are back for more.
2. Finding A Pass Rush
-The Colts currently rank 29th in the NFL in sacks. Finding some disruption on Sunday is critical with what you have lining up under center. Drew Brees gets the ball out quicker than just about any quarterback in the league, ranking No. 32 in the NFL in passing yards through the air this season. With such a rapid tempo coming Sunday, the Colts are going to increase the playing time for Robert Mathis.
3. Offensive Momentum
-Andrew Luck showed very, very little rust last Sunday against New England. With Luck's play and a productive rushing attack, the Colts offense had its best half of football this season during the first 30 minutes versus the Patriots. The only thing holding back the offense right now comes in its own camp…
4. Pound Gore, Eliminate Penalties
-On paper, Sunday appears to be perfect time for Frank Gore to end the 46-game drought the Colts have in producing a 100-yard rusher. Gore averaged six yards a carry last week against New England. This week, he sees a Saints run defense that ranks 30th in the NFL. If the Colts can eliminate the costly holding penalties, Gore should find himself right around the century mark.
5. Special Teams Concerns?
-It's not often you see changes in special teams kicking personnel in a week. The Saints will have a new kicker and a new punter on Sunday. Kai Forbath is the new kicker after Zach Hocker was struggling. Punter Thomas Morstead is back from injury. The Colts have been stout in their coverage units this season and that needs to continue with Drew Brees on the other sideline.
6. Safety Shuffling?
-In the past two seasons, no Colts defender has logged more snaps than safety Mike Adams. This week, Adams has missed practice due to a hamstring injury, which occurred in the first half last Sunday. Adams is OUT for Sunday so the Colts will start their fourth safety in Colt Anderson. Rookie safety Clayton Geathers is doubtful due to a knee sprain.
7. Undefeateds Waiting
-Sunday isn't a "must-win" for the race of the AFC South, but the Colts know what's coming on the schedule. After a home game this Sunday, the Colts head to undefeated Carolina next Monday night and then return home to take on unblemished Denver, before the bye week. The Colts currently have a one-game lead in the AFC South heading into Week Seven.