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Indianapolis Colts

What To Watch For: Colts Vs. Packers

Intro: Each week, will catch up with the color announcer for that week’s game. What is CBS’ Phil Simms going to be keeping an eye on when the Colts and Packers meet at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday?


INDIANAPOLIS – The top CBS broadcast crew will have the call when the Colts and Packers get together in Week Nine.

It will be Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Phil Simms (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline) on the call.

Earlier this week, caught up with Simms to get his thoughts on this Sunday's 4:25 p.m. kickoff.

How does Simms view the Colts and Packers?

On what he likes about the Colts' offense:

"The things that I'm looking forward to talking about this weekend is I like the offense that Rob Chudzinski is running. I think it fits Andrew Luck's skill perfectly. In other words, I think (Luck's) kind of built it meant to be a play-action, throwing offense and an offense that throws the ball down the field. I think those are his strengths. The number of big plays and the number of times they try to make those plays in the passing game has been awesome. I don't think there's many teams that throw it down field as much as the Indianapolis Colts."

On the return of Donte Moncrief helping this offense become more consistent:

"Well, you need to be able to run the ball enough. But I'll say this, too, and Green Bay is a good example, 'If you throw the ball well enough, the running game will be there, too.' How will the Packers treat T.Y. Hilton? If they treat him, like they did Julio Jones...and I'm not comparing the two, but to me T.Y. Hilton is the man in the passing game you worry about with the Colts. It opens it up for other guys. Well, if they do that, do the other guys excel? I saw that for Atlanta and that's why they beat the Green Bay Packers because everyone else that was receiving the football had good days and Julio Jones had a very subpar day for himself. So Moncrief, Dorsett, Dwayne Allen, maybe he's back this week and I think that's a big deal, maybe those guys, if Green Bay pays attention to T.Y. Hilton, then those guys must have good days for the Colts to win."

On all the different offensive line combinations the Colts have used this season and that impact:

"It affects the quarterback in this way---he's going to get hit. It's a cliché but that group of five, there's so much communication. There really is. The different blitzes and this week it's more important than ever. Kansas City kind of lines up and shows you what they are going to do, but the Green Bay Packers they have like 10 guys that are interchangeable and everybody is walking around. They do a little bit of everything and they are creative and they are blitzing. So you need a unit that can communicate, figure this stuff out so you can give your quarterback a chance to make some of these throws we've talked about. When your offensive line is shifting around, it makes it almost impossible for the offense to click the way it should. I've said it before, and I mean it, 'Show me an offensive line that struggles and I'll show you a football team in the NFL that struggles.' It's hard to win consistently unless you're line is playing at a pretty good level. The Colts, with all the injuries, it's really incredible."

On the recent play of Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers:

"Well, there's many things with that. Their running game, they've had some success because what you are now worried about is the pass. They are spreading people out. They've become much more creative in the last two weeks. Receivers in the backfield, if you watched them play Chicago on Thursday night. Against the Atlanta Falcons, you saw WR-Davante Adams in the backfield because WR-Randall Cobb and WR-Ty Montgomery were out. They are moving the receivers around and I really commend them on that. You've got to do whatever you've got to do to win the game. You can't stay with that system if that system gives you no chance to win, because of the people that are out. They throw it short a lot. That's their running game to some degree. I was listening to some of these 'experts' on TV talking about Aaron Rodgers saying he didn't come through at the end of the Atlanta game. He was fantastic in the Chicago game. He was absolutely fantastic against the Atlanta Falcons and to say anything besides that, I don't know what game you are watching. You and I are on opposite ends if you say that. Some of the throws he makes on the move, you can't give him justice, because it's hard to explain to people. I think fans kind of look at all throwers in the NFL as the same. I don't know why, but I get that feeling sometimes. But you guys know and I know it, Aaron Rodgers is truly one of the most talented quarterbacks I've witnessed in the NFL."

On the Colts trying to limit Aaron Rodgers:

"Well tackling in the open field is going to be a big part of the story. It was one of the first things I wrote down when I started getting ready for this game. I haven't done a lot of Green Bay games, maybe a couple at most a year, but keeping Aaron Rodgers in the pocket, maybe you can do it some of the time, but it's impossible to do for the whole game. He's going to get out no matter how you play. For two reasons. One, he's smart. He's got tremendously quick feet. And he's done it for so long. He's got a great feel for the pocket. He's going to find the lane to get out. His numbers, when he gets outside the pocket, just unofficially, numbers that I came up with, but I chartered some of these numbers, guys, I'm telling you, they are unbelievable. The rushing yards, the completions, the touchdowns, they all come from plays that he makes not outside the pocket, but I mean way outside the pocket. He has to escape the pocket and then waits, waits, waits till something gets open and then makes the throw. They've been doing it for the last two and a half, three years, where this has become a part of their offense and Aaron Rodgers has figured it out. He can survive this way. He doesn't take a lot of big hits. It's a great way to play and their players adjust to it."

On how he sees Sunday unfolding:

"There's too many scenarios for me to give you a really direct answer. I think the big thing is the Colts' offense will have to be sharp. Their tackling will have to be great. But I think the biggest thing, this is one game where Andrew Luck is going to have to play really, really well. So when he gets an opportunity and he gets that shot…(Green Bay's) defensive backs are beat up. They've got guys moving well. They've got great depth on the defense but still when some of you're starters aren't in there, that has to help you. So when (Luck) gets an opportunity to hit a big play, they just can't miss. The Packers are deep. They have a great quarterback. They are hard to run against. They've got a lot of different guys that can rush the passer so those are a lot of different qualities that you have to overcome. I think the margin for error is small for the Colts and it starts with their quarterback that he's going to have to be really sharp for them to win."

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