Rock Ya-Sin Vs. Kenny Golladay
Matthew Stafford likes to go to his star receiver Kenny Golladay in high pressure situations, and Babytron has more often than not delivered. Ya-Sin has struggled a lot this season against taller, more athletic receivers, which is not good news considering Golladay is 6’4’’ and has some decent wheels. If Rock is able to prevent 3rd and long completions, unlike against the Bengals, then the defense will enjoy much more success.
Justin Houston Vs. Taylor Decker
One of the players that benefitted the most from Buckner’s acquisition is Justin Houston, who is feasting on the amount of one-on-one matchups he is getting. Taylor Decker is a darn good tackle, and he will give Houston a very hard time in the passing game. The Colts have been lacking consistent pressure from the edge, and if Houston can get the upper hand on Decker in some pass situations then Stafford will be forced into some turnover worthy throws.
Ryan Kelly/Danny Pinter Vs. Danny Shelton
Ryan Kelly has been dealing with a knee injury the past week, so his status for Sunday’s game remains unknown. If he is to miss the game, then rookie Danny Pinter is slated to take over the center position, which is quite a concern for the Colts. Danny Shelton will probably be lined up against Danny Pinter/Mark Glowinski throughout the game, and even though he is a defensive lineman who is not particularly adept at generating pressure or blowing through double teams, he could still be able to make some plays. If Kelly is able to play, then I’m not worried about this one, but starting a guy with no experience in the NFL, and no experience at center at all in his football career (albeit a couple of snaps in garbage against the Jets), is probably not a good recipe for success.
Trey Burton Vs. Reggie Ragland/Jarrad Davis
Trey Burton has been trending upwards over the last couple of games as he is finally healthy and developing some chemistry with Philip Rivers. He will face a Lions’ linebacking core that is not very good at covering opposing tight ends, especially in the red-zone, where the Colts have been struggling this season and Trey Burton could be the answer to some of these issues (2 RZ scores against the Bengals).
T.Y. Hilton Vs. Jeff Okudah
T.Y. has said it himself, he feels his breakout game is coming soon, and Sunday could very well be the day that he leaves his cold streak behind. Okudah was expected to be a lockdown corner from the start, but as is often the case with rookie cornerbacks, no matter how high they were picked, the learning curve is a bit higher. Hilton will not receive the attention from the defense he used to get, so he could explode against a Lions’ secondary that leaves plenty to be desired.