This Sunday, the Colts will be in Chicago as they take on the undefeated Bears. The Bears have a couple big comeback victories to start their season, including overcoming a 16 point deficit to beat the Falcons last week.
The Colts may have a challenge ahead of them this week. Let’s take a look at my key players for the upcoming contest.
PHILIP RIVERS (QB)
The Colts are running out of receivers. Early on in Week 2, Parris Campbell went down. Last week Michael Pittman Jr was a casualty of the injury bug as well and is ruled out for Sunday’s game.
Veteran receivers TY Hilton and Zach Pascal will still be on the field, but what can Rivers do with the others?
The most likely receivers to fill in for the new open receiver spot are Daurice Fountain and Ashton Dulin. While both are inexperienced guys, Fountain has 2 receptions for 23 yards this season and Dulin has played in all three games. It will be interesting to see how Reich includes them in the offense for the next few weeks as the Colts wait for the return of Pittman.
On the season, Rivers has three touchdowns and three interceptions. He will be looking to break that tie this weekend. With his new found connection with tight end Mo Alie-Cox, Rivers should have an easier time with red zone touchdowns having such a big guy available to receive a pass.
The past two weeks, the Colts have relied more on the run than the pass, and that trend is likely to continue. I think this run-dominant style has actually helped Rivers overall. His completion percentage currently sits at 78.3% this year which is nearly 14% more than his career average of 64.8%. Granted, this is a small sample size of only three games, it will be interesting to see if Rivers will keep his percentage above 75% for the rest of the season.
DARIUS LEONARD (LB)
The Bears are an undefeated football team who are energized from a huge comeback victory last week, after bringing in Nick Foles to replace Mitch Trubisky at quarterback.
The Colts defense, similarly to the offense, has a few guys missing for this game. Veteran safety Malik Hooker is out for the season, and cornerback TJ Carrie who is tied for the team lead in interceptions with 2.
Darius Leonard is a captain on the team, and the Colts will need his leadership and play making ability on the field, Sunday.
Leonard leads the team in tackles with 26 so far this season, but is still looking for both his first sack and interception in 2020. Leonard has played through the first three games of the season, but he set several goals for the year and will have to produce at a higher level if he intends to achieve these standards he set upon himself.
Darius Leonard is joining us via videoconference.... What are his goals for 2020: "Super Bowl MVP, Defensive player of the year... I wrote down about 15 goals."— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) May 6, 2020
Foles has only played about a quarter and a half of football this season. It is tough to say what exactly the Colts will see from him on Sunday, but he looked really good last week once he finally came in.
Foles threw for 188 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception on Sunday. All three of the touchdowns came in the fourth quarter alone.
If the Bears continue with this fire power on Sunday, Leonard will be an integral player on defense if the Colts plan to keep the Bears out of the end zone.
There are a lot of question marks surrounding this Bears team, especially since there is no way of telling what type of quarterback Foles will be. Maybe they’re a fluke team, maybe they aren’t. We will find out on Sunday.