Braden Smith/Le’Raven Clark (?) vs. Myles Garrett
Garrett could have an absolute field day against a backup tackle. Garrett is the heart and soul of this inconsistent Browns defense, if he is locked in, the offense will face a big challenge.
T.Y. Hilton vs. Denzel Ward
T.Y. Hilton has not been the player many of us expected him to be this season. With Philip Rivers now at quarterback, I expected a comeback season from T.Y. but so far his early season production is the worst of his career. A combination of factors is to blame for this, lack of usage, lack of explosiveness, demanding #1 receiver attention, and also some tough luck. On Sunday he will face a great young cornerback in Denzel Ward, who has established himself as the Browns top cornerback and will be tasked with guarding The Ghost throughout the game.
Grover Stewart vs. J.C. Tretter
As evidenced clearly by Zach Hick’s film room published earlier this week, Grover Stewart has been having a breakout season playing next to All-Pro DeForest Buckner on the defensive line. Stewart has been consistently good against the run and he is now making progress on the pass-rushing front. In front of him on Sunday will be J.C. Tretter, who has been playing like a top 3 center this season for the Browns. If the Colts are to prevent the Browns from pounding the rock like they are doing this season, Stewart will need to step up and have a great game against a quality opponent.
Rock Ya-Sin/Xavier Rhodes vs. Odell Beckham Jr./Jarvis Landry
The Colts starting cornerback duo has been lights out this season. Ya-Sin missed a couple of games and Rhodes struggled a bit on the opener, but against the Bears they showed that they can very well shut down an opposing passing attack. Against the Browns, they will face an extremely talented receiver duo that have the explosiveness to take every ball to the house. Sunday will be a nice test to see whether this renewed Colts secondary is the real deal.
Baker Mayfield vs. Matt Eberflus
Mayfield looks much better with a competent head coach and the best rushing attack in the league behind him, but he clearly has plenty of flaws in his game. If Matt Eberflus can design a game plan to force the ball into Mayfield’s hands, and then make him uncomfortable with it, then expect a huge game from this talented Colts defense.