Nyheim Hines vs. Eric Kendricks
Once again, and even more now due to Marlon Mack’s injury, Hines will be an integral part of the offense. Kendricks is one of the best linebackers in the NFL and was perhaps the only respectable defensive player when they played against the Packers. Hines will face perhaps his biggest challenge of the year against Kendricks and he has to beat him a couple of times if the Colts plan on relying on him in the passing game again.
Parris Campbell vs. Holton Hill
Campbell had a great game versus Jacksonville and is finally starting to look like the speedster Ballard saw at Ohio State. Holton Hill was consistently burnt by the Packers receiver, so Campbell has to be licking his chops against a struggling opponent. I would not be surprised if he has a breakout game on Sunday.
Ya-Sin/Rhodes vs. Adam Thielen
Ya-Sin and Rhodes looked awful versus the Jaguars, constantly allowing opposing receivers free releases off the line, failing to make plays, and even adding in a couple communication errors that allowed the Jaguars easy passing touchdowns. This can not happen again if the Colts are to have any chance at stopping the Vikings offense. Adam Thielen looked like the Pro-Bowl caliber receiver he is versus the Packers, and if the Colts cornerbacks do not tighten up, he will have a field day at LOS.
Leonard/Walker vs. Kyle Rudolph/Irv Smith Jr.
Cousins targeted his tight ends only 3 times versus the Packers, something he will look to change going forward. The Colts did a solid job containing Tyler Eifert against the Jags, but Rudolph and Smith Jr. are going to be a much tougher matchup. If Eberflus looks to generate more pressure and decides to use Leonard as a blitzer more, Hooker could be tasked with guarding Rudolph, a good test to see whether Hooker can finally step up or if he will continue his inconsistent play.
Colts’ IOL vs. Vikings’ IDL
As shown on Sunday, the Colts rely a lot on their inside running game to move the ball on offense, and when the Jaguars took that away, Rivers started looking really bad. Nelson, Kelly, and Glowinski will have a chance to bounce back against a weak Vikings IDL that is badly missing Michael Pierce.
T.Y. Hilton vs. Cameron Dantzler
Hilton struggled versus C.J. Henderson, but he was not as bad as some people are saying. He will get a chance to rebound versus another rookie cornerback, only this one did not have the same spectacular debut as Henderson. Dantzler was regularly beat by either Adams or MVS, and also missed a couple tackles. If T.Y. wants to prove he is healthy and can still ball out, Sunday is a very nice opportunity for him to do just that.