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Matchups to Watch: Wild Card Round @Bills

Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Colts Edge Rushers vs. Bills’ tackles

By now, we all know that both DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart will win their fair share of matchups, and they will definitely be able to get into the backfield against a Bills’ offensive line that is really average. The real question for the Colts will be if Houston and Autry/Turay will be able to generate pressure from the edges, in order to prevent scrambles from star quarterback Josh Allen. If the Colts can do that, then I will be a lot more confident that they can actually escape Buffalo with a win, and move on to the next round. But if the recent trend of inconsistent edge pressure continues, then Allen will have a field day.

Xavier Rhodes vs. Stefon Diggs

At his best, Rhodes has been a top-five cornerback in the NFL this season. He will most certainly need to be at his best going against the leading receiver in the entire NFL, Stefon Diggs. The former Viking has tremendous chemistry with Josh Allen and they form perhaps the best QB/WR duo in the entire NFL. Being realistic, it will be almost impossible to stop Diggs, but if the Colts manage to contain his impact Allen might make some mental mistakes without his favorite read.

Kenny Moore vs. Cole Beasley/Isaiah McKenzie

Allen loves going to his slot receivers, and this is a matchup I actually feel really good about for the Colts on Saturday. Kenny Moore is at his best when facing opponents of a similar size to him, as is the case with both Cole Beasley and Isaiah McKenzie. Beasley is questionable to play and even if he does, Buffalo will probably stick with the hot hand in McKenzie, who is fresh off an amazing performance against Miami (thanks for that one, by the way).

Jonathan Taylor vs. Tremaine Edmunds/Ed Oliver

Taylor is one of the hottest offensive players in football right now, and the Colts will need for him to continue playing like he has been against a Buffalo front that is not as dominant as it once was. When you think of the Bills, the first thing that comes to mind is dominant run defense, but that is not the case with this team. During the season, Buffalo allowed big games to Kenyan Drake, Darrell Henderson, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, backs who are not even close to the level Taylor is at right now. Indy will go as far as Taylor carries them in this game.

Rodrigo Blankenship vs. Tough conditions

Blankenship capped off a tremendous rookie season with a bad outing against the Jaguars. His range is very limited, I don’t feel comfortable with him kicking it beyond 48 yards, but anywhere closer, he is cash. Hot Rod will face some tough conditions in Buffalo, as the temperature will be below 40 degrees and some mild winds are expected. If this is game is as close as it looks, then the Colts cannot lose points because of bad kicks.