The Indianapolis Colts will play in their first primetime game of the season as they’ll travel to Baltimore to take on the 3-1 Ravens Monday night.
As fans know, these two teams squared off last season with the Ravens coming out on top 24-10 in a disappointing performance from Indy’s offense. Things will be much different this time around, though, as there are new faces on both sides.
Here are my ‘bold predictions’ for Monday’s much-anticipated matchup.
- The Colts will limit Baltimore’s success on the ground
Easier said than done, I know. Baltimore has rushed for over 100 yards 43 consecutive games, which ties the NFL record with the 1970s Steelers. Lamar Jackson is as shifty and elusive as they come at the quarterback position, and if you think he can’t beat you with his arm, he can. Just ask the Denver Broncos, who Jackson torched for over 300 yards in Week 4.
Even with the loss of three different running backs, the Ravens have still managed to gash their opponents on the ground this season, with Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman helping to lead the way.
We saw the Colts hold Miami to just 35 total rushing yards last week, and I believe there’s a chance they can slow down Baltimore’s rushing attack Monday night.
- Jonathan Taylor rushes for over 100 yards for second straight game
Jonathan Taylor looked like what the Colts saw for the majority of last season against the Dolphins last Sunday. Taylor gashed Miami for 103 yards, including a 23-yard rushing touchdown which helped provide a spark to Indy’s offense.
The Ravens have given up a total of 100 yards rushing only once this season, and they’re a tough team to try and run on to begin with. As a matter of fact, the Ravens only allowed a 100-yard rusher three total times in 2020, with Derek Henry being the most recent as he rushed for 133 yards during Week 11 last season in Baltimore. That being said, I like the Colts’ chances this week at getting Taylor involved early and often as he finds a way to rush for 100 yards in back-to-back games against an elite Ravens’ front.
- Carson Wentz tosses multiple touchdowns in back-to-back games
Quarterback Carson Wentz looked much more athletic and confident last week against Miami, tossing 2 touchdowns to tight end Mo Alie-Cox and throwing for 228 yards as well.
Going up against a banged-up Ravens’ secondary, an even healthier Wentz looks to string together solid, back-to-back performances. Having a balanced running game, which I believe he’ll have (see Taylor prediction above), should help alleviate some of the pressure the Colts’ quarterback could face Monday night.
- Colts will get their second win of the season
Yes, you read that correctly. My final bold prediction for Monday’s game is having the Colts earn their second win of the season on the road against Baltimore. This team showed us some much-needed improvement last week, and I have a sneaky feeling Frank Reich and company find a way to get it done.
It won’t come easy, as Lamar Jackson is 7-0 in the month of October, but, again, it’s not impossible. Indy did a decent job defensively when these two teams last played in 2020, but their efforts weren’t enough to overcome a sluggish offense last time around. Indy’s offense will be the difference this time around, and the defense will do just enough to pull out a victory.