Now 5-5 on the season, the Indianapolis Colts have put themselves in great position to get to 6-5 if they’re able to come away with a win against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Bills are favored by our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook, but as we know, anything can happen on any given Sunday.
Here are my three bold predictions ahead of Sunday’s matchup.
- Jonathan Taylor will rush for over 100 yards
Taylor is set to pass Tennessee Titans’ running back Derrick Henry for the league lead in rushing yards Sunday, as both backs are currently tied with 937. As Taylor looks to take the lead as the NFL’s top rusher, he’ll have to do it against one of the more stout, run-defending defensive fronts in Buffalos.
The Bills are 3rd in the league in total rushing yards allowed with 83.9, and they’ve only given up a total 72.3 in their last three games. While rushing for over 100 yards won’t be easy against Buffalo’s top-ranked run defense, the Colts will need to lean on their best offensive player early and often.
In general, Buffalo’s defense will provide Indy with one of their toughest challenges this season, but Taylor is also running behind one of the league’s best offensive lines. Additionally, the Colts are 8-0 over the last two seasons when Taylor rushes for 100 yards or more, so Indy certainly has that going for them.
- The Colts’ pass rush will push around the Bills’ offensive line
Over the last month or so, the Colts’ defensive line has started to generate more of a consistent pass rush. They’re going to need that trend to continue against the Bills’ Josh Allen, who gave Indy’s defense fits when these two teams last met back in the wild card round in January.
What Indy’s defensive line has going in their favor is the inconsistencies along Buffalo’s offensive line. While the Bills’ unit as a whole has only allowed 14 sacks on the season, they’ve struggled over the last couple of games. Spencer Brown, their rookie right tackle who’s been the teams’ starter for a majority of this season, was also just placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list Thursday and may not play Sunday.
Keeping all of these things in mind, rookie defensive ends Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo have slowly started to come along and help provide Indy’s defensive line with more help at edge rush. Paye recorded his first-career sack last Sunday against the Jaguars, while Odeyingbo strip-sacked Jags’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence to ultimately seal the victory.
With inconsistencies along the Bills’ offensive line, the Colts are going to have to find ways to make Allen uncomfortable Sunday.
- The Colts’ pass defense will limit Buffalo’s air attack
The Bills had two wideouts reach the 100-yard receiving mark in Week 10 against the New York Jets. Stefon Diggs (nine catches for 163 yards and a touchdown) and Gabriel Davis (three catches for 105 yards) had their way with the Jets’ secondary.
Diggs had six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown when these teams met last season, and slowing him down will be no easy task with Allen’s ability to run around and extend plays with his feet.
Indy’s secondary did an excellent job limiting the Jaguars’ offense last Sunday, but Buffalo’s offense presents an entirely different challenge. A win on Sunday and the Colts could firmly be in the playoff mix, but they’re going to have to put together one of their best performances of the season to come away with a victory.