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Matchups to watch: Week 17 Colts vs. Raiders

NFL: DEC 25 Colts at Cardinals Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Colts’ LT vs. Maxx Crosby

Don’t let the 6 sacks fool you, Crosby has been among the most productive edge defenders this season. Maxx has a league leading 87 total pressures, and has terrorized quarterbacks all season long. The Colts’ left tackle position is in a terrible position right now, as Eric Fisher does not look like he will play. Please just don’t start Julie’n Davenport. I would much rather have either Matt Pryor or even Mo Alie-Cox rather than Davenport.

Darius Leonard vs. Josh Jacobs

The Maniac is back from the COVID list and knowing his personality he is probably looking to make the most out of the two weeks left in the season. Josh Jacobs has not been able to reach the level expected from him this season, as he has just 3.9 yards per carry and only 7 touchdowns. I would be comfortable putting a sizable amount of dollars in Darius forcing a fumble this game.

Colts’ cornerbacks vs. Hunter Renfrow

With Darren Waller out, the Colts’ passing defense focus turns to receiver Hunter Renfrow, whose consistency has been key for Derek Carr. Renfrow has an astounding 80.7% catch rate, and while he might not be the most explosive guy with the ball in his hands, he does have over 10 yards per reception. The Colts’ secondary is back at full strength after getting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin back from the COVID list, so the matchup looks much less frightening right now.

Jonathan Taylor vs. Raiders’ run-defense

The Raiders’ run defense is fresh off a dominating performance against the Broncos, and they have actually been really solid this season. Now the Colts’ offense is in no way similar to that of the Broncos, but the Raiders front showed that they can stifle a productive running game. If JT is to snatch the MVP award from Rodgers’ hands, then he will need to dominate the last two matchups of the year, and what better way to start than by going off against an opponent he destroyed last season.

Carson Wentz COVID status

There is no telling if Carson will be ready to go on Sunday right now. Sam Ehlinger has no meaningful experience in the NFL, and does not have even half the arm that Wentz has, but what he lacks in arm strength he makes up for it in athleticism. Wentz gives the Colts the best chance to win, but I have to recognize I am intrigued about what Reich could do with a quarterback like Ehlinger.