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Bold Predictions: Colts vs. Commanders

Can the Colts bounce back against the Washington Commanders in Week 8?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts are back at home and will take on the Washington Commanders Sunday afternoon. After a rough outing against the Tennessee Titans, the Colts, now 3-3-1, will look to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Here are my bold predictions ahead of Sunday’s game against Washington.

  • Sam Ehlinger will score a passing and rushing touchdown

By now, most of the NFL world has heard that quarterback Matt Ryan is being replaced by former sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger. The hope is that Ehlinger will provide a spark to an Indianapolis offense that’s in dire need of fixing. Sunday will mark Ehlinger’s first start, and while he did impress many during the preseason, going up against starters is a much different task.

Keeping that in mind, what Ehlinger brings to the table as a quarterback could help open up the Colts’ offense a bit more against the Commanders. His mobility, for example, is certainly something Indy will look to use to their advantage, and I’m predicting that Ehlinger will score a passing and rushing touchdown in his debut as the team’s starter.

  • Jonathan Taylor will surpass 100 rushing yards and score a touchdown

At one point, running back Jonathan Taylor rushing for over 100 yards was almost a certainty, especially last season. In 2022, however, Taylor, who led the league in rushing yards last season, has only surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark once.

Washington’s defense is surrendering 118.3 yards per game, according to Taylor recorded 85 total yards (58 rushing, 27 receiving) in his return to live game action last Sunday against Tennessee. On the season, though, the Colts’ offensive line is has struggled to open up running lanes for any of their backs. Even against some of the league’s worst rush defenses, the Colts have struggled to run the ball consistently.

I feel like Ehlinger’s mobility will keep Washington’s defensive ends honest and potentially provide more opportunities for Taylor to create big plays on the ground, but the offensive line will have to do their part, no doubt. I’m predicting that Taylor will surpass the 100-yard mark and score a touchdown as well.

  • Colts’ defense will hold wide receiver Terry McLaurin to under 100 receiving yards

One of the more intriguing matchups to watch Sunday will be Commanders’ wideout Terry McLaurin against Colts’ cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

McLaurin, an Indiana native, is arguably Washington’s best wideout and has 440 receiving yards and two touchdowns through the seven games this season. Meanwhile, Gilmore has been terrific for Indianapolis’ defense and continues to play at a very high level.

McLaurin has just one, 100-yard receiving game this season, and I think Gilmore and the rest of the Colts’ defense will hold ‘Scary Terry’ to less than 100 receiving yards Sunday.