Colts vs. Mile High Stadium
The Colts are traveling to one of the most hostile environments in the NFL, on a short week, and you also have to take the altitude into account. This was always going to be a really tough matchup, as the conditions make it so, but it is even more challenging on short rest and with the travel included. The Colts have already started off with wrong foot.
Stephon Gilmore/Isaiah Rodgers vs. Courtland Sutton/Jerry Jeudy
Sutton and Jeudy are among the best wide receiver duos in the NFL, and they now have a very good quarterback in Russell Wilson throwing them the ball. Jeudy dealt with some minor injuries and has not taken the step forward expected from him thus far, but he is still a dangerous deep threat that runs crispy clean routes. Sutton has established himself as Wilson’s favourite targets, racking up over 300 receiving yards. Stephon Gilmore has been as good as advertised for the Colts, and other than some miscommunication issues he has been impeccable so far. Isaiah Rodgers has finally seemed to take over the starting job from Brendan Facyson, as he is clearly the better cornerback and the more dynamic playmaker on the roster.
Kwity Paye vs. Cameron Fleming
The Broncos’ offensive line has been solid, albeit unspectacular, this season. On pass protection, they are managing to give Wilson consistent clean pockets to operate, and the offensive woes are clearly not on them. The weak link of the line thus far has been right tackle Cameron Fleming, who has allowed 10 pressures so far this season. Sophomore Kwity Paye has been the Colts’ most effective pass rusher, racking up 12 total pressures and 3 sacks, and has the highest pass rush win rate at 16.8%. He will need to have another big game to put Wilson in uncomfortable spots, or the game could get ugly.
Will Fries vs. Dre’Mont Jones
Fries did not have an easy debut this season at right guard, as he was tasked with blocking the dominant Jeffery Simmons. Understandably, Fries struggled, but he did not look half as bad and out of place as Danny Pinter. Dre’Mont Jones is not nearly as disruptive as Simmons, but he is also no slouch either. Giving Ryan clean pockets is imperative for the passing game to operate smoothly, and we can expect Nelson and Kelly to do their jobs, but can Fries do his or will the Colts problem at right guard continue?
Matt Pryor vs. Bradley Chubb
Luckily for the Colts, edge rusher Randy Gregory will be out for Thursday’s game, so the spotlight will be on Bradley Chubb. Pryor has been solid in pass protection the last two weeks, but where he struggles a lot is in the running game. As Pryor gets more accustomed to playing in the left side of the line he should be more consistent, but the Colts will need him to speed up that process.