Interim coach Jeff Saturday’s Indianapolis Colts overcame a week full of adversity to pick up a thrilling 25-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. The Philadelphia Eagles are coming to Indianapolis under slightly different circumstances.
The Eagles were the clear-cut favorite to come out of the NFC and were undefeated until last week. They suffered their first loss at the hands of The Washington Commanders. Despite playing one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, Philadelphia consistently showed they have one of the best rosters in the entire NFL. No player deserves more attention in this breakout season than a familiar opponent, former Tennessee Titan AJ Brown.
While in Tennessee, Brown earned the right to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl and established himself as one of the best weapons in the league. The Titans' offense was so focused on running the ball that he played a limited role and still excelled. The last time Brown played the Colts he finished with 10 catches on 11 targets for 155 yards and a touchdown.
When he arrived in Philly Brown was rewarded a huge contract extension including $100M over 4 years. The Eagles have been getting a great return on their investment as Brown has been one of the best receivers in the NFL. He enters this week with 44 catches, 725 yards, and 6 TDs. He is on pace to lock up another trip to the Pro Bowl. His skill set is really unique, and the Eagles put him in situations to take advantage. At 6’1 and 225 pounds, he has a very solid frame. Brown possesses the ability to make catches in traffic as seen here. Both of these plays were from a couple of weeks ago when the Eagles took on the Steelers.
He also uses his frame to rack up yards after the catch (YAC). While he has the straight-line speed and ability to get separation on a variety of routes, he’s without a doubt at his best when he has the ball in his hands. He is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL, one of the few guys who have the ability to take a 5-yard pass and turn it into a 50-yard touchdown.
The Eagles do a great job at getting the ball in his hands despite finishing his last game with only one reception. The Eagles line him up all over the place and also use him to help out in the run game, as Brown is a willing blocker. The Colts just had to deal with Davante Adams, who had a huge game against them. When it mattered the most it was Stephon Gilmore shutting him down with the game on the line.
Gilmore will be ready for the task at hand and with young emerging corner Isaiah Rodgers playing like a top 5 cornerback (according to PFF grades) the Colts should be more than capable of limiting Brown. This Philly team has a lot of weapons and will look to expose weaknesses in this Colts' defense but none is more important than Brown. Slow him down and you’ll have a chance to win the game. Just ask the Commanders.