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Matchups to Watch Week 12 vs. Steelers: Watch out for Watt

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Braden Smith / Bernard Raimann vs. T.J. Watt

The Colts will be facing one of the best edge rushers in the NFL, and the Steelers would be wise to put Watt in front of rookie left tackle Bernard Raimann the most they can during the game. This is a matchup that could basically break the game for the Colts, as Watt simply has the skill to take over games and demolish opposing linemen, he previously recorded two sacks in our last game against the Steelers.

Gus Bradley vs. Kenny Pickett

Gus Bradley has been coaching a top 5 unit this season despite the offense not doing them any favours. The Colts’ defense ranks 8th in EPA / Play, and is especially dominant against the run, but struggled against Jalen Hurts last week, who as Kenny Pickett, can scramble. Still, I like Bradley’s chances against a rookie quarterback, as I once again expect the Colts’ D to put together a dominant performance.

Colts’ run defense vs. Najee Harris

Najee Harris has not taken the step forward expected from him this year, as he currently has just over 500 yards (on a 3.7 YPC clip) and just three touchdowns. He is still insanely talented though, as there is a reason he was selected in the first round. As mentioned above, the Colts’ run defense has been spectacular this season no matter the opponent, and led by Grover Stewart, Bobby Okereke, Deforest Buckner, and Zaire Franklin, I fully expect them to shut down Harris and force Pickett to beat them through the air.

Jonathan Taylor vs. Myles Jack / Devin Bush

Jonathan Taylor look ready to keep his hot streak going against the Eagles, as he rushed for over 45 yards and got the touchdown on the opening drive of the game, but he was kept quiet after that. The Steelers’ run defense ranks exactly in the middle of the pack in EPA / Rush, led by linebackers Myles Jack and Devin Bush. As it is evident this season, the offense will only go as far as Taylor gets them, and he needs to have a good game on Monday.

Alec Pierce vs. Ahkello Witherspoon

Steeler’s #2 cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has struggled a lot this season, and he missed practice this week with a banged up harmstring. This creates an excellent opportunity for Alec Pierce to have a breakout game, as he has been kept quiet the past couple of weeks, after looking like he would become a staple in the Colts offense. With Matt Ryan also back in at quarterback, Pierce’s stock rises even more, as the two seemed to have developed a nice connection before Ryan’s benching.