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Matchups to Watch Week 9 @Patriots: Dennis Kelly in for a tough evening

Matthew Judon is the Patriots’ player that can really hurt the Colts on Sunday.

NFL: OCT 30 Commanders at Colts Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dennis Kelly vs. Matthew Judon

Left tackle Dennis Kelly has been solid since entering the lineup in place of the struggling Matt Pryor and rookie Bernard Raimann, but he is currently dealing with an injury that kept him out of practice this week. Matthew Judon has an astounding 39 pressures on 220 pass rushing snaps (for the sake of comparison, Yannick Ngakoue has 27 on 210 snaps), and is the Pats’ most dangerous player from the edge. The talented pass rusher could have a field day against Kelly and put Sam Ehlinger under intense pressure, something obviously not beneficial for the Colts’ hopes on offense.

Zaire Franklin / Bobby Okereke vs. Rhamondre Stevenson

The Patriots’ offense is heavily reliant on running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who has 558 yards and 4 touchdowns on almost 5 yards per carry. The Colts’ run defense has been dominant this season, led in part by the emergence of linebackers Zaire Franklin and Bobby Okereke. If the Colts can shut down the Patriots’ running game and force opposing quarterback Mac Jones to beat them through the air then I like our chances.

Stephon Gilmore vs. Jakoby Meyers

If the Colts force the Patriots to beat them through the air then watch out for wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, who has almost twice as many targets as the next Patriots’ receiver despite missing two games. Former Patriot cornerback Stephon Gilmore will most likely be tasked with covering the talented wide receiver through Sunday, and he will have to perform like he has been this season.

Colts solving their redzone struggles

The Colts have once struggled a lot this year when they finally manage to reach the redzone, ranking 26th in touchdown percentage. Not only that, but a common trend this season has been promising drives ending in turnovers, which are killers. The Colts will need to solve this issues as soon as possible if they are still trying to turnaround the season.

Yannick Ngakoue / Kwity Paye vs. Trent Brown / Marcus Cannon

The Colts have been adequate at rushing the passer this season, but there have been some recent very tough stretches. Having Kwity Paye back will be huge for this unit, especially with the injury to the versatile Tyquan Lewis, as the Colts will really need to have their defense on the best shape possible because, as we all know by now, the offense will not win games on their own.