The Indianapolis Colts are coming off their bye week and be looking to snap a three-game losing streak against a tough NFC opponent in the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday. Sitting at 4-8-1, the Colts want to close out their final stretch of the season strongly.
Meanwhile, there’s much more at stake for Minnesota, who is fresh off a loss to the Detroit Lions. The Vikings could clinch a playoff berth with a victory over Indianapolis and a Lions loss to the New York Jets.
Here are my bold predictions for Indy’s Saturday showdown in Minnesota.
- The Colts offense will score more than 20 against the struggling Vikings’ defense
Points have been hard to come by for the Colts offense this season. Indy has scored 20 or more points just three total times throughout the entire season. The Colts' offensive struggles can be related to a number of different things, but the two most glaring issues have been untimely turnovers and the underwhelming performance of the offensive line.
Saturday may present an opportunity to find more consistency when facing a bottom-ranked Vikings defense that is dead-last in total yards allowed (403.6) and near the bottom of the league in points allowed (24.1), according to Statsmuse.com. Keep in mind, though, this isn’t the first time the Colts’ offense has faced a low-ranking defense, so Indy will have to prove they can score more than their season average of 16.1, even if they are facing a struggling Vikings defense.
That said, my first bold prediction has the Colts scoring more than 20 for just the fourth time all season. Cutting down on the turnovers and getting All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor involved early will be crucial. I like what Indy’s playmakers have shown during stretches this season and believe the offense can find ways to put up some points against Minnesota.
- The Colts’ defense will record three or more sacks
Of the things Indy’s defense has been good at this season, getting to the QB is one of them. The Vikings have given up 34 sacks in 13 games played and have struggled to protect quarterback Kirk Cousins as of late. In their last five games, Cousins has been sacked 16 total times, including three times last week against Detroit.
The Colts’ defense has three players with five or more sacks on the year. Kwity Paye (5), DeForest Buckner (5.5), and Yannick Ngakoue (8.5) have all been disruptive forces along the defensive line this season.
Given Minnesota’s recent struggles protecting Cousins, I’m predicting that Indy’s defense will record at least three sacks, which may lead to forcing a few turnovers, too.