The Bye week felt like mercy for the Indianapolis Colts and their fan base. NFL franchises strive for continuity, and this season has had zero in Indianapolis in the locker room or on the field. First-time head coach, first-time play-caller. The offensive coordinator and head coach jettisoned mid-season—musical chairs on the offensive line and at quarterback.
At one point, the greatest source of continuity for the Colts could be found on the defensive side of the ball. Gus Bradley’s unit managed to keep arguably the league’s worst offense in the game nearly every week. Until the floodgates started to open up and the defense seemingly started to lay down — especially in critical moments. Few Colts defenses in franchise history have given up more than 50 points and this, a unit widely considered one of the best in the NFL, just did that against the Dallas Cowboys.
Injuries and illnesses have played a role on both sides of the ball. Defensive end Kwity Paye missed multiple weeks. Fellow end Tyquan Lewis went down for the season again after doing so right when he was hitting his stride a year ago. Cornerback Kenny Moore II entered the season looking for a new contract and has spent much of the season looking less like the defensive sparkplug he was over much of his career. Shaquille Leonard had another back surgery and barely took the field.
Matt Ryan was benched while he nursed a shoulder injury, leading the second-year signal-caller Sam Ehlinger getting a pair of starts. Jonathan Taylor missed games earlier in the season and has magically developed a fumbling issue. Nyheim Hines is no longer on the team.
Yeah, this season has been... a lot.
The Colts were widely considered favorites to win the AFC South, building upon Taylor's big rushing season in 2021, with Matt Ryan providing the kind of veteran presence Philip Rivers showed the last time Indianapolis made the playoffs. Instead, the season is lost, and it’s a struggle for even the biggest Colts fans to get fully behind wanting to win games when a higher draft pick could help turn things around in 2023.
With all of that said, an extra week of rest and a chance to look in the mirror couldn’t have hurt the Colts. Lingering ailments get some extra time to heal. Jeff Saturday gets a chance to catch his breath and figure out how to approach the final stretch with his current staff.
If you put those things into a blender, add in that the Vikings' defense is one of the worst in the league — especially against the pass, and have faith the Colts' defense will look to wipe its face clean after getting egg thrown all over it on national television a little less than two weeks ago, you could see an upset.
Or Justin Jefferson could go for another 200 yards.
Here’s how to find out.
1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 17, 2022
- U.S. Bank Stadium
- 401 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415
- Capacity: 73,000
- National Channel: NFL Network
- Regional Channel: FOX
- Play-by-play: Noah Eagle
- Color analyst: Nate Burleson
- Sideline Reporters: Lindsay Czarniak, Tom Pelissero
TV Streaming Options
- NFL+ allows you to watch LIVE out-of-market preseason games, LIVE local and prime-time regular-season and postseason games on your phone or tablet, the best NFL programming on-demand, and more! Wherever you are, this is how you football! Learn more about NFL+.
Check your local TV listings or broadcast map to confirm availability.
93.5 and 107.5 FM The Fan, 97.1 HANK FM, and WFNI 1070-AM The Fan
SiriusXM Channel 813
- Play-by-Play: Matt Taylor
- Color Analyst: Rick Venturi
- Sideline: Larra Overton
Radio Streaming Options
- On Your Phone: Fans in the Colts Home Market can listen to the local broadcast on the Colts App and Colts.com.
- Outside Of Indianapolis: Fans everywhere can listen to the local broadcast of the game on Colts.com (Desktop Only).
- NFL+: Live game audio (home, away & national calls) for every game of the season. Sign up for a free trial.
Colts Gameday radio coverage begins three hours before kickoff with “Colts Pre-Game Huddle” and “Countdown to Kickoff.” Stay tuned for “The 5th Quarter Huddle” immediately after the game.
The Colts are listed as 3.5-point underdogs by DraftKings Sportsbook as of this writing. For updated lines, please visit DraftKings Sportsbook.