Braden Smith / Bernard Raimann vs. Micah Parsons
Micah Parsons has 54 total pressures on just 301 pass rushing snaps, to take into account how dominant those numbers are, Kwity Paye, Tyquan Lewis, and Yannick Ngakoue have 73 total pressures on 662 pass rushing snaps. The Colts’ offensive tackles have been having very dissimilar seasons, as Braden Smith has been having himself a solid year, and more than handled his own against T.J. Watt last week, as he is showing he deserved that massive extension. On the other side, Bernard Raimann has been having the typical issues of a guy that started playing football less than three years ago, and will understandibly struggle a lot more before he figures the nuances of one of the most complicated positions in the NFL. Parsons has the opportunity to feast against the rookie, and he could also give Smith some trouble, as the right tackle struggled against speed rushers in the past.
Colts’ offensive line vs. Cowboys’ pass rush
The thing with the Cowboys is that their pass rush is not only Micah Parsons, but they also have a stable of guys that can put pressure. Demarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong, Dante Fowler Jr., Osa Odighizuwa... Dallas just have an abundance of guys that could pressure Matt Ryan. This is just an issue of strength versus weakness, and one of the biggest strengths in the NFL (Cowboys lead the NFL with 45 sacks) against one of the most glaring weakness (Colts lead the NFL with 43 sacks allowed).
Michael Pittman Jr. vs. Trevon Diggs
If you look at the very few Colts succesful drives this season there has been a common denominator repeated in each and every single one of them: Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. was involved a lot. He paces the team on 1st downs with 39, 15 more than the next closest receiver, and has almost as many yards as Pierce and Campbell combined. Trevon Diggs is a great cornerback, who was targeted 55 times on 426 pass coverage snaps this season, allowing just 35 catches for 485 yards and two touchdowns.
Stephon Gilmore vs. Ceede Lamb
Stephon Gilmore has been amazing for the Colts this season and is the best player next to Zaire Franklin and Grover Stewart. The veteran has been a steady presence in the backfield and is the only player not to allow a passing touchdown playing more than 150 primary coverage snaps this season (Via PFF). Cowboys’ receiver Ceedee Lamb has 64 receptions for 857 yards and five touchdowns, as he has been Prescott’s favourite weapon this season.
Parris Campbell vs. DaRon Bland
The Colts rely on Michael Pittman Jr. to get that first down, and they rely on Parris Campbell to get that big play. While a bit inconsistent, the Ohio State product is finally enjoying a healthy season, and posting some really good numbers. DaRon Bland is the Cowboys’ primary slot cornerback right now, and he has not been noteworthy. The Colts have a very slim chance of winning, and if they are to have a shot then Parris will need to show up.