The Indianapolis Colts will play in primetime for a second straight week. This week, Indy travels to Dallas to take on one of the NFC’s best teams in the 8-3 Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
Coming off back-to-back losses, the Colts now sit at 4-7-1 on the season. While their chances at making the postseason appears unlikely, they’re not mathematically eliminated just yet, and a win on the road against the Cowboys could keep Indy’s hopes alive.
Here are my bold predictions for the Colts’ primetime showdown against the Cowboys.
- The Colts’ defense will hold Cowboys’ offense to less than 30 total points
Indy’s defense is coming off an uncharacteristic performance in Week 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, surrendering 24 points and over 300 total yards of offense, including 172 rushing yards between the Steelers’ duo of running backs.
Dallas’ offense is very balanced between their ground game and passing attack and may present a tough matchup for Indianapolis’ defense. The Cowboys have one of the league’s best rushing attacks, led by one of the better running back duos you’ll find in the league today in Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
As a team, the Cowboys rank inside the top ten in total rushing yards (1,531) and have averaged 4.6 yards per attempt and 139.2 yards per game this season, according to Statsmuse.com. While their passing attack isn’t quite as explosive, Dallas still has the weapons that can create problems for opposing defense’s if quarterback Dak Prescott is given time to throw.
On the season, the Cowboys are averaging 25.4 points per game, and if the Colts are going come away with a win Sunday, they’re going to have to figure out a way to slow down Prescott and Co. My first bold prediction has Indy holding Dallas’ red-hot offense to less than 30 points.
- The Colts’ offensive line will surrender less than four sacks to Dallas’ elite pass rush
For some, this may not seem like much of a ‘bold prediction,’ but Indianapolis’ offensive line has struggled heavily this season. The team’s poor offensive line play is part of the reason they’ve struggled to this point, and the unit will likely have their hands full with Micah Parsons, Demarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler Jr. awaiting.
The Colts’ offensive line has has had major issues protecting their quarterbacks, Matt Ryan and Sam Ehlinger (when starting), for much of the season, as the unit has surrendered a league-high 43 sacks. It’s hard enough as it is to find consistent offensive success in today’s NFL, but it’s even more difficult when your offensive line performance has been as underwhelming as Indy’s has been.
It’s also worth noting that right tackle Braden Smith will be out for this game, which is far from ideal considering the opponent. Smith’s absence and other issues aside, I’m predicting that Indianapolis’ offensive line will provide better protection for quarterback Matt Ryan and surrender less than four total sacks.