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Colts’ Matchups to Watch: Week 8 vs. Saints

Indianapolis Colts v New Orleans Saints Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Samson Ebukam vs. James Hurst / Andrus Peat

This depends a lot on who plays as Saints’ backup left tackle Andrus Peat has been bad so far this season, like Matt Pryor levels of bad. Peat has allowed 13 pressures on 123 snaps this season, and to keep with the comparison, Pryor had allowed 9 pressures through his first 120 snaps last season. Ebukam has been amazing so far for the Colts, not only in the run defense which was to be expected, but has been the Colts’ most productive pass-rusher, with 19 total pressures so far.

Bernhard Raimann / Blake Freeland vs. Cam Jordan

Starting right tackle Braden Smith looks set to miss yet another game dealing with two injuries, so it looks like Blake Freeland is set to start. Raimann has been solid in pass protection, even though he did allow a strip sack to Josh Allen and one to Myles Garrett at inopportunous times (is there ever a good time for a strip sack though?), the Austrian giant has allowed just 8 total pressures this season and looks better each week. Freeland is struggling a bit in pass protection, so Jordan could take advantage of that matchup and make Minshew uncomfortable.

Josh Downs vs. Alontae Taylor

Alontae Taylor has been the most targeted slot cornerback this season, with 49 targets, having allowed 34 receptions for 289 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has the 4th lowest snaps per target, and has just not been great for the Saints overall. Meanwhile, Colts’ slot wide receiver Josh Downs has the 5th most receptions from the slot and the 4th most yards, so this is definitely a matchup Steichen could be looking to exploit.

Whoever lines up for the Colts at outside cornerback vs. Chris Olave

The Colts’ struggles at cornerback continue with the injury to rookie standout Juju Brents, and it will be either Darrell Baker Jr., which is not optimal, or a guy the Colts pick up from the street, which is also not exactly ideal. In front of them will be Chris Olave, a talented wide receiver that torches both defenses and speed radars. Perhaps last week’s referees lit a fire under Baker and he starts showing why he was so highly rated coming out of training camp.

Zaire Franklin / Shaq Leonard vs. Alvin Kamara

The Colts have not faced a running back like Kamara this season, a receiving threat out of the backfield that has 35 receptions already on the year, so this will be a nice test to see how the linebackers do against someone with such an unique skillset. I feel a two turnover game from Shaq Leonard coming up so hopefully The Maniac delivers.