Here are a handful of predictions for how Sunday’s matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts will play out.
It’s already Week 11 in the NFL season, and the Green Bay Packers will face one of their toughest tests of the year. The 6-3 Indianapolis Colts, who are coming off a mini-bye after a win over Tennessee, are about as well-rounded of a team as you will see. Their defense is one of the best in the NFL, the offense has been trending upwards for the last few weeks, and their special teams unit is very good as well.
If we see the same Packers team that took the field against Jacksonville, I can’t imagine that there’s any hope for them to beat Indianapolis. They are going to have to bring their “A” game in all three phases. The good news for Green Bay is that Jaire Alexander and Davante Adams will both be on the field, and we learned early Sunday morning that Allen Lazard is also back in action, although he will be on a snap count.
This will be the first time since the first half of Week 2 against Detroit that the Green Bay Packers will have Adams, Lazard, and Aaron Jones all on the field together. However, they’ve still managed to be one of the most productive offenses in the game this season.
As we do each week here at Dairyland Express, our crew has made predictions for this week’s matchup. Be sure to leave your prediction in the comments or find us on Twitter at @DairylandXpress.
Kenny Jilek (6-3)
Just like last week and many matchups this season, the Green Bay Packers’ run defense will keep this game close and maybe lose it for them. Former Wisconsin Badger Jonathan Taylor will likely have a big game on the ground behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. Hopefully, Kenny Clark can get into the backfield, and the linebackers can step up into gaps to shut it down. The Colts will likely control possession, but the hope is that Green Bay can hold them to field goals.
With the Colts rushing attack likely controlling much of the game, the Packers will have to be crisp on offense. They’ll also be looking for some quick scores over the top to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has gotten hot recently, catching three touchdowns in the last two games. The Colts’ defense is one of the best in the league, so I don’t expect a big output this week, but hopefully, they’ll be motivated after an ugly game against the Jaguars last season.
Prediction: Packers 24 – Colts 19
Matt LeVene (2-1)
After outlasting the lowly Jaguars at home, the Green Bay Packers travel to Lucas Oil Stadium, where they face Phillip Rivers and the Colts. This game features two high-level teams and promises to be very competitive. Playing in Indianapolis means there will be 12,500 fans in attendance, which will be significantly more than what the Packers are used to but should not greatly impact this game. However, this game features a couple of key matchups to watch.
One storyline to monitor in this game is the return of DPOY hopeful Jaire Alexander. He and the Packers’ pass rush will try to make Phillip Rivers beat them. If they can limit the Colts rushing attack and force the aging Rivers to make plays, the D-Train will be celebrating all game.
The biggest key to this game may very well be the Packers’ offensive efficiency against the staunch Colts defense. Headed by Darius Leonard and Deforest Buckner, this unit has proven they are among the NFL’s elite. On the flip side, though, the Packers’ offense has been dominant, giving a reason for optimism.
The most promising part of this matchup is that Xavier Rhodes will be matched up with Davante Adams. The former Vikings cornerback has a history of getting cooked by the Packers WR1. Leading to the phrase “Rhodes are Open” being used by Adams after torching the corner in previous matchups. Look for Adams to continue his historic season.
Prediction: Packers 27 – Colts 21
Trevor Bender (0-0)
Last week I assumed the Green Bay Packers would dominate and win easily over a struggling 1-7 team in the Jacksonville Jaguars. I was very wrong about that as the Jaguars played the Packers very well. This week the Packers have a much more difficult match-up against the 6-3 Indianapolis Colts, and while I still think Green Bay will be able to win this game, I do think it is going to be close.
Defensively we need some interior pressure; Phillip Rivers has been getting the ball out extremely fast this year. The best way to disrupt him when he is getting the ball out that fast is to pressure him as fast as possible; the best way to do that is from the interior pass rush. An important part of the Packers getting interior pressure is the play of our linebackers and/or safeties being able to be in a position to make plays (and actually make the tackle) when Rivers inevitably checks it down to his running backs coming out of the backfield.
Offensively I think the Packers have to get in a groove early; the script has to get them going and scoring early because if you fall down to a team with a quality defense like the Colts, it is going to be tough to come back.
Prediction: Packers 28 – Colts 24
Harrison Carter (0-0)
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? As the top 5 Green Bay Packers’ offense goes against the top 5 Colts’ defense, we’re about to find out. The Colts will have extra rest after playing on Thursday last week as the Packers look to rebound after a lackluster performance against Jacksonville. As Allen Lazard could potentially make his return to the field, I expect a rejuvenated offense. Couple that with Davante Adams playing, and I predict a narrow Packers win.
Prediction: Packers 24, Colts 20
Paul Bretl (7-2)
Nine games in, and I have picked the Green Bay Packers every time this season. And looking ahead at their schedule, I’m going to be picking them a lot more. But not this week. While the Colts’ defense has received much of the attention this week — and understandably so — I do think that the Green Bay offense will be able to find some success, especially with Adams, Lazard, and Jones all on the field together. My concern lies with the Packer defense and special teams unit.
This is a Colts’ offense under Phillip Rivers that gets the ball out quickly, making it difficult to pressure him, and RB Nyheim Hines, who is the Colts’ leading receiver, is the type of player that torments Green Bay defenses. Indianapolis won’t stretch the field, but they will put together 10 plus play drives, taking the easy completions and racking up YAC. Meaning, tackling is going to be key.
On special teams, Indianapolis has one of the league’s best punt returners in Hines and kick returners in Isaiah Rodgers, although he is questionable. Those two against a Green Bay special teams unit that has been trending downward as of late and is using a recently signed punter just doesn’t sound like a recipe for success.
Prediction: Packers 24 – Colts 27