The Indianapolis Colts will face their toughest challenge of the season at opposing quarterback, when the defense squares off against the Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers.
That’s right, Colts fans have every right to be nervous.
Their defense is currently reeling, as it’s a unit that ranks 27th in allowed avg. ppg (28.8 ppg) and 30th in avg. passing yards (287.8) respectively. Just look last weekend, when the secondary was just lit up by Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback Nick Foles in limited action.
Let’s face it…
Rodgers could be in-line for a massive, massive day–to the tune of 4 or 5 touchdowns and enough passing yards to make ‘the king’ Peyton Manning blush. If you’re playing him in fantasy football (like I am in two leagues), you’ve been in a somber state all week.
However, if you have him, start him and don’t look back.
The Super Bowl XLV Champion and MVP, 2x NFL MVP, 2x 1st-Team All-Pro, 1x 2nd-Team All-Pro, and 5x Pro Bowler could simply shred this Colts secondary–much like other elite quarterbacks such as Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have in recent seasons.
Problem is, the Colts have no pass rush, as the defense is tied for 21st in the NFL with just 14 total sacks on the season.
With Rodgers dynamic ability to both run and pass–much like the Colts very own Andrew Luck, he poses problems for their already stalled pass rush:
"Sep 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis (98) makes a move past Detroit Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker (68) and offensive guard Laken Tomlinson (72) at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Lions won 39-35. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports“He’s not a one-trick pony,” said veteran pass rusher Robert Mathis on the challenge of pressuring Rodgers in the pocket earlier this week. “He can throw. He can run. He’s smart. He can play chess with the best of them. Football chess or whatever. Everything about him is easier said than done, so you have to make sure you dot i’s and cross t’s.”"
If Rodgers is given all day in the pocket, eventually the Colts cornerbacks aren’t going to be able to cover on an island for an exorbitant amount of time–especially playing against the likes of skilled wide receivers such as All-Pro Jordy Nelson, potentially Pro Bowler Randall Cobb (*gametime decision), and emerging young wide receiver Davante Adams.
They’ll be sitting ducks.
Certainly exasperating matters is the fact that the Colts will be without reigning Pro Bowler Mike Adams at safety, who’s the ‘quarterback’ of their secondary–ensuring that that his fellow defensive backs are in the proper position and play-call for coverage.
Both young safeties are much more known for their run-stopping prowess than coverage ability at this early stage of their respective careers–creating coverage headaches against the potent Packers passing attack.
As such, it looks as though Rodgers is in-line for a ‘field day’ against the Colts on Sunday, which is great if you own him in fantasy, but very, very unfortunate if you’re a fan of the Horseshoe.