Colts catching a couple big breaks against Ravens in Week 9
The Colts will catch a huge break at home against Baltimore in Week 9.
We honestly cannot fault Indianapolis Colts fans who are shaking in their boots looking at the schedule for the rest of November. Not only are their clashes against Baltimore, Tennessee (twice) and Green Bay as brutal as any monthly slate for any team in the NFL this season, but those will also, in all likelihood, determine the Colts’ playoff fate.
Because of that, Indy will take any break the football gods are willing to give them over the next four weeks. Well, the early indicators suggest that luck, which the Colts have been bereft of this campaign given their rash of injuries, will turn in their favor for at least the duration of Week 9.
Why do we say that? Because the Ravens will be without two of their top studs this upcoming Sunday. The gut-wrenching moment of Week 8 came when All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley was carted off the field against Pittsburgh and was ultimately ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken ankle.
Being without Stanley is a massive loss for Baltimore in its own right, but Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey was also downgraded to OUT after testing positive for the coronavirus on Monday. Head coach John Harbaugh announced that the fourth-year star has entered a 10-day quarantine and is thereby ineligible to suit up against the Colts.
This is absolutely huge news for Indianapolis.
Stanley is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL and that says a lot considering that the position is largely viewed as the most important in the sport. He was coming off his best season as a pro in 2019 and was somehow exceeding expectations so far this year, conceding zero sacks and earning a 80.0 player grade from Pro Football Focus.
The Ravens have solid depth up front, but nobody is capable of replicating Stanley’s production and his absence should create loads of real estate for Indianapolis’ front seven to exploit. Edge rushing tandem Justin Houston and Tyquan Lewis, the latter of whom is fresh off recording two sacks vs Detroit, should be licking their chops at the thought of facing a replacement LT on Sunday.
Humphrey, meanwhile is one of the most dominant CBs in the league despite being just 24 years old and has followed up an All-Pro selection in 2019 with an equally-impressive display thus far in 2020, collecting a stellar 76.8 coverage grade from PFF through seven games. The Ravens star-studded defense will obviously still be a load to handle for Indy, but fans can absolutely count Humphrey’s absence as a distinct advantage for Philip Rivers and Co.
We’re not implying that Indianapolis should be favored against the AFC juggernaut, but you can bet that HC Frank Reich’s side was injected with a large dose of confidence after learning that Baltimore will be down two of its best players on Sunday.