The Green Bay Packers travel to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday to take on the Indianapolis Colts. It’s the first time since September 26th, 2004 that the Packers have played in Indianapolis for a regular season game. The last time these two teams played though was in 2008 when the Packers dominated the Colts for a 34-14 up in Lambeau Field.
This year though, is totally different than in the year’s past. It’s almost like the 1997 season when the Colts came into the late season game 0-10 while the Packers were 8-2. The Packers were the defending Super Bowl champs and the Colts won 41-38 for their first victory of the year.
If the Colts want to repeat what they did with a clearly worse team than the Packers in ‘97, they have to get a good pass rush on Aaron Rodgers and play press coverage. The Packers have allowed a league worst 16 sacks on Rodgers and the Colts could certainly add to that. They should have Dwight Freeney back so a deep line backing core should help with a pass rush. They could use someone to keep a spy on Rodgers just in case he scrambles and press the outside and have success against Green Bay.
On offense, the Colts just need to maximize possessions and limit turnovers. The Seattle Seahawks did this in only having 238 total yards. Russell Wilson only completed 10 passes for the entire game. What he did best was run away from pressure and didn’t turn the ball over. That’s exactly what Andrew Luck needs to do. He’s better than Wilson and has better weapons than him. The Colts offense is way better than Seattle’s and actually better than Green Bay’s statistically right now.
I think this game is going to be close as long as Indianapolis plays to these standards. The crowd will be a huge factor if they show up rowdy and raucous. The Packers struggle with protection and crowd noise will make it even harder. It should be emotional in there anyways with the recent news of Chuck Pagano’s health. Add the fans wanting a win for Chuck and the biggest game of the season and it’s a recipe for an upset.
Colts Keys to Victory:
1. Limit Turnovers- In Green Bay’s 2 losses opposing teams had 0 turnovers
2. Get a Good Pass Rush- Green Bay’s Allowed an NFL high 16 sacks so far
3. Feed off the Crowd- Should be raucous atmosphere
Packers Keys to Victory:
1. Pass Protection- Don’t allow the Colts to bring pressure
2. Quick Slant Passes- Indianapolis plays too far off receivers. Hit short routes before the pressure gets to Rodgers.
3. Take Crowd out of the Game- Going to be raucous and emotional inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Take Crowd out early.
Indianapolis 24 Green Bay 23