The Indianapolis Colts can thank their last two road games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots if they win in Ford Field against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Like the Patriots game, the Colts will face the topped-ranked offense in the NFL and likely be put in a shootout scenario. They saw then that giving away 28 points will get them killed and drop them to their fifth loss.
The Colts have to point to that game on how to defend a fast-paced offense like the Lions, and show the offense that every possession matters and that they have to maximize them and capitalize each time.
They can also point to the Jaguars game and use a quick start to beat a team while they’re down. Like the Jags game, the Lions come into the game down and have dropped three games in a row. Their emotional loss at home to the Houston Texans in overtime on Thanksgiving Day left fans with a bad taste in their mouths. They thought they would win for the first time on Thanksgiving Day in a decade and give them still a chance for the playoffs – instead, they lost by a field goal in overtime after they had so many chances at victory, and now sit on the verge of a meltdown.
To beat a team on the road when they’re down the visitors have to score early and often. In the Jaguars game, the Colts jumped out to 17-0 lead by the midway point in the second quarter and pretty much all but sealed it. The Jaguars were down and gave no fight from then on. Indianapolis ended up cruising to a victory and can credit nothing else but a hot start against a team while they’re down.
If the Colts want to win on Sunday they need to score on their early possessions. That will lead to the Lions fans getting taken out of the game by having their heads down, and even better, then team itself. You can expect the Lions team to pack it in and go for defeat.