Publish date:

Colts vs. Rams, Week 2 Preview: Looking for Bounce-Back as Underdogs

Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s matchup between the Colts and Rams. (Video via Indianapolis Colts YouTube)

The Indianapolis Colts (0-1) are in rough shape following a lopsided loss and a lengthy injury report full of important players.

In Week 2, they welcome the Los Angeles Rams (1-0) to Lucas Oil Stadium as they attempt to avenge their previous week's loss.

Is an 0-2 start staring them in the face, or can they pull off an improbable victory?

Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s matchup.

Broadcast Information

  • Date/Time: Sunday, Sept. 19, at 1:00pm ET
  • Where: Indianapolis, Ind.; Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Television: FOX — Kenny Albert (play-by-play), Jonathan Vilma (color), Lindsay Czarniak (sideline)
  • Stream: FuboTV
  • To find out what games will be on in your area, check here
  • Radio: WFNI 1070-AM The Fan, WLHK 97.1 HANK FM — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Rick Venturi (color), Larra Overton (sideline)
  • On-Demand: NFL Game Pass (after the fact)

All-Time Series

  • Colts lead, 23-19-2. The Rams have won the last two matchups dating back to 2013.
  • Last game: Week 1 of 2017; Rams won, 46-9.

Coaching Staff

  • Colts: head coach Frank Reich; offensive coordinator Marcus Brady; defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus; special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone
  • Rams: head coach Sean McVay; offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell; defensive coordinator Raheem Morris; special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis

Injury Report

Colts

  • Questionable —S Julian Blackmon (back), WR Parris Campbell (abdomen), OT Eric Fisher (Achilles), G Quenton Nelson (foot/back), DE Kwity Paye (hamstring), WR Michael Pittman Jr. (ankle), S Khari Willis (illness) 
  • Out — RT Braden Smith (foot), CB Xavier Rhodes (calf)

Rams

Storylines/Things to Watch

  • One Hand Tied Behind Their Back: In the NFL you have to roll with the cards you're dealt, but the Colts have been dealt some junk to start the season. Not only are the Rams an excellent opponent, but the Colts will be shorthanded, and a lot of their studs they do have are playing injured. Two starters out and seven other questionable? Yikes. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive game the Colts face an opponent with zero injury designations.
  • Offense Living Life on the Edge: The edges of the offensive line should be interesting for the Colts this week. Left tackle Eric Fisher appears to be making his Colts debut on Sunday after rupturing injuring his Achilles in January. Regardless of being a Pro Bowler, he'll have some rust to knock off. With right tackle Braden Smith already ruled out, it likely puts newcomer Matt Pryor in the starting lineup. Having either tight end Jack Doyle or Mo Alie-Cox help as an extra blocker seems essential.
  • Stretching the Field: The Colts had just one play of 20-plus yards last week, which was partially explained by the Seahawks taking things away over the top. Meanwhile, the Rams only allowed one play of 25-plus yards last week. Something's gotta give, and the Colts certainly hope it's in their favor. If they can get the run game going, it could open up some opportunities for shots out of play-action.
  • Pressure on Stafford: While Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is capable of moving around and out of the pocket, he's nothing like what the Colts faced last week in Russell Wilson. If Kwity Paye is active, he'll be re-joined by Kemoko Turay, who missed last week with a groin injury. Alongside DeForest Buckner, the Colts should be able to get pressure on Stafford. Will Tyquan Lewis and Ben Banogu — both of whom have more pass-rush upside than current starter Al-Quadin Muhammad — get ample snaps?

Intriguing Matchups

  • Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. vs. Rams CB Jalen Ramsey: If Pittman is active then this could be a statement game for him. Ramsey is widely considered one of, if not the best cornerback in the NFL. If Pittman can match his physicality and make some quality plays against him then it'll go a long way toward establishing himself as the Colts' top receiver.
  • Colts OL vs. Rams DL Aaron Donald: As much as people want to see Quenton Nelson vs. Aaron Donald, it seems unlikely to be a constant matchup. That's the Colts' best offensive lineman and they are heavily banged up along the line. The Rams aren't afraid to move Donald around, so why wouldn't they? How will the Colts' line play against the best defensive player in the game?
  • Colts DE Kwity Paye vs. Rams LT Andrew Whitworth: Again, if Paye is active then he's got another tough test ahead. He matched up with Duane Brown last week, and he'll get another one of the generation's best left tackles this week. Paye's speed, bend, and overall athleticism could be an advantage against an older guy like Whitworth, though.
  • Colts CB Kenny Moore II vs. Rams WR Cooper Kupp: The Colts need someone to step up in the secondary, and it makes sense for Moore to be the guy. Kupp is a solid, crafty receiver out of the slot so the Colts will need to keep an extra eye on him. He worked his way to 108 yards and a touchdown last week after reeling in a busted play of 56 yards.

Projected Weather

Referee Assignment

Betting Line

2021 Season Leaders

Colts

  • Passing: QB Carson Wentz (251 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Jonathan Taylor (56 yards)
  • Receiving: RB Jonathan Taylor (60 yards)
  • Touchdowns: WR Zach Pascal (2)
  • Tackles: LB Bobby Okereke, S Khari Willis (7)
  • Sacks: DT DeForest Buckner, CB Kenny Moore II (1.0)
  • Interceptions: N/A

Rams

  • Passing: QB Matthew Stafford (321 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Darrell Henderson (70 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Cooper Kupp (108 yards)
  • Touchdowns: RB Darrell Henderson, WR Van Jefferson, WR Cooper Kupp, WR Robert Woods (1)
  • Tackles: S Jordan Fuller (11)
  • Sacks: LB Justin Hollins (2.0)
  • Interceptions: CB David Long Jr. (1)

Comparing 2021 Team Stats

Colts

  • Total offense: 23rd (336.0 YPG)
  • Scoring: Tied-25th (16.0 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 22nd (223.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-20th (3)
  • Rushing offense: 16th (113.0 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 17th (38.5%)
  • Red zone offense: Tied-20th (50.0%)
  • Total defense: Tied-14th (381.0 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: 19th (28.0 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 13th (241.0 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-5th (3)
  • Rushing defense: 26th (140.0 YPG)
  • Third down defense: Tied-18th (44.4%)
  • Red zone defense: Tied-21st (100.0%)
  • Time of possession: 3rd (35:47)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-13th (0)

Rams

  • Total offense: 17th (386.0 YPG)
  • Scoring: 5th (34.0 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 9th (312.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-3rd (1)
  • Rushing offense: Tied-25th (74.0 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 5th (54.6%)
  • Red zone offense: Tied-20th (50.0%)
  • Total defense: Tied-9th (322.0 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: Tied-5th (14.0 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 8th (188.0 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-5th (3)
  • Rushing defense: 24th (134.0 YPG)
  • Third down defense: Tied-20th (45.5%)
  • Red zone defense: Tied-17th (66.7%)
  • Time of possession: 30th (24:46)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-4th (+2)

Notes

  • Colts running back Jonathan Taylor needs one 100-yard rushing game to pass Albert Bentley, Tom Matte, and Joe Perry (three) and tie Frank Gore (four) for the 12th-most in franchise history.
  • Colts running back Nyheim Hines needs three receptions to pass Joe Washington (178) for the ninth-most by a running back in franchise history, and Hines would also pass Washington for the 10th-most receptions by a Colts player in their first four seasons.
  • Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship needs 14 points to pass Marshall Faulk (156) for the fifth-most by a Colts player in their first two seasons.
  • Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez needs to finish one game with a 50.0-plus-yard punting average to tie Chris Gardocki and David Lee (nine) for the fourth-most such games in franchise history.
  • Colts special teamer George Odum needs four special teams tackles to tie Jason Doering, Ray McElroy, and Philip Wheeler (39) for the 10th-most in franchise history.
  • This week, the Colts made the following roster moves: signed safety Andrew Sendejo. Elevated wide receiver DeMichael Harris to the active roster from the practice squad. Waived cornerback Chris Wilcox (9/14). Signed offensive lineman Anthony Coyle, cornerback Chris Wilcox (9/16) to the practice squad. Released safety Sean Davis, safety Shawn Davis from practice squad.
  • This week, the NFL announced that HBO's hit series "Hard Knocks" will follow a team during the season for the first time and that the Colts will be that team.

Catch Before The Game

Have thoughts on this week's game? Drop them below in the comment section!


Follow Jake on Twitter and Facebook @JakeArthurNFL.

Follow Horseshoe Huddle on Facebook and Twitter.