Washington Commanders At Indianapolis Colts Week 8 Preview
The Washington Commanders travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts at 4:25 on fox Sunday. It will be a battle of the backups with Sam Ehlinger getting his first NFL start and Taylor Heinicke getting his second start of the season. I expect both teams to run the ball a lot, which means low scoring and whoever stops the run will win. Look for Jonathan Taylor to get the ball a lot on Sunday from running or on screen plays. If the Commanders can contain Taylor and the Colts run attack they will win this game.
The Commanders got off to a slow start last week, but played well in the second half, which is understandable with a backup quarterback. This week I expect the offense to be in a better grove and to see a heavy run attack. Since the Colts are one of the best teams against the pass in the NFL. I expect the Commanders to do what they did last week with Gibson and Robinson and whoever had the hottest hand will get the most touches.
When the Commanders do pass, expect the ball to go away from Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore is still one of the top corners in this league and has decent ball skills. I would still expect Terry to get the ball the most even if they need to move him around to do so. Hopefully this week Heinicke doesn’t force any throws or throws balls late. If he does, he will be picked off by this defense.
The defense will be facing a backup quarterback this week that hasn’t started a game in the NFL. This means they have no real tape on him other than preseason against backups. The one thing I do know about Ehlinger is that he is mobile. If the Commanders can keep him in the pocket he will have a tough day. The Colts haven’t blocked well this year and hopefully that continues this week. They give up around four sacks a game and I expect that to continue this week.
The way this Colts win is from running the ball well with Jonathan Taylor. Taylor has missed some time with an injury, but this is his second week back from injury, so I expect him to be back at 100%. I expect the Colts to run Taylor outside more this game because that has been the weak spot on this defense. In the last two weeks every carry that goes outside the tackles goes for 5+ yards. The way the Commanders can improve on this is bringing a safety down into the box, which they should against a backup quarterback. This will make Ehlinger have to beat him with his arm or legs.
Guard Saahdiq Charles is questionable with an Illness
WR Jahan Dotson is out with a Hamstring Injury
LB Cole Holcomb is out with a Foot Injury
Corner William Jackson is out with a Back Injury
TE Cole Turner is out with a Concussion
WR Dyami Brown is questionable with a Hamstring Injury
TE Logan Thomas is questionable with a Calf Injury
DE Kwity Paye is out with an Ankle Injury
QB Matt Ryan is out with a Shoulder Injury
LB Grant Stuard is out with a Pec Injury
Center Kenny Moore II is Questionable with a Finger Injury
This should be a ground and pound game by both teams. I expect when the teams do need to pass the Commanders should be a lot better than the Colts. If the Commanders can stop the run they should win by 10, but nothing is easy for the Commanders. I expect it to be a close game and the Commanders to pull out the win 20-17. This would get the Commanders to .500 and extend the win streak to three.
Lines from BetUS