When the Colts have the ball…
Numbers to know
16.5: Points per game – 2nd lowest in the NFL
The Colts have trouble getting the ball into the end zone. Their 43.9% touchdown rate in the red zone is second-lowest in the NFL. Their 68 points scored from outside the red zone is eight-lowest. The Colts have scored an NFL-low 21 touchdowns.
4.76: Yards gained per play – 3rd lowest in the NFL
The Colts gain only 309.9 yards per game, which is the fifth-least in the NFL. Their 5.73 yards gained per pass play is second from the bottom and their 4.07 yards gained per rush is seventh-lowest. Their 4.51 yards gained per first down is the second-lowest.
44: Plays of 20+ yards – 4th fewest in the NFL
Colts quarterbacks have a 91.7 quarterback rating on passes thrown more than 20 yards in the air, which is ranked 14th.
56: Sacks allowed – 2nd most in the NFL
Indianapolis has allowed 35.2% pressure rate this season, which is 22nd in the NFL. Colts quarterbacks have a 84.76 QB rating vs. the blitz this season, which is fifth-worst. The offensive line has not performed up to the standards this season in either the pass or run game.
33.5%: 3rd down conversion rate – 4th lowest in the NFL
The Colts have been oddly effective on 3rd-and-10+, ranking 13th at 19.6%.
30: Giveaways – most in the NFL
The Colts' -13 turnover differential is also the worst in the league.
Players to watch
Nick Foles: Foles is expected to start for the Colts this weekend. He started only one game this year, last week against the Chargers, and completed 17 of 29 passes for 143 yards, with three interceptions. He is not very mobile, and forced the ball downfield early in the game, which led to those interceptions.
Zack Moss: Moss has claimed the starting running back spot since coming over from Buffalo and Jonathan Taylor suffered a high ankle sprain. In his past two games, Moss has 36 carries for 146 yards. He is a rugged between the tackles runner that fights for extra yards.
Parris Campbell: Injuries derailed the first three years of Campbell's career, but he has played well in his fourth season, with 54 catches for 529 yards. He works out of the slot and has the speed to get over the top and the moves to gain yards after the catch. Rookie Alec Pierce is a legit deep threat with size and speed that averages 15.3 yards per catch.
Key Matchup: Michael Pittman Jr. vs. Fabian Moureau
Pittman (6-4, 223) is the Colts' best offensive player, with 90 catches but for only 854 yards. He has the route-running skills to get open, owns good hands and will make contested catches. He makes most of his catches in the short and intermediate areas, and is often used on inward moving routes like slants, crossers and in-cuts.
Keys for the Giants' defense
* Avoid any blown coverages or other mistakes to give the Colts easy scores
* Blitz often until the Colts prove they can beat it over the top
* Stop the run on early down to force the Colts to pass in unfavorable situation
View rare photos of the all-time history between the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts.
When the Giants have the ball…
Numbers to know
5.09: Yards allowed per play – 8th most in the NFL
The Colts' defense, led by defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, has done an admirable job of keeping the Colts in games when their offense not only can't score, but is also giving opponents the ball in good field position. Their 23.8 points allowed per game is eighth-worst in the NFL but that number is worse than it should be due to the poor play of the offense.
65.9%: Red zone touchdown rate allowed – 3rd worst in the NFL
This is the other reason the Colts' points allowed is much worse than their yardage defense. They struggle keeping teams out of the end zone once they get into the red zone.
4.06: yards allowed per rush play – 7th best in the NFL
The Colts allow a lot of rush yards (122 per game) but that number is inflated because other teams often have the lead against them and run a high volume of running plays. They are actually pretty strong on a per play basis.
173: Plays of 10+ yards allowed – 7th fewest in the NFL
The Colts have also only allowed 40 pass plays of 20+ yards, which is tied for 10th-fewest in the NFL. Bradley still employs a Cover-3 defense that is designed to keep plays in front of them. According to Pro Football Focus, he runs some form of Cover-3 (three-deep zone coverage) just under 45% of the time, while mixing in some single-high safety, man-to-man defense (20%) and four-deep quarters coverage (15%). Opponents have only a 56.5 quarterback rating on passes thrown over 20 yards in the air, the fourth-best mark in the NFL.
37.4%: Third down defense – 7th best in the NFL
The Colts are especially good in 3rd-and-long,allowing only a 11.5% conversion rate on attempts of 10+ yards, which ranks third.
43: Sacks – 6th most in the NFL
Despite having 43 sacks, the Colts have only the 23rd-est pressure rate in the NFL (29.6%), according to PFF. They have a league-ow blitz rate of 14.7% and try to get home with their front four.
Players to watch
Yannick Ngakoue: One of the most consistent pure pass rushers in the league, Ngakoue has compiled 9.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hits this season. PFF has tracked him with 45 total pressures and a 10.8% pass rush win rate. He will be lined up against Andrew Thomas for most of the game.
Kwitty Paye: Paye (6-2, 261) will draw Evan Neal as a matchup. He has a high motor to continuously pursue the quarterback, even if he doesn't have the most refined set of pass rush moves. He has six sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and 10 tackles for loss in just 10 games.
Stephon Gilmore: Though not the perennial All-Pro he was in New England for so many years, Gilmore is still an excellent cover cornerback. According to Pro Football Focus he has only allowed 588 passing yards, 11 catches of 15+ yards and two touchdowns. He has two interceptions and his 11 passes defended leads the Colts. Veteran safety Rodney McCleod does a good job of not letting passes get over his head, and has seven passes defended this season.
Bobby Okereke and Zaire Franklin: These two inside linebackers that rarely leaves the field. Okereke is second in tackles with 127 and has a forced fumble and five passes defended. Franklin leads the team with 149 tackles, is tied for the team lead with 10 tackles for loss, and has two forced fumbles, four passes defended, two sacks and five quarterback hits.
Key Matchup: DeForest Buckner vs. Mark Glowinski, Nick Gates, and Ben Bredeson
Buckner (6-7, 295) will line up over both the Giants right and left guards. His 18 quarterback hits leads the Colts, and he has the second most sacks on the team with eight. He also has nine tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and three passes defended. He uses his length, power and quickness to crumble the inside of the pocket for opponents.
Keys for the Giants' offense
* Take short, easy passes that the Colts' zone will give you and stick with the run game
* Use the quick game and keep rushers away from Daniel Jones to protect the football
* Stay with the gameplan and a balanced attack – the Colts' offense should give your offense easy opportunities via field position