The Colts appear to have laid this game out on a silver platter for a pretty healthy Rams team. With the exception of DT Aaron Donald, all starters appear ready to play. However, the same can’t be said for the Colts.
Chuck Pagano has ruled OUT:— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) September 8, 2017
Andrew Luck, Ryan Kelly, Vontae Davis, Ian Silberman & Chester Rogers.
The Colts are going to be missing some big time names. But obviously none bigger than that of star QB Andrew Luck, although missing CB Vontae Davis is a pretty big deal in it’s own right.
Meanwhile the Rams injury report looks like this;
The Rams' injury report for the opener against the Colts ... pic.twitter.com/2DwjLjY4Vx— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) September 8, 2017
The Colts will still have long time Ram Kryptonite RB Frank Gore. The savvy 13 year veteran running back has a had a long career of having a lot of success running against the Rams. The hope of many will be that age will finally slow him down vs the horns. Though his YPC dropped last season to 3.9 yards, he still managed to finish with another 1000 yard season at 33 years of age. Now at 34, Gore will look to start the season strong as last year he appeared to run out of gas over the last half of the season.
Also healthy for the Colts is their number one receiver T.Y. Hilton. Don’t let the size fool you as Hilton is unquestionably one of the best receivers in the NFL. He is a threat from every level, all he needs is the ball in his hands. It will be interesting to see who primarily covers him, as the Rams number one CB Trumaine Johnson typically is not matched up against the opposing teams smaller receivers.
The key to Hilton’s success lies between an offensive line that has struggled mightily in recent years, and is missing a starter, and Luck’s replacement, QB Scott Tolzien. Even without Donald, the Rams defensive unit should be above average still. It would seem the likely scapegoat would be to lean on the run game. Gore — and possibly explosive rookie RB Marlon Mack — could be fed a lot.
On defense the Colts are really young in the secondary. In fact they are one of the youngest in the NFL. CB Darius Butler is expected to man the slot, outside of him all other starters in secondary are expected to be in years one or two. If Rams QB Jared Goff can play with just a little bit of chemistry with all of his new weapons, as well as some of the old, he should have a big day. This could ultimately open things up for RB Todd Gurley.
This game has the potential to get ugly, but in favor of the Rams...