Week 9 Preview: Colts vs Giants – a MNF Clash

The Colts will be showcased on primetime for the fourth time this season when they travel to East Rutherford, NJ to battle the New York Football Giants on Monday Night Football.

Two weeks ago, this matchup looked like a lock for the Colts, but after last week’s defensive debacle in Pittsburgh I honestly do not know what to expect on Monday night. The Giants have looked like anything but a contender since winning their most recent Super Bowl right here in Indy – they are coming off their bye week and currently sitting at 3-4.

A week ago at this time, the entire city – and probably most of the nation – had Super Bowl and MVP aspirations for this team after they pasted the Bengals, 27-0. Now, a week later, that has all changed. The Colts D was exposed against Big Ben and Luck, despite another 300-yard passing performance, looked at times more like a rookie than a possible MVP candidate.

The Colts must forget the past and focus on the future. If they keep pondering what went wrong in Pittsburgh then they will get rocked by the Giants on MNF.

Luckily for the Colts, it was confirmed today that both Reggie Wayne and Vonte Davis will be good to go on Monday Night. Wayne missed all of last Sunday’s game and Davis went down with an injury and did not return.

So, how will the Colts defeat the Giants?

We have seen it sporadically this season, but the key to slowing the Giants is to get in Eli Manning’s face. A constant pass rush will result in mistakes and turnovers in favor of the Colts. Eli has only throw five interceptions this season, which is good for him, which means he is due for a dud – a powerful pass rush can aid that.

Manning will be without his leading receiver Victor Cruz (season-ending injury) and leading rusher Rashad Jennings (MCL sprain) on Monday, but the Colts have had a franchise-long reputation of allowing no-name players take them to the woodshed. Remember Gus Frerotte?

The Colts O-Line got their tails kicked last week by the Steelers. Andrew Luck was getting knocked around like a rag doll and probably needed 3-4 showers to get all the grass and mud off him. Unfortunately, the same could be the same on Monday night as the Giants have one of the best pass-rushers in the game – Jason Pierre-Paul. If the O-Line can’t garner some consistency then JPP will light up Luck.

It sounds like I am being quite negative against the Colts – and you know what – they deserve it. Everybody kissed their a$$ after the Bengals game to the point where they didn’t feel the need to practice or prepare for last Sunday’s game and they simply got their a$$ kicked. As ugly as it was to watch, maybe it was exactly what they needed. Hopefully watching the game tape fueled their fire and they will come out on Monday night more determined and more aggressive and will beat the Giants within an inch of their life.

A win on Monday is not a must, but it’s as close to a must-win game as they have had this season; especially with the bye week coming up and then the dreaded Patriots coming to town in two weeks.

Final Thought:

I am hoping that after watching last week’s performance from the sidelines that Coach Pagano went all “U” on the team – an attitude he developed from his days of coaching at the University of Miami. An attitude of ferociousness and toughness – two characteristics this team lacked last week. I believe the return of Reggie Wayne will be the key as the Colts will dominate time of possession once again and will win going away.

Prediction: Colts 30      Giants 17

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