New York Giants: Previewing Week 16 Matchup Vs. Indianapolis

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard, Saquon Barkley

It is week 16 of the 2018-2019 NFL season. The New York Giants are already eliminated from the playoffs with a disappointing 5-9 season, but they still have to play two more games.

This week they will travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Giants may be eliminated from the playoffs, but the Colts are not. They are very much in the hunt and will look at Sunday’s matchup against the Giants as a crucial game.

Taking A Look At The Colts

The Colts started the season at 1-5. Since then, they have won seven of their last eight games to improve to an 8-6 record. This team has been white hot, being lead by quarterback Andrew Luck and his stellar offensive line. According to Pro Football Focus, the Colts’ offensive line has been the 6th best unit in the league this season. Rookie offensive guard Quenton Nelson had a slow start to the season, but he is now PFF’s eight highest-graded guard in the NFL. This will certainly give the Giants’ front seven some trouble. The Colts’ backfield features Marlon Mack. This season, Mack has averaged 4.8 yards per carry as he has powered his way to 755 yards and seven touchdowns. The Giants have been surrendering 128.4 rushing yards per game (fifth worst in the NFL), so expect the Colts’ game plan to feature a heavy dose of Marlon Mack. 

On the defensive side of the ball, the Colts are being lead by rookie linebacker Darius Leonard. The rookie has totaled a league-leading 146 tackles this season, as well as seven sacks and four forced fumbles. He has been incredibly productive for the Colts and is a strong defensive rookie of the year candidate. The Colts have also been a good team at defending the run, eight best in the league at 103.6 yards per game. However, it should still be expected that the Giants continue to lean on Saquon Barkley, even though the Colts are a good run defending team.

Injury Report

The Giants will be without two of their best players this week. Super star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will miss his third game this season as he continues to deal with his bruised quad. Middle linebacker Alec Ogletree will also miss this game with a concussion. Along with Beckham Jr. and Ogletree, the Giants have also ruled out wide receiver Russell Shepard and center Spencer Pulley. Defensive lineman Kerry Wynn is also questionable.

The Colts have ruled out safety Clayton Gathers with a knee injury, and have declared five other players questionable. Those players include star receiver T.Y. Hilton, guard Mark Glowinski, safety Mike Mitchell, safety George Odum, and linebacker Anthony Walker.

The Giants’ Game Plan

The Giants have been leaning heavily on Saquon Barkley the past few weeks, and that is not expected to change against the Colts, despite their stout run defense. With Odell Beckham Jr. out, along with a starting offensive lineman in Spencer Pulley, the Giants are not likely to attack the Colts through the air. Eli Manning struggled greatly last week against the Titans due to a lack of a run game, so in order for the Giants to win, they will need to be efficient running the football.