NFL Week 16 Preview: Colts at Ravens
The Indianapolis Colts visit the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 31
Coverage by: Mike Alessandrini
Matchup: Indianapolis Colts offense vs. Baltimore Ravens defense
- QB Jacoby Brissett vs. Ravens’ pass-rush – Brissett did not perform well against the Broncos in Week 15, and he struggled to a 46.2 game grade. The blame cannot all be placed on the Colts’ signal-caller, as the team’s offensive line has struggled throughout the season. Brissett has been pressured on 41.4 percent of his dropbacks, a mark that leads all quarterbacks. Indianapolis’ offensive line ranks 30th with a 74.8 overall pass-blocking efficiency. Brissett has taken a sack on 23.9 percent of pressured dropbacks (second to Andy Dalton) and has a 61.8 rating on these passes. If the Ravens can knock Brissett off his game, it could be smooth sailing on Saturday. Terrell Suggs leads the charge for Baltimore, leading the team with a 12.8 pass-rush productivity (seventh-best at his position) and 12 sacks. Willie Henry paces the interior of the defense with 22 total pressures on the year.
- G Jeremy Vujnovich vs. DI Brandon Williams – Vujnovich has struggled overall in 2017, to the tune of a 33.2 overall grade, but has begun to show improvement in recent weeks. Over his last two games, the Colts’ left guard has surrendered just two total pressures over 59 pass-blocking snaps. Against the Broncos last week, the first-year starter earned a 71.8 game grade. This mark was actually the highest among all offensive players on the team. Vujnovich will have his hands full with Williams this week. The interior defender has an 84.8 overall grade in 2017 while once again dominating in run defense. His 89.0 run defense grade is eighth-best at his position, while his 11.6 run stop percentage ranks ninth. Vujnovich may have the upper hand in pass protection, though, as Williams has totaled just 13 pressures (no sacks) this season.
- WR T.Y. Hilton vs. CB Brandon Carr – The Colts need to get their top receiver going this week in order to remain competitive in this Saturday night matchup. Over his last five games, Hilton has just 14 catches, one touchdown and 150 receiving yards. During this span, he is averaging just 0.91 yards per route run which ranks 79th out of 83 eligible receivers. Perhaps giving him some snaps in the slot could help, as Hilton’s 1.97 yards per route run from the slot is seventh-best at his position. The dynamic receiver could see a lot of Carr this week in coverage. Carr is averaging a respectable 12.4 coverage snaps per reception (20th-best among cornerbacks), and opposing quarterbacks have a 68.6 passer rating when targeting the veteran in 2017.
PFFELO Ranking: 13
Coverage by: Daniel Cohen
Matchup: Baltimore Ravens offense vs. Indianapolis Colts defense
- WR Mike Wallace vs. CB Quincy Wilson – Wallace has looked solid this year at wide receiver, having earned an overall grade of 76.2 to this point. He has a streak of five games grading above average, and his matchup against Wilson gives him a good chance to extend that streak to six. Wilson has an overall grade of 59.6, and he is averaging 2.79 yards allowed per coverage snap, the second-highest average among cornerbacks with at least 100 coverage snaps. After allowing 76 yards in coverage to the Broncos last week, he’ll look to bounce back this week.
- T Ronnie Stanley vs. Edge Jabaal Sheard – Stanley will have his work cut out for him this week against a talented edge rusher in Sheard, as his pass-rush grade of 89.1 ranks ninth among all edge defenders. Stanley is coming off back-to-back below average games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, where he allowed a total of six pressures. While Stanley hasn’t allowed a sack since Week 9, Sheard hasn’t recorded a sack since that week. They both might be due for one in this game.
- C Ryan Jensen vs. DI Al Woods – Jensen, who has been strong at run blocking this season, goes up against a tough run-stopping nose tackle this week. Jensen’s run block grade of 78.2 ranks seventh-best among centers this season while Woods has earned a run defense grade of 86.3, which ranks 16th among interior defenders. He has 23 run stops this year at defensive tackle, which is tied for seventh-most at the position and Woods has not had a below average graded game since Week 3.