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3 bold predictions for the Indianapolis Colts for Week 16

Indianapolis Colts
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts are coming off one of the most embarrassing losses in franchise history. However, there are some reasons for hope to get the organization back on track. Unfortunately, there isn’t much optimism for the remainder of this season. 

This week the Colts host the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football. The Chargers are coming off a close victory over the Titans. And the Chargers are 2-1 against the AFC South, looking to make it 3-1 while they make their push for a spot in the playoffs. This week’s bold predictions will share some similarities to last week’s against Minnesota.

Rookie tight end Jelani Woods has his best game

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie tight end Jelani Woods has flashed his potential at different points this season. Coming out of college, he drew comparisons to former Colt Jordan Thomas. And, again, at times, he’s shown exactly why those comparisons are accurate. 

This week he shows that when he rounds into form, Woods can be a dominant player, and one defenses need to game plan to stop. This week we envision Woods routinely getting open over the middle of the field for big chunks of yardage by utilizing his height to make difficult catches as he hauls in seven passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, which would be a new career-high yardage total.

Related: 5 QBs Indianapolis Colts could target in the 2023 NFL Draft

Indianapolis Colts offense comes alive

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Armond Feffer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

After the points explosion in Minnesota, the Colts’ offense ranks 29th in the NFL. Indianapolis ranks 19th in pass offense and 25th in rushing offense. The biggest reason why the offense has been bad is the play of the offensive line. The team has weapons to create big plays and score points. Unfortunately, it’s the offensive line that hasn’t been able to pass or run block to allow this unit to succeed. 

Fortunately for them, the Chargers’ defense is bad. They rank 25th in team defense, 11th in pass defense, and 28th in run defense. This week the offense picks up the slack and takes some pressure off the defense. 

If the offensive line can pick up the blitz, then Matt Ryan can provide some big chunk plays for the offense to move the ball. Wide receivers Alec Pierce, Parris Campbell, and Michael Pittman Jr. all catch four to six passes for over 60 receiving yards. Two of the three will catch a touchdown in the game as well. 

Related: 2022 NFL offense rankings: Detroit Lions continue rise heading into Week 16

Bernhard Raimann proves he’s the future at left tackle

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As previously mentioned, the Chargers’ defense is bad. And considering the Chargers employ a couple of high-end pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, it is surprising that the team has fewer sacks and hurries than the Colts. However, the Chargers do have more quarterback knockdowns than the Colts. 

The offensive line will be put to test this week as the Chargers blitz 26.6% of the time. Matt Ryan will need to be on the same page as the offensive line and running backs for blitz pickup. This has been an area of struggle all season long.  

Regardless, rookie Bernhard Raimann continues his progress and has one of his best games of the season. He will no doubt get some help from the tight ends, running backs, and left guard at times. We predict Raimann will play a good game and really show that he is the future at left tackle for the Colts.

Again, for Colts fans that are wanting the team to lose and help improve their draft position, they should have a very bad feeling about this game. In reality, they should have a really bad feeling about the remaining games. While the next two opponents are legitimately jockeying for playoff position. Not one of them is a dominant team that the Colts can’t realistically beat.

Related: NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Eagles remain No. 1, Cowboys and Jets fall