5 GameScout: Bears at Colts
Send a link to a friend
[October 08, 2016]
The Sports Xchange
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Lucas Oil
Stadium, Indianapolis. TV -- FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin
SERIES HISTORY: 42nd regular season meeting. Colts lead series,
22-19. The Colts have never beaten Chicago in Indianapolis (0-2 at
Hoosier/RCA Dome and 0-1 at Lucas Oil Stadium). The Bears won six of
the last eight meetings, including post-season. Chicago won the last
two regular-season games, posting a 29-13 win at Lucas Oil Stadium
on Sept. 7, 2008 and later notching a 41-21 victory at Soldier Field
on Sept. 9, 2012. Indianapolis' last win in the regular-season
(41-10) occurred on Nov. 21, 2004 at Soldier Field. The two
franchises met in Super Bowl XLI with the Colts coming away with a
29-17 win at Miami's Dolphin Stadium as former QB Peyton Manning
completed 25-of-38 passes for 247 yards and a TD to earn game MVP
honors. The Colts are 11-9 as a franchise against Chicago in home
games and 11-10 on the road.
KEYS TO THE GAME: Bears backup QB Brian Hoyer was excellent for a
second consecutive start last week while Jay Cutler (thumb) watched,
and head coach John Fox sounds content keeping it that way.
Hoyer is completing 69.1 percent of his passes with four touchdowns
and no interceptions, and this week he stares down a Colts' defense
allowing more than 7.5 yards per reception with only one
interception in four games. The Bears liked what they saw from
rookie first-time starter Jordan Howard last week and his powerful
style fits Fox's preferred run-first approach.
The Bears could do even more running with second-year WR Kevin White
headed back to injured reserve, although injuries in the secondary
make the Colts' defensive backfield an inviting target.
One touchdown and two field goals is all the Colts have mustered in
the first quarter, continuing a theme of slow starts under coach
Chuck Pagano. QB Andrew Luck, sacked six times last week in London
by the Jaguars, suffers behind a below-average front five again and
is nursing a sore shoulder. Being hit 32 times, sacked 15 this
season, Luck still managed to completed 103 of-166 passes for 1,147
yards and eight TDs, but a man can take only so much.
Chicago is not fully healthy on defense and although the Bears held
the pass-happy Detroit Lions in check last week, Luck has the
weapons to have a huge day.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
--Bears CB Jacoby Glenn, who had his first career interception last
week, vs. Colts WR Ty Hilton, who has been targeted 44 times. In
passing situations -- which should be most of the game against the
Colts -- Glenn has played and Bryce Callahan has moved inside to
nickel. Glenn has been a safer option than Deiondre' Hall, who has
been feast or famine. Glenn is rangy but may not have the closing
speed to stay downfield with Hilton. He'll have to get help. Hilton
has been targeted more than twice as much as any other Colts
receiver, so it's a bit like Alshon Jeffery has been with the Bears.
The Bears have to make Luck prove that he can beat them with other
receivers, so getting either safety Adrian Amos or Harold
Jones-Quartey over the top to provide Glenn with help is critical.
[to top of second column]
--Bears LT Charles Leno Jr., who is coming off his best game of the
season, vs. Colts OLB Robert Mathis, who has no sacks this season.
At age 35, it's possible Mathis could finally be showing his age.
Leno had a strong day as a run blocker against the Lions as some of
Jordan Howard's best runs came to his side. And Ferguson's pass
blocking, a question much of last year, has been steady when it's
kept simple -- he suffers when the blitz comes to his side making
responsibilities more complicated. Mathis had two sacks in his last
game against the Bears four years
INJURY REPORT: BEARS -- Out: WR Kevin White (ankle). Doubtful: QB
Jay Cutler (right thumb), DT Eddie Goldman (ankle), CB Deiondre'
Hall (ankle), RB Jeremy Langford (ankle). Questionable: DE Jonathan
Bullard (shoulder), RB Ka'Deem Carey (hamstring), LB Leonard Floyd
(calf), WR Alshon Jeffery (knee), LB Nick Kwiatkoski (elbow), T
Charles Leon (illness), CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring), TE Zach
Miller (ribs), CB Tracy Porter (knee), WR Eddie Royal (calf), G Josh
Sitton (shoulder), LB Danny Trevathan (thumb), LB Willie Young
(knee). COLTS -- Out: C Jonotthan Harrison (illness), WR Donte
Moncrief (shoulder). Questionable: CB Darius Butler (hamstring), T
Denzelle Good (back), LB Robert Mathis (foot), T Joe Reitz (back),
RB Robert Turbin (wrist, shoulder)
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Colts OLB Akeem Ayers -- The former Titans,
Patriots and Rams linebacker will be asked to give Indianapolis
quality minutes as he steps in as Robert Mathis' rotational backup
as rush outside linebacker. With Trent Cole on injured reserve
(back), Ayers will be needed to help provide pass rush help for a
defense that continues to struggle. He has five total tackles in
limited playing during his four games this year.
FAST FACTS: Bears QB Brian Hoyer passed for 302 yards, two TDs and a
120.1 rating last week. ... Nifty Bears WR/PR Eddie Royal had seven
receptions for 111 yards and a TD in Week 4. ... The Colts have
allowed 375 hits on QB Andrew Luck from 2012-16, the most in the
NFL. ... Indianapolis has 12 touchdowns on 13 red-zone possessions.
... The Colts have allowed an AFC-worst 125 points this season.
PREDICTION: The Colts are cornered and need to show home crowd they
remember how to win.
OUR PICK: Colts, 28-14
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.