T.Y. Hilton via Jeffrey Beall [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)]

Monday Night Football: Week 15 Preview, IND at NO

Monday Night Football, just like last night, could shake things up in the playoff hunt. The hometown Saints will host the playoff-hopeful Colts in a game that could eliminate Indianapolis from the playoff picture.

Monday Night Football

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

New Orleans, LA

Betting

The Saints (-500) are -9.0 on the spread (-115) and I’m going to go with the Colts +9.0 (-105) because a close game is in tow tonight! These teams match up quite well on both sides of the ball and we’ve seen the Saints defense be volatile in the past. All it takes is some poor play on the back end by Saints secondary and we could have another shootout on our hands. With this in mind, I like the OVER 47.5 (-115) as the scoreboard will be lighting up with points tonight on Monday Night Football.

Injuries

The injury report for Monday Night Football is thin, a good sign for a competitive and meaningful game. The Saints will be without LG Andrus Peat, MLB Kiko Alonso, and SS Vonn Bell for tonight’s game. As for the Colts, T.Y. Hilton is considered a game-time decision and is the biggest question mark heading into MNF. Other than that, starting CB’s Kenny Moore II and Pierre Desir are OUT and Questionable, respectfully.

Saints Offense vs. Colts Defense

Drew Brees and the Saints are already marching into the playoffs but now they’re trying to lock up a 1st-round bye week. With Brees battling Tom Brady for the NFL touchdown record, I can see him continuing to play at this high level until Brady calls it quits. After 6 TD’s last week (1 via the ground), Brees is playing phenomenal football and now faces a mediocre Colts secondary. Speaking of records, star WR Michael Thomas is on pace to break Marvin Harrison’s single-season receiving record. This record-breaking passing duo is a nightmare for opposing defenses and they’re consistently able to execute thanks to some special players in the backfield. The 2-headed monster in the backfield consists of Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray.

Kamara has had a “down year” in terms of how he has played previously. That being said, the pro-bowl caliber back still has over 1,000 total yards of offense this season and has a chance to get 1,000 rushing yards with 3 strong performances to close out the year. As for Murray, he’s got 5 TD’s on the ground and seems to have supplanted Kamara as the early-down runner. The Colts defense has been strong against the run, but potentially missing their top-2 CB’s against Brees will be a problem, to say the least.

Colts Offense vs. Saints Defense

With the return of Marlon Mack from injury, the Colts have been able to go back to their bread and butter. Mack is a premier talent in the backfield that struggles with staying on the field. When he’s out there, Jacoby Brissett excels as teams focus on stopping the run. This allows Brissett to create with play-action and find his receivers down the field. Originally slated to backup Andrew Luck to begin the year, Brissett has stepped up to the challenge after Luck shocked the world and retired unexpectantly. Brissett has been about a middle-of-the-pack QB this season, which is more than what we all expected considering he’s a backup QB. Even without T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron, Brissett has been able to find success through TE Jack Doyle and even more so with WR Zach Pascal. A rather uninspiring passing attack of the Colts will try to take advantage of SS Vonn Bell missing Monday Night Football for the Saints.

T.Y. Hilton via Jeffrey Beall [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)] for Monday Night Football
T.Y. Hilton via Jeffrey Beall [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)]

Predictions

Colts: 24

Saints: 31

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: Marlon Mack

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Taysom Hill

Taysom Hill via GrabitMike [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)] for Monday Night Football
Taysom Hill via GrabitMike [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Best Fantasy QB: Drew Brees, I selfishly need a record-breaking performance from Brees tonight.

Better Fantasy RB: Marlon Mack, Kamara has not been as good as advertised so I’m flipping to Mack.

Better Fantasy WR: Michael Thomas, he’s hands down the best receiver in the league this season.

Best Fantasy TE: Jared Cook, Doyle may be targeted more but Cook will do more with his targets.

Better Fantasy D/ST: Saints, Brissett is more likely to get sacked/turn the ball over.

Conclusion

Who do you think wins tonight on Monday Night Football? Will the Colts stay alive in the playoff hunt with a victory tonight? Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out the shop and other content by clicking here. Oh, and there’s also a giveaway going on.

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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