Both teams are on a two-game losing streak and desperately need a win to push the team back .500.
Dating back to 1967, when the franchise was in Baltimore, the Saints own an 8-5 overall record over Indianapolis. However, there are things the Colts can do to gain ground and pick up the victory.
Here are the keys to victory for the Colts in Week 8:
Be smart with the football
On the surface, the Colts’ offensive production looks great. The Colts are the only team in the league to score 20 or more points in every game this season. In the last two weeks, Indy has scored 58 points and created 400 or more yards of offense in each contest.
Unfortunately, the Colts did not come out of those games with wins. Quarterback Gardner Minshew has eight turnovers within that span, and that’s primarily been the deciding factor. Minshew has to protect the football and not force throws into tight situations.
In other words, be smart with where the football goes.
Let Jonathan Taylor and your run game find pay dirt
The Colts have likely cracked the code on what a run game looks like with a healthy dose of Zack Moss and Jonathan Taylor. Despite missing some time, Moss has 523 rushing yards, good for second in the NFL behind Christian McCaffrey. Taylor, working his way back from injury, has 219 all-purpose yards in just three games.
With the Saints coming to town, the Colts must win the trenches, starting with establishing the run game. Also, despite only giving up three rushing touchdowns all season, New Orleans has allowed nearly 700 rush yards, landing Indy a prime opportunity to add to the total.
Limit the big plays as much as possible
With Grover Stewart out on suspension, in Week 7, the Browns attacked the middle of the Colts’ defense and scored a 69-yard rushing touchdown less than a minute into the first quarter. The Browns were also able to gash Indy in the secondary with a huge 30-yard play on a critical third down late in the 4th quarter that was pivotal to putting Cleveland in scoring position and ultimately winning the game.
As a result of Stewart’s unavailability and starting corner Julius Brents out with injury this week, the Colts recently elevated defensive tackle McTelvin Agim and cornerback Chris Lammons as extra insurance for the thin positions. With two new players in the fold, Indy must use everything to stop New Orleans from having its way with the defense.
Neutralize Alvin Kamara
The Saints have a bevy of weapons that can unravel a team, but none more potent than running back Alvin Kamara. Kamara has six yards of 10 or more yards on the season and has forced seven missed tackles, including five in Week 6 against the Houston Texans.
Get to Derek Carr by any means necessary
One of the best things that came out of the Colts’ Week 8 defensive performance is that they found a way to get to the quarterback. It was a collective defensive effort that saw Kenny Moore II and Dayo Odeyingbo walk away with sacks. Julian Blackmon and Rodney Thomas also plucked footballs out of the air for two interceptions.
The Saints have allowed a blistering 20 sacks, and Carr has thrown four interceptions this season. If the Colts can pressure Carr from multiple levels, it could be a winning recipe to stop New Orleans in its tracks.