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Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints Preview and Predictions 12-16-2019


The New Orleans Saints look to rebound from a last-second loss and bolster their candidacy for a first-round postseason bye on Monday night when they host the Indianapolis Colts. The NFC South champion Saints' task of securing one of those two top spots was made a bit more difficult after dropping a 48-46 setback to San Francisco on Sunday.

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"It's real simple - one, two, or three. That's what we're playing for," New Orleans coach Sean Payton said the seeds. "We're going to be in one of those three spots and the focus has to be on improving and playing the Colts." Drew Brees rushed for a score against the 49ers and threw for five more to boost his career passing touchdown total to 537, three shy of surpassing Peyton Manning for most in NFL history. Manning's initial NFL team, Indianapolis, has seen its generous defense surrender 89 points during a three-game losing skid to push the club to the brink of elimination from postseason contention. "The outcomes are the outcomes," Colts linebacker Darius Leonard said. "You look at the good and the bad. You can't just throw it to the side. You have to look what went well, what went wrong."

TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Saints -9 O/U: 46.5

ABOUT THE COLTS (6-7): Jacoby Brissett threw for a pair of touchdown passes for the first time since Sept. 29 in Sunday's 38-35 setback to Tampa Bay. The 27-year-old Brissett has made do without four-time Pro Bowl selection T.Y. Hilton, who has missed five of his last six games with an ailing calf after sitting out only four games in first seven seasons. "It's just tough watching; it's something I'm not used to, so I'm doing everything I can to get back," Hilton said. Third-year running back Marlon Mack resides 100 yards shy of becoming the ninth player in franchise history to rush for 1,000 in a season, and he'll attempt to accomplish the feat versus New Orleans' fifth-ranked rush defense.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (10-3): Alvin Kamara's offensive numbers haven't been up to his lofty standards, as the electric back mustered just 25 yards rushing and 18 receiving versus San Francisco to fall short of 100 yards from scrimmage in two straight games and three in his last five. To boot, Kamara had a costly fumble in the third quarter against the 49ers and saw his touchdown drought extend to eight consecutive contests. Michael Thomas has shown no sign of a letdown, as he made 11 catches for 134 yards last week to join Antonio Brown as the lone NFL players to have more than one season with 120-plus receptions and 1,400-plus receiving yards. Thomas, who looks to exploit Indianapolis' 22nd-ranked pass defense, is nine catches shy of joining Brown, Julio Jones and Marvin Harrison as the only players to reach 130 in a season.

EXTRA POINTS

1. New Orleans placed former first-round picks DE Marcus Davenport (foot) and DT Sheldon Rankins (ankle) on injured reserve this week and signed DE Noah Spence and DT T.Y. McGill to fill their roster spots.

2. Indianapolis' Chase McLaughlin, who made two of three field-goal attempts versus the Bucs, will be the team's full-time kicker going forward after Adam Vinatieri was placed on injured reserve this week.

3. The Saints will honor the 10-year anniversary of their only Super Bowl win by bringing members of the 2009 team together for a reunion prior to the game. New Orleans posted a 31-17 victory over Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV.

Prediction

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Capacity: 73,068

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Last Injuries

New Orleans Saints

  • Zach Wood

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Wood has been added to the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list and will be absent from the team for an extended period.

  • Kaden Elliss

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Elliss has been designated for the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Kiko Alonso

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Alonso has been placed on the active PUP list as he continues to recover from a torn ACL. There is currently no timetable for return.

  • Johnson Bademosi

    Foot
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Bademosi has landed on the active PUP list as he continues his recovery from a foot injury. It is unknown when he will be ready to make his debut.

  • Cole Wick

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Wick has decided to sit out the 2020 season due to a personal reason. As a result, the team has placed him on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list.

  • Jason Vander Laan

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Vander Laan is on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list after telling the team that is not going to take part in the 2020 season due to a personal reason.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Rolan Milligan

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Milligan has let the team that he has ruled himself out of the entire 2020 season due to a personal decision, and his name has emerged on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list.

  • Marvell Tell III

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Tell III has decided to sit out for the duration of the 2020 season due to a personal reason. The team has put him on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list as a result.

  • Skai Moore

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Moore has wound up on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list after informing the team that he will sit out the entire 2020 season due to a personal decision.

  • Mo Alie-Cox

    Thumb
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Alie-Cox has been designated for the active PUP list as he is working his way back from thumb surgery, and the severity of the ailment has yet to be announced.

  • T.Y. Hilton

    Hamstring
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Hilton has hit on the Non-Football injury list while healing from a mild hamstring injury. It is unclear when he will return to the field.

  • Julian Blackmon

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Blackmon is on the active Injured Reserve/Non-Football Injury list while healing from a torn ACL that ended his 2019 season. It is unknown when he will be ready to be activated.

  • Kemoko Turay

    Ankle
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Turay has been added to the active PUP list as he is working his way back from ankle surgery. It is unknown when he will be activated.

  • Jegs Jegede

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Jegede is on the mend from a significant knee injury that kept him out of the 2019 season. The team has put him on the active PUP list for an extended period.