ISR Colts/Notre Dame Beat Writer
INDIANAPOLIS – Following a big statement win over the Seattle Seahawks last week, the Indianapolis Colts (4-1) will travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers (2-3) in their first of four primetime games (and first of three straight) on Monday Night Football. The Colts are one of the hottest teams in the league, and the Chargers are coming off of a letdown game where they lost to the Oakland Raiders.
Broadcasting Information: Monday, October 14th, 8:40pm EST; San Diego, CA, Qualcomm Stadium; TV – ESPN; Radio – WFNI 107.5FM/1070AM The Fan and 97.1FM Hank FM.
Here are the three main points I will be looking for on Sunday:
- Will Andrew Luck take over in his MNF debut? – By this point, most football fans know that Andrew Luck is out of this world for this stage in his career. However, Monday Night Football as a weekly nationally televised event is one of the biggest stages a team can be on during the regular season and this is Luck’s debut on it. The Chargers allow opposing quarterbacks to have great games against them. Luck cashing in on a 350-plus yard, 3 touchdown performance would lift the legend that is Luck.
- Will Trent Richardson break out against the Chargers? – Many people have hit the panic button on Trent Richardson with the Colts, as he has yet to have any sort of breakout moment and hasn’t been putting up large statistics. Despite assurances that Richardson’s lack of stats isn’t that big of a deal, he needs a big performance soon to quiet his doubters.
- Will Robert Mathis continue on his historic sack pace? – Robert Mathis is currently on a historic pace for sacks with 9.5 through five games. That is an average of 1.9 per game and a pace of 30.5 over the course of the 16-game season. That would shatter the NFL single-season record of 22.5, so it’s extremely unlikely he would reach 30.5, but he can certainly threaten the single-season record. It is hardly even a question of whether or not he will break the Colts’ single-season record of 16.0 and the Colts’ all-time record of 107.5, both set by Dwight Freeney.
Colts players who have missed time in practice this week – Outside linebacker Erik Walden (elbow), outside linebacker Bjoern Werner (foot), safety LaRon Landry (ankle). Walden was a limited participant in practice Friday and stands a good chance at playing on Monday. Werner and Landry both did not participate in practice this week. Werner is out of his walking boot but will not play. It is still undetermined whether Landry will play or not, but it is unlikely.
Chargers players who have missed time this week – Offensive tackle D.J. Fluker (calf), offensive guard Chad Rinehart (toe), outside linebacker Jarret Johnson (hamstring), inside linebacker Donald Butler (groin), cornerback Richard Marshall (groin). Rinehart, Johnson, Butler and Marshall did not participate in practice on Friday.
If the Colts can win on Monday and head into their Sunday night matchup against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos next week, it will add even more substance to a game that has the potential to be the biggest regular season game in NFL history. However this, like the Jacksonville Jaguars game, must not be overlooked. The Colts will stand by one of the ultimate sports clichés and proclaim “one game at a time”.