The Indianapolis Colts Week 16 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers means fairly little for them after they were eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday night when the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the New York Jets. Still, they could ruin the Los Angeles Chargers day if they decided to try to pull off an upset, so that makes it necessary to take a look at our Colts Week 16 predictions for this contest.
The Colts swung a trade this past offseason for Matt Ryan in hopes he would be an upgrade over Carson Wentz under center, but that ended up backfiring spectacularly. Ryan has been awful, and Sam Ehlinger hasn’t been much better. That has led Nick Foles, the third string quarterback, to take over in Week 16 as the Colts continue to try to sort out their mess of a roster.
Indy will be going against a dangerous Chargers team in Week 16 that will be looking to further solidify their Wild Card standing, which likely doesn’t bode well for their hopes of winning this game. Still, the Colts have the talent to make this game tough on the Chargers, and we have seen Foles do some crazy things throughout his career, so let’s dive into our Colts Week 16 predictions.
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3. Colts DE Yannick Ngakoue will pick up two sacks on the day
The Colts offensive struggles throughout the season have overlooked what has generally been another strong season for their defense. Indianapolis relied on their defense and run game in 2021, and while their ground game has been very inconsistent this season, their defense has delivered for the most part.
Of course, it helps when you go out and sign a pass rusher in Yannick Ngakoue and he immediately delivers. Ngakoue has been the Colts top pass rusher this season, racking up 9.5 sacks in his first season with his new team. Ngakoue has been very important in keeping the Colts pass rush afloat this season, and his contributions have somehow slid under the radar.
Ngakoue will have a big day in this game against a Chargers offensive line that occasionally looks like they are actively working on getting their star quarterback Justin Herbert killed. The Colts defense is going to have to show up in this game if they want any shot of hanging with Los Angeles, and Ngakoue will do his part by racking up a pair of sacks on Herbert in this one.
2. Colts QB Nick Foles will fire a pair of touchdowns
As previously mentioned, Foles will be taking over for the Colts under center in this game. Foles hasn’t thrown a pass this season, and has only actually played in one game over the past two seasons. And while that doesn’t exactly bode well for the Colts offense, it feels like they are upgrading from Ryan and Ehlinger by starting Foles.
Foles has had a very strange career, as he’s really been a middling starter or backup for the most part. Of course, he went ballistic in the 2017 playoffs to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory, but ever since then, Foles hasn’t had much success in the NFL, and it landed him a backup job with the Colts.
There’s not much risk associated with playing Foles here, and he will actually turn in a fairly strong outing in his first start of the season. With Jonathan Taylor out for the rest of the season, Foles will be tasked with keeping the ball moving on offense, and he will find Michael Pittman Jr. and Deon Jackson for a pair of touchdowns in his first start in nearly a year.
1. The Colts will lose to the Chargers 26-16
The Colts will keep this game competitive in the first half thanks to a strong gameplan, with the score being 13-7 at halftime. Foles will find Jackson in the flat from five yards out to open the game, but Herbert will end up leading the Chargers to 13 unanswered points to close out the half as the Colts offense struggles.
Herbert will make that 20 unanswered points when L.A. turns their opening drive of the second half into seven points, but the Colts will tack on a field goal to stay within striking distance. The Chargers will kick two more field goals before Foles finds Pittman on another short crosser in the end zone, but their two-point conversion will be unsuccessful, ending any hopes of a comeback then and there.
For the Colts, this is another tough loss in a season that has been full of them. Foles wasn’t necessarily bad, but it’s clear that Indy seriously needs to find a new, young quarterback this offseason. This loss will push their record on the season to 4-10-1, and it will be interesting to see whether Foles earns himself another start in Week 17 with this solid outing.