BIG MAC: Pernell McPhee is quietly putting together a terrific season. Last week against the Panthers team insiders, after reviewing the game tape, believed that McPhee was the best defender on the field. His effort doesn’t show up on the stats sheet but the menacing presence of the former 5th-round pick out of Mississippi State makes life easier for his defensive teammates.
HURST TO FIRST: Undrafted rookie free agent James Hurst has been thrust into the limelight due to starting left tackle Eugene Monroe’s knee injury. Last week Gary Kubiak called a game that didn’t expose the former Tar Heel. This game will be in noisy Lucas Oil Stadium. That coupled with a game’s worth of film on Hurst will likely inspire Chuck Pagano’s staff to put the rookie to the test. Will Hurst finish as cleanly this week?
B-WILL: Second year defensive tackle Brandon Williams has been stout at the point of attack and he’s done a great job of collapsing the pocket. Alongside of Haloti Ngata the behemoth duo could be the difference makers in the game as they try and move Andrew Luck off his spot by overpowering The Penguin, aka AQ Shipley and backup guard Lance Louis filling in for the injured Jack Mewhort. Williams and Ngata may be forced into more snaps since Chris Canty will sit this one out today.
SPACE JAM: Luck will try and get the ball out quickly and utilize bubble screens, particularly to TY Hilton. The Ravens will likely try and jam the Colts receivers to disrupt the timing but such a strategy will require disciplined over-the-top protection from the safeties in order to prevent the home run. This could be a day when the speed of rookie safety Terrence Brooks is on full display.
GREAT WIDE OPEN: The Colts safeties when healthy are a liability. Today they aren’t at full strength given the suspension of LaRon Landry. They’ve struggled in coverage and making matters worse the Colts linebackers don’t drop into zones efficiently. Add it up and it makes the middle of the field the soft white underbelly of the Indy defense. Look for drags from Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown along with a busy day from Owen Daniels who is familiar with his former AFC South rival.