Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints
When: 8:15 PM ET, Monday, December 16, 2019
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
NEW ORLEANS – 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.
“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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.