Even though the Saints are coming off a defeat to the 49ers in a game-of-the-year candidate, all is fairly wisely for coach Sean Payton’s bunch.
It be a stark distinction to reveal Frank Reich’s Colts, who fling into the Superdome on a 3-game gallop that has them a defeat far from shedding their glimmer of hope at a return to the postseason.
On the agenda in NOLA is a Orderly Bowl XLIV rematch, Drew Brees and Michael Thomas zeroing in on NFL landmarks held by outdated Colts, the Saints vying for high seeds and first-round byes and Jacoby Brissett, Darius Leonard and the leisure of the Colts hoping to position a end to the struggles that possess clouded their final six weeks.
Within the 2nd-to-final Monday Night Soccer offering of the season, Brissett and the Indianapolis Colts (6-7) are shopping for an upset towards Brees and the host Original Orleans Saints (10-3) in a showdown that commences at 8:20 p.m. ET on ESPN.
These franchises most famously confronted off in Orderly Bowl XLIV, with Brees and the Saints emerging from their first and easiest day out to a championship game with their first and easiest Lombardi Trophy.
The Saints possess won the final three towards the Colts, at the side of the Orderly Bowl triumph.
For the Colts to hold to any semblance of postseason hope, they ought to deal with Monday, as a loss will collect rid of them from postseason competition. Original Orleans, in the period in-between, has already clinched the NFC South, nonetheless ought to preserve inch with NFC heavyweights San Francisco, Seattle and Green Bay in its quest for a high-two seed and a main-round bye.
Here’s four issues to search out for on Monday night:
Will Drew Brees possess one other file-breaking Monday?
With a Peyton Manning video cued up and a Monday night target market tuned in, Drew Brees turned the NFL’s all-time chief in passing yards correct a season prior to now, handing over an distinctive efficiency of 363 yards and three touchdowns in a blowout of the Redskins.
An encore efficiency and birthday party may perhaps perhaps well be in retailer.
Strolling into the Superdome on Monday, Brees will elevate with him 537 touchdown passes. Coming into Week 15, Brees was 2nd all-time in profession touchdown passes, trailing easiest Manning at 539, nonetheless slipped to third. Tom Brady entered Sunday’s matchup with the Bengals at 536 TD passes for his profession and upped it to 538, lively before Brees, nonetheless aloof trailing Manning for now and leaving the pomp and circumstance of breaking the file for the taking.
Brees’ embellished profession is dotted with a chain of exquisite Monday nights, as he is turned in 11 “MNF” performances with three-plus passing touchdowns, which trails easiest Brett Favre’s 13.
Assisting the prognosis for a huge night for Brees is that he is going thru a Colts defense that is allowed the most passing yards per game (300.7) since Week 12, per NFL Compare.
Thus, one other stellar Monday night will possess Brees and Original Orleans celebrating one other major NFL file.
Michael Thomas is hauling in a perfect season
Michael Thomas landed the mega-deal he was striving for before the season and he is continuously proven to be price every bit of it.
Basically among the finest wideout of the year to garner a semblance of MVP buzz, Thomas boasts a league-main 121 catches and is moreover tops with 1,424 yards receiving and 109.5 yards per game. In his fourth season, the two-time Authentic Bowler has already cinched up his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season and third straight 100-bask in campaign.
As he faces the Colts, he moreover continues to track down outdated Colts mountainous Marvin Harrison’s single-season file for catches of 143 situation in 2002. Per NFL Compare, Harrison needs to sensible 7.7 catches in every of his final three video games to surpass Harrison and he is coming into Monday averaging 9.3.
In phrases of production, Thomas has been a machine running on a inch in no method seen before as his 121 catches are the most in league history thru 13 video games, having bettered Harrison’s 2002 brand of 118.
Thomas is coming off an 11-bask in, 134-yard day towards the 49ers that was his sixth 100-yard game over his final seven and the seventh double-digit-bask in day day out of his incredible season. The seven video games with double-digit grabs are an NFL file that Thomas now shares with Andre Johnson and Wes Welker and one he can possess all to himself on this Monday night.
Racking up receptions and details has turn out to be now not contemporary with Thomas, nonetheless no less impressive and he returns his now not contemporary-atmosphere ways to Monday night towards the Colts with extra history at his fingertips.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts struggling thru season
For the length of the offseason, the Colts were all americans’s darling, predicted to damage mountainous issues after beautiful success in 2018.
Then Andrew Honest correct fortune panicked the sphere along with his retirement.
Nevermind a likely Corridor of Fame profession coming to a detailed so in reach, Jacoby Brissett rallied the troops and the AFC South seemed as if it may perhaps perhaps well perhaps be the Colts for the taking once extra as they were off to a 5-2 open up.
Alas, injuries took their toll in the Colts’ existence after Honest correct fortune, whether they were to Brissett or Darius Leonard or T.Y. Hilton or Marlon Mack or on and on.
With a loss on Monday, the Colts will more than likely be eliminated from any probability on the playoffs, so here’s terribly mighty their final stand.
Even though silver linings are hard to search out in the NFL, this has been a season wherein Brissett and Co. possess shown their fortitude and fought the correct struggle. Sadly, or no longer it’s seen them lose three in a row and 5 of their final six.
If fortunes will more than likely be turned or no longer no longer up to hope prolonged, Brissett ought to reverse his downward traits all the strategy thru a stretch that is seen him dart 1-4 as a starter with 181 yards per game and 4 touchdowns to a pair of interceptions. Sooner than that, all the strategy thru the 5-2 open up, he had 14 touchdowns and three picks with 227 yards per game.
A healthy contribution from a healthy Mack will moreover be predominant. Assist from a hand ache, Mack has 900 yards speeding on the year and is in quest of to turn out to be the 2nd Colts 1,000-yard rusher this decade, the first since Frank Gore in 2016 and correct the ninth Colt general.
For an upset available and hope to remain, the Colts will ought to bring their easiest — which was on gift months prior to now nonetheless has gone by the wayside in contemporary weeks. For Brissett’s bunch, Monday will stand because the night wherein they originate up limping into the offseason or receive a ability to preserve up the slimmest of aspirations alive.
Can Alvin Kamara reverse route towards Darius Leonard and Co.?
Scoring elements hasn’t in actuality been a tricky part for the Saints, the fifth-ranked scoring offense heading into Week 15.
It be a perhaps beautiful stat pondering Alvin Kamara is having a in actuality un-Alvin Kamara-bask in season.
The twin menace hasn’t tallied a 100-yard speeding (or receiving) effort in 11 video games this season (he is neglected two on memoir of ache) and has discovered the break zone in barely one game (he scored twice in a Week 3 take over the Seahawks).
Perchance most difficult as every game’s importance rises at this point of the year is that Kamara’s production is on a gallop along with his scrimmage yards having lowered in every of the final three weeks, per NFL Compare.
Proof of correct how dynamic and versatile Kamara is comes with him desiring correct three receiving yards on Monday to turn out to be the fourth player in league history to bustle for 2,000-plus yards and garner 2000-plus receiving yards over his first three NFL seasons. The outdated three are present Panthers all-every thing all-giant title Christian McCaffrey, Herschel Walker and Roger Craig.
The Colts defense (eighth towards the flee, nonetheless twenty 2nd versus the pass) is led by an equally versatile skill in Darius Leonard and as a entire are eighth-easiest towards running backs, conserving them to an sensible of 116.8 yards per game. Leonard, per Authentic Soccer Focus, has allowed the fifth-lowest passer ranking in coverage (Seventy 9.5) among linebackers and is on his ability to a 2nd unbiased correct season following his rookie-of-the-year campaign.
No topic missing three video games, Leonard leads the Colts with 92 tackles, four interceptions, six passes defended and two forced fumbles, and is 2nd with 5 sacks. From sideline to sideline on every stage, Leonard is intellectual even because the Colts are slumping.