Five Matchups To Watch For Against The Rams

Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief (10) scores on a 24-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders during a NFL football game at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Key individual Match-Ups to watch for in Colts vs Rams

Malik Hooker, safety Vs. Jared Goff, quarterback

Hooker is making his debut at safety for the Colts in Los Angeles. He impressed during preseason and showed the instincts and playmaking ability that the Colts saw when they drafted him for. Goff is the former first overall pick of the 2016 draft, but has failed to live up to expectations in his debut season. Expect Goff to commit plenty of mistakes while he adjusts to a new receiving corps and a new scheme. Hooker is poised to capitalize on said mistakes and enjoy a solid debut.

Johnathan Hankins, nose tackle Vs. Todd Gurley, halfback

Hankins is another defensive player making his debut for the Colts, and like Hooker, he is facing an opponent that underachieved in the 2016 season. Todd Gurley looked slow and sluggish last season, failing to break any big runs. Former Pro Bowler Hankins will look to keep that streak going and shut down Gurley, and the Rams running game, in the hope that Goff will be forced to attempt plenty of passes throughout the game.

Deyshawn Bond, center Vs. Aaron Donald, defensive tackle

Bond is starting week 1 due to Ryan Kelly’s foot injury, and he faces a strong test against a vaunted Rams defensive line. The major story is if Aaron Donald, one of the league’s best defensive players will be available for the game on Sunday. Bond will most likely face the toughest test of his career in his first career start, as Donald will give plenty of problems. If Donald is out, then Michael Brockers will most likely start. He is not a mediocre player but he is far away from Donald’s elite level of play.

Donte Moncrief, wide receiver Vs. Kayvon Webster, cornerback

Moncrief played well during the preseason and is expected to become a key piece of the Colts offense as he is entering his contract year. Webster is returning from an ankle injury and is adjusting to a new team. Moncrief should be able to beat him as fellow wide receiver T.Y. Hilton does the same with Trumaine Johnson.

Jack Doyle, tight end Vs. Alec Ogletree, linebacker

Doyle will be matched up with Ogletree through most of the game, and if Tolzien starts expect plenty of action for the new starting tight end. With Tolzien at the helm the Colts passing offense relies heavily on short passes in order to move the chains, and that is mainly were Doyle comes into play.

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