The Colts have been in panic mode over the last two weeks, making changes at the quarterback position and on their coaching staff. After a narrow loss to the Commanders last Sunday, Indianapolis fired offensive coordinator Marcus Brady in an attempt to find a rhythm and salvage a disappointing season.
Matt Ryan opened the season as the Colts’ starter and didn’t look like he’d have any competition for the job, but he was surprisingly benched in October after throwing 9 interceptions in seven games. Who gets the start for the Colts in Foxborough on Sunday?
Colts Starting Quarterback vs. New England Patriots
Coach Frank Reich announced Sam Ehlinger is expected to be the Colts’ starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
Ehlinger made his first NFL start last week against Washington, and the results were mixed. The former 6th-rounder finished 17-of-23 for 201 yards without a touchdown or interception. It wasn’t a bad debut by any stretch for a player who had never thrown a regular season pass, but it wasn’t enough to get the Colts’ offense moving after a sluggish start to the season.
Ehlinger will be without Jonathan Taylor this week in New England, putting serious pressure on an inexperienced quarterback. The Patriots notoriously give young quarterbacks a tough time, so expectations probably shouldn’t be too high for Ehlinger. The matchup could, however, be a great opportunity for the former Texas quarterback to prove he belongs in the NFL.
Reich didn’t leave the door open for Ryan to retake the starting job (barring an injury), so Ehlinger’s role seems pretty secure through the rest of the year.
Sam Ehlinger vs. New England Patriots
The Patriots have notched 10 interceptions this season, trailing only the Eagles and Bills. Last week demonstrated what they can do to young quarterbacks. New England intercepted Zach Wilson three times, turning a strong opening quarter for the second-year QB into one of Wilson’s worst games since he entered the league.
The Patriots are allowing 6.1 yards per pass attempt, which ranks better than average, though the unit is below average in touchdowns and first downs allowed via pass. Even if the Patriots’ pass defense isn’t what it used to be, Foxborough will be a tough environment for a quarterback who is still trying to find his way and doesn’t have much help.
Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots Odds
The Patriots are favored at home, coming into this game at -240 on the moneyline. New England is a 5.5-point favorite.
The Patriots don’t have the most impressive quarterback situation themselves – Mac Jones hasn’t looked great before or after his ankle injury – but Bill Belichick’s team has proven it can beat teams like this in spite of suspect QB play.
The Colts have been waiting all season to get their offense in a rhythm, and the absence of Jonathan Taylor will make the path to victory even more difficult for Ehlinger. An inexperienced quarterback against Belichick’s defense spells trouble.