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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Kevin Hickey

Colts vs. Ravens: Key matchups to watch in Week 3

The Indianapolis Colts (1-1) will be visiting the Baltimore Ravens (2-0) on Sunday for a Week 3 matchup at M&T Bank Stadium.

In what will likely be a game impacted by weather, there will be a handful of matchups that will have a strong influence in determining the outcome of this game.

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Here are the key matchups to keep an eye on in this Week 3 bout:

Colts WR Josh Downs vs Ravens CB Brandon Stephens

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This should be a fun matchup to watch. Downs has been very involved in the passing attack through the first two weeks of the season and likely will continue to see involvement Sunday. The Colts will want to attack the middle of the field, which means Downs will be going up against the Ravens’ top slot defender in Stephens. The latter has allowed a 70.6% catch rate and 86.6 passer rating in coverage thus far, making this a crucial matchup to watch.

Colts Run Defense vs Ravens QB Lamar Jackson

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It goes without saying how vital it is to contain Jackson’s rushing ability. It’s a tall ask for any defense, but the Colts have a strong front seven capable of getting the job done. If they want to stay competitive in this game, edge rushers Kwity Paye and Samson Ebukam will have set consistently strong edges to keep Jackson from using his legs. Meanwhile, defensive tackles Grover Stewart and DeForest Buckner have to collapse the top of the pocket.

Colts CBs vs Ravens WR Zay Flowers

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The rookie wideout has been nothing short of electric through the first two games of his young career, proving to be an impact player both in the slot and on the outside. It won’t be an easy matchup for the Colts, who come into this matchup with a hobbled Dallis Flowers and a struggling Darrell Baker Jr. as the boundary cornerbacks but if they want to limit the Ravens offense, this matchup will be key.

Colts C Wesley French vs Ravens interior DL

Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

This is the matchup that could make or break the game for the Colts. Not having Ryan Kelly (concussion) is a tough blow, and now the Colts have to turn to second-year undrafted free agent Wesley French, who is making his first career start in the NFL. French stepped in during the Week 2 win against the Houston Texans and has been working all week in practice as the starter. If French can’t help keep the top of the pocket strong, the Colts offense could be in for a long day.

Colts secondary vs Ravens TE Mark Andrews

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There will be a rotation of players tasked with covering the star tight end. Andrews is expected to see his full allotment of snaps as he returns from injury, and he will likely be the focus of the passing game. It’s going to be a combination of linebackers Zaire Franklin, Shaquille Leonard and E.J. Speed, along with safeties Julian Blackmon and Rodney Thomas II looking to keep Andrews in check. The Colts may even put Kenny Moore II on the tight end for a snap or two if he’s in the slot. Regardless, this is the top receiving option the Colts must game plan around this week.

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