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Thursday Night Football Q&A With Matt Danely, Colts Senior Writer At SB Nation’s Stampede Blue

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With the Colts playing the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Thursday Night Football tonight, we did a Q&A with Colts Senior Writer Matt Danely of SB Nation’s Stampede Blue. You can check out and follow Matt @MDanelySB for great Colts content! Here’s the Q&A:

Dylan Burd: The Colts are 1-3, but face a bit of an easier schedule after the Patriots tonight (Jets, Bills, Raiders). With that in mind, is tonight’s game a must-win for the Colts?

Matt Danely: You could say that, but the real focus should be just trying to win the games you should and give yourself a shot at the end of the game with those you’re underdogs in. The Colts have a heavy AFC second half of the season and those will prove to be the must-wins of the year I think.

Dylan Burd: With T.Y Hilton out, where is the production going to come from tonight at the wide receiver position?

Matt Danely: The Colts spread the ball around really well this year. Pascal, Grant, Rogers and Hines will have to pick up the slack for Hilton, but the TE room is quite underwhelming as well right now with Doyle out. The running game will have to get better to allow the receivers a little bit of space, but the receivers will have to share the load right now, which actually fits their approach to the season.

Dylan Burd: What are your thoughts about head coach Frank Reich so far, and the call he made to go for it last week in OT?

Matt Danely: I really like the how Reich has begun his time in Indy. I think he’s a very creative and quality play caller to this point as well. He’s the right guy for this roster and I have no reservations about him. As far as the 4th and 4 call last week, I wasn’t much of a fan of the decision, but I get what he was trying to do. I just feel with a team that has been in every game so far this season, that when you are lucky enough to NOT lose when you spot the other team two scores, you do what you can to avoid the loss. I think they would have been better suited to force the Texans’ offense to be the aggressor and hope that the defense could make a play for you considering they have all year thus far, the last two offensive drives were short, and the group’s chemistry wasn’t there at the moment.

Dylan Burd: What are the keys to tonight’s game for the Colts?

Matt Danely: The Colts have to exploit their matchups with the Patriots’ LBs and create an effective running game with depleted skill positions on the injury report. Luck has to be the leader of the game and will need to play at an All-Pro level tonight for the team to overcome a team that is in much better shape than they are at the moment.

Dylan Burd: Score prediction for tonight?

Matt Danely: 31-20 Patriots

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