The Indianapolis Colts put everything together in Week 6 to route the Texans 31-3. However, as they head into a Week 7 matchup in San Francisco, some questions remain regarding how often Carson Wentz will target Michael Pittman Jr.
BetMGM’s NFL betting lines for Week 7 currently have the 49ers as -3.5 favorites in what will be an important week for the Colts. So how will Michael Pittman Jr. perform in the critical matchup?
Michael Pittman Jr. and the Indianapolis Colts Receiving Core
Pittman was targeted just three times against the Texans, his lowest total of the season thus far. He finished the game with two receptions for 25 yards, also both season lows for the 24-year-old.
This coincided with the return of T.Y Hilton to the lineup. Hilton had four receptions for 80 yards total, including one reception that went for 52. He’s now listed as questionable for the Colts vs. 49ers matchup, however. Hilton left the game midway through the 4th quarter against Houston with a quad injury.
Fortunately for Colts fans, Frank Reich said that they don’t suspect the injury to be serious. His return provided a big spark to the offense, and to lose him again so shortly after getting him back would be a blow. However, it sounds as though they are expecting him to play.
Hilton wasn’t the only Colts receiver to leave the game early. Parris Campbell also left the game after a 51-yard touchdown reception in the 1st quarter. On Monday, there was talk that the foot injury could end his season.
San Francisco 49ers’ Pass Defense
Heading into their Week 7 matchup against the Colts, the 49ers are giving up an average of 216.6 passing yards per game. That’s good for 7th in the league. Meanwhile, they aren’t quite as effective against the run. They are currently averaging 113.2 rushing yards on defense per game, which is 18th in the league. This leads me to believe that the run game will be Reich’s focus in Week 7, possibly limiting Pittman’s number of targets.
Colts Could Focus More On The Run Game In Week 7
Another factor leading me to believe the Colts will focus on the run game more in Week 7 is the strong play of Jonathan Taylor against the Texans. Taylor rushed for 145 yards on 14 attempts and two touchdowns against Houston. This included one run, which went for 83-yards. The Colts are 2-0 this season when Taylor rushes for more than a hundred yards and 0-4 when he doesn’t, so I’m expecting them to emphasize the run game in Week 7
How Often Will Carson Wentz Target Michael Pittman Jr. In Week 7?
If the Colts emphasize the run game in Week 7 and T.Y Hilton plays (provided his quad injury isn’t worse than suspected), I’m not expecting Michael Pittman Jr. to be targeted much against San Francisco. He might only get the ball thrown his way 3-4 times, like in Week 6.
However, Wentz has been throwing the ball well lately and came up with some big passes on Sunday. If the 49ers can stifle the run game in the 1st half, I’d expect Reich to make some adjustments at halftime to focus on the passing game more.
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