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Dissecting Best Individual Matchups to Watch in Colts' Week 1 Action

Aug 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA;  Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) runs onto the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 2, 2013

The Indianapolis Colts will be facing the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, September 8 at 1 p.m. ET, and there will be some key matchups to watch in the Colts' season opener.

Although the Colts are probably going to be the favorites heading into the game, the Raiders could very well surprise the Colts.  The Colts will need to stay focusedas everyone knows, any team can fall on any given Sunday.

With that being said, let's take a look at the top matchups in the Colts' season opener.

 

Denarius Moore vs. Vontae Davis

Overall, Vontae Davis had a pretty solid 2012 season for the Colts, but he certainly struggled in the Week 1 opener against the Chicago Bears.

That will need the change this season.

At this point, Davis has proven he is much better than he looked against the Bears.  He finished the season with 51 combined tackles and three interceptions after playing in just 10 games, and he continued to look better as the season progressed.

Davis will be going against the speed threat of Denarius Moore, and he will need to keep up with him in order to contain Moore's big-play potential.  Moore scored seven touchdowns and recorded 741 yards on just 51 catches last season, so Davis is going to have to be very careful—otherwise, the Raiders could take this game.

 

Colts Receivers vs. Charles Woodson

An injury-plagued season meant Charles Woodson's career in Green Bay was coming to a close, but he now has an opportunity to finish his career where he started—with the Oakland Raiders.

The Colts have plenty of options to throw to, but Woodson will be looking to take advantage of the passing game whenever Andrew Luck tries to throw it deep.  Players like Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey will need to get open down the field if they want to keep Woodson from making game-changing plays.

At 36 years old, Woodson is beginning to show signs of age, and the Colts will need to take advantage of it.

 

Darren McFadden vs. Colts Run Defense.

The Colts made it clear this offseason that they wanted to maintain balance on offense by running the ball and to stop the run on defense.

Based off of the offseason additions, the Colts could be good at stopping the run.  However, they will have to prove they can stop the run in the very first game of the season, as they are going against the very talented Darren McFadden.

Sure, McFadden has been inconsistent during his career, but he still ran for 707 yards in just 12 games last year.  If he can stay healthy, he could be a very valuable asset to the Raiders this year.

Colts players like LaRon Landry, Ricky Jean Francois, Aubrayo Franklin and Cory Redding will need to continue to get penetration and keep McFadden from breaking out any big-time runs.  If they can do that, the Colts will be starting off the season with a win.

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