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Players In The Spotlight: Colts Week

Against Indianapolis, Murray, Green, Jones, Peters, Golden ones to watch

Spotlight Indy A.J. Green

The Cardinals enter Week 16 with the fourth seed in the conference, looking to secure an 11-4 start Saturday when they host the Colts at State Farm Stadium. The Cardinals can clinch a playoff spot for the 11th time in franchise history with a victory.

Ahead of the first matchup between the teams since 2017, here are five Cardinals to watch for in this week's spotlight.

Kyler Murray

Murray has never faced Indianapolis – one of the hottest teams in the AFC – since entering the league in 2019. Murray is also looking to get back to the MVP-level at which he was playing before suffering a three-week ankle injury in Week 8. With a statement performance on Saturday, though, Murray could kickstart one final push towards his candidacy before the season's end.

Milestone Watch:

With a passer rating of 120.0+, Murray would establish a franchise single-season record with six such performances in 2021. He is currently tied with Kurt Warner (5 in 2009).

With a completion percentage of 70.0+, Murray would establish a franchise career record with 16 such games. He is currently tied with Kurt Warner (5) for the most in franchise history.

With four touchdown passes, Murray would become the first player in NFL history to have 70+ passing TDs and 20+ rushing TDs in his first three seasons.

A.J. Green

Green has turned in a solid year (46 catches, 718 yards, 3 touchdowns) as the Cardinals' main threat down the field, and with DeAndre Hopkins shelved, that remains crucial to the offense. It was a target to Green that ended up a costly interception last week in Detroit, and that can't happen against Indianapolis, who are tied with Dallas for the most takeaways in the NFL. In five career games against the Colts, Green has 28 catches for 338 yards and four touchdowns.

Milestone watch:

With five catches, Green would reach 700 receptions for his career. He would join Hopkins, Tampa Bay's Antonio Brown, and Tennessee's Julio Jones as the only active players with 700+ receptions and 10,000+ receiving yards.

Josh Jones

Jones was a bright spot last week for the Cardinals' offensive line in allowing just one quarterback pressure all game at right guard. The Cardinals will need similar production from Jones against Indianapolis' front seven starred by defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, the team leader in sacks. Through 14 games, Indianapolis has 30 sacks this season, 20th in the NFL.

Corey Peters

Peters will be a key for the Cards' run defense, which allowed Detroit's Craig Reynolds to rush for 112 yards on 26 carries last week and has to contain the Colts' Jonathan Taylor this week. Taylor, an MVP candidate, leads the NFL in several categories, including rushing yards (1,518) and rushing touchdowns (17). The Cardinals' ability to win significantly hinges on their ability to limit Taylor.

Markus Golden

If Golden can help set the edge in the run game, the linebacker can do what he does best -- rush the passer. Getting pressure on Colts QB Carson Wentz could lead to turnovers, which the Cards need. Golden's 11 sacks earned him Pro Bowl alternate status.

Milestone Watch:

With a sack, Golden would have 12.0 sacks in 2021. That would leave him just one sack shy of establishing a new career high (current mark is 12.5 in 2016).

With 2.0 sacks, Golden would have 13.0 sacks in 2021, a new career high. It would also give him 11.0 sacks in his last 10 games played.