Colts host 49ers, look to avoid getting swept by NFC West

The Indianapolis Colts will try not to not get swept by the NFC West when they host the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

Because of a bizarre schedule, Indianapolis (1-3) will complete its games versus the division in Week 5. The Colts lost to the Los Angeles Rams on the road in Week 1, fell at home to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 and were crushed by the Seahawks at Seattle in Week 4.

The Colts, without injured quarterback Andrew Luck, handed the reins to Jacoby Brissett. The backup was 14 of 20 passing for 142 yards with a touchdown to wide receiver Donte Moncrief against Seattle and an interception that was returned for a TD.

In an atrocious second half, Brissett was 2 of 9 for 15 yards.

I feel like I’m ready, Trubisky said to reporters this week. I’m excited. I’m just going to take it day by day and prepare as hard as I possibly can for every single look and situation we can get on Monday. I’m going to be dependent on my teammates a lot. My job is to get the ball to the playmakers and just be a distributor and manage the offense and do the best I can.

The Vikings offer a difficult challenge to any quarterback, let alone an untested rookie. Minnesota ranks No. 1 in the league in third-down defense (25.6 percent conversion rate) and tied for eighth in scoring defense (19 points per game).

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen paces the team with five sacks in the first four games. Safety Andrew Sendejo also has emerged as a leader with 32 tackles and an interception.

Bears coach John Fox said the team’s 11-day break between games allowed time to make the switch from Glennon to Trubisky. Look for Fox to try to ease Trubisky’s workload by simplifying the playbook and relying heavily on running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.

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2015 NFL training camp preview: Andrew Luck, Colts favored to win AFC South crown again

In recent years, the Indianapolis Colts haven’t had to worry about much when it comes to their AFC South competition. But the Colts are still looking to make improvements to overtake the other giants in the conference — especially the New England Patriots, who knocked them out of the playoffs last season and went on to win the Super Bowl.

Few have discussed whether the Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars can make things tough for them within the division. But that’s for good reason. All three of those teams are deeply flawed, even if they’ve all appeared to get better this offseason.

The Titans have a new quarterback in Marcus Mariota, the Jaguars were plenty active in free agency once again and brought in some big names like Julius Thomas and the Texans have weapons on both sides of the ball as they aim to return to the playoffs. Still, they’re going to have to make a big jump to unseat Andrew Luck and the Colts, a young and talented team that once again has the Super Bowl on their mind.

Player you’ll be buzzing about: WR Donte Moncrief – Things look much different for the Colts at wide receiver, but the coaches are raving about Moncrief. Chuck Pagano told reporters in March that “the sky is the limit” for the second-year receiver, who caught 32 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns last season.

What to watch: Receiver isn’t the only position on offense with a lot of turnover for the Colts. At running back, Frank Gore is the presumed starter, but the rest of the depth chart will be fun to watch itself shake out with Dan Herron, Zurlon Tipton, Vick Ballard and rookie sixth-round pick Josh Robinson all battling for position.