From Stampede Blue "predictionist" Nick Ragsdale:
St. Louis Rams (3-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-2)
Line - Colts by 9.5
The Colts return home a more confident bunch than when they left for Houston. They were able to come back from a large deficit on the road in a playoff-type atmosphere. Even more encouraging, they were able to do it in their first game without Reggie Wayne. The Rams are headed in a different direction. They've been tough and stay in almost every game that they've played, but can't seem to get over the hump.
I like the Colts to win this game - but I think the point spread is a bit to generous. I'd love to see the Colts win by ten or more... but that hasn't really been the Indy's M.O. this season. I think the Colts are in control throughout, Coby Fleener has a big game and they go on to win by a touchdown.
But - beware of Jeff Fisher and his crazy game planning to keep the Rams in the game. This is the guy that kept kicking onside kicks trying to beat Peyton Manning's Colts.
It's the lock of the week.
COLTS WIN 24-17
From Stampede Blue's stats master Matt Grecco:
On paper, it looks like the Colts have a leg up in almost every category against the Rams, which helps explain the 10 point spread in Vegas. But I've seen enough of the Colts over the past year and a half that suggests this won't be an easy win. This team only seems to play to their full potential when their backs are up against the wall, or they aren't given a chance. Maybe if they spot the Rams 14 points I'll feel a bit better, but this certainly sets up as a potential let-down game. The Colts play Thursday night in Tennessee next week, a much, much more important game than Sunday, and we have evidence that they don't play well the week before a big game.
Because the Colts look like the better team, I still think they win, but it's going to come down to the end, like seemingly every other Colts game does. The Rams are a scrappy bunch, and I don't see them going away easily.
Colts 23, Rams 21
From Stampede Blue's young star Josh Wilson:
Despite being 3-6, the Rams are a tough team to beat. They took a significant blow when starting quarterback Sam Bradford went down with a torn ACL in the midst of a great year, but they still are playing hard and led by running back Zac Stacy's good year, which includes a current streak of back-to-back 100+ yard games. The defense, led by Robert Quinn's 10 sacks, has about as tough of a defensive line to play as there is and the defense as a whole is the best in the NFL in the category of sacks. Don't let their record deceive you - the Rams are a good, tough team. It won't be easy for the Colts, but I fully expect them to get the win at home. Colts 24, Rams 17