2013 Regular Season: 10-6 (62.5%)
2012 Regular Season: 164-91-1* (64.3%)
All-time Colts Predictions: 14-4 (77.8%)
My first week of predictifications and the Indianapolis Colts had a lot in common after the first week of the new season: We both had high expectations after a successful 2012 campaign and we both under-performed a bit while still securing a 'win'.
I'm not embarrassed by my 10-6 record after the first week of the season - the first week is often the toughest. Last year I started 23-25 after Week 3 before going 141-66 the rest of the way. Teams are still discovering what their identities will be (see the Eagles) and others are finding some holes that were bigger than we thought (see the Steelers).
Here's a recap of my best picks from last week:
- Cardinals at Rams - The Cardinals and Rams game was a close one with St. Louis kicker Greg Zuerlein sending the game-winner through the uprights with just 40 seconds left. Carson Palmer passed for 327 yards and 2 touchdowns and the game ended 27-24... Sounds eerily similar to my prediction, doesn't it?
"I like both of these teams to perform much better than they did in 2012. Bruce Arians brings his pass-happy offense to Arizona where I like Carson Palmer as a fantasy sleeper. The Rams are starting their second season with head coach Jeff Fisher and seem to have some weapons on offense. This game will be surprisingly good - and close. RAMS WIN 27-24"
- Raiders at Colts - Pep Hamilton showed he wasn't lying when he said that he wanted the Colts to be a running team - Andrew Luck passed for just 178 yards on just 23 attempts. I said the Colts would win 24-17 and they won 21-17.
- Vikings at Lions - Last week I gushed over the Reggie Bush signing and said the Lions would resemble the scoring of the 2011 team. I also said that Adrian Peterson would come back down to earth a little and predicted a 34-17 score. Bush had 191 yards of total offense, Peterson ran for 93 yards (only 15 yards on 17 carries after his first carry went for 78 yards) and the Lions won 34-24 - I'd say that's pretty good.
- Colts safety LaRon Landry is tied for the NFL lead in tackles after Week 1. Before you start cheering consider this: 11 of the top 15 tacklers are linebackers, the remaining 4 are safeties - and the Colts have two of them (Landry and Antoine Bethea). When your safeties have that many tackles you gave up too many big plays.
- Only two running backs cracked 100 yards during Week 1 - and one of them was Patriots running back Shane Vareen (I doubt he was starting on your fantasy team). Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (112 yards) is second in the league to Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (184 yards). Think the NFL is a passing league?
- Only two quarterbacks (besides Peyton Manning) passed for 4 or more touchdowns last week, and both lost - Eli Manning (Giants) and Philip Rivers (Chargers).
- Not a good day for quarterbacks who had the most to prove coming into this season. Christian Ponder (Vikings), Brandon Weeden (Browns) and Blaine Gabbert (Jaguars) combined for just 60/116 passing (51.7%), 646 yards (215 avg), 2 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Ouch.
Before we get to the games, here are some other fearless predictions, news and notes for Week 2:
On to the picks!
Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (1-0)
Line - Colts by 3.0
I'm starting to wonder if we will see more of a low-scoring, grind-it-out style of play from the Colts after their season opener. I think the Colts win this game and get off to a fast start for the season at 2-0. Look for Luck to eclipse the 200 yards mark in passing after a 178-yard performance in the opener.
COLTS WIN 24-17
New York Jets (1-0) at New England Patriots (1-0)
Line - Patriots by 12.5
The Patriots won last week - although it wasn't easy. For the second straight week New England is playing a division rival with a rookie quarterback, but this time they're at home. I like the Patriots to blowout the Jets because I don't think there is anything Bill Belichick likes more than beating Rex Ryan.
It's the lock of the week.
PATRIOTS WIN 31-13
St. Louis Rams (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
Line - Falcons by 7
The Rams struggled a little with Carson Palmer and the passing game of the Arizona Cardinals - just wait until they see the high-flying attack of Matt Ryan and company in Atlanta. Look for the Falcons to have a big day through the air, but I think the Rams will hang around.
FALCONS WIN 34-24
Carolina Panthers (0-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-1)
Line - Panthers by 3
There aren't any moral victories in the NFL - but the Bills were as close as you can get to one in Week 1. Same could be said for the Panthers who played a Super Bowl favorite (the Seahawks) to a near standstill. The Bills are at home and part of me really wants to pick them - but I just can't do it. I think the Panthers avoid the dreaded 0-2 hole.
PANTHERS WIN 17-14
Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Chicago Bears (1-0)
Line - Bears by 6.5
The Bears beat a tough Bengals team last week and showed that they may have the ability to challenge Green Bay for the division this year. Christian Ponder showed that he still isn't an NFL-caliber starting quarterback and the Vikings lost to the Lions. I like the Bears at home.
BEARS WIN 27-17
Washington Redskins (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-0)
Line - Packers by 7
I said last week that I'd have to see something to believe that Robert Griffin III is fully recovered from his knee injury - and I didn't see it. The Packers, on the other hand, showed a lot of fight while losing to the 49ers on the road. I don't see any way Green Bay loses it's home opener.
PACKERS WIN 34-21
Dallas Cowboys (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
Line - Chiefs by 3
I'm hesitant to jump on either of these team's bandwagons. The Cowboys have a track record of looking like they should be good, only to finish 8-8. The Chiefs have been bad for a couple of seasons now and I'm not sure a complete turnaround can happen so quickly. Alas, I will do what I always do - take the home team by a field goal, but this one could go either way.
CHIEFS WIN 27-24
San Diego Chargers (0-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
Line - Eagles by 7.5
It was fun watching the Eagles on Monday night and their new fast-paced offense - I don't know if it's sustainable, but it was a lot of fun. The Chargers blew a huge lead against the Texans and now have to fly across the country on a short week. Look for San Diego to show some serious fatigue early as the Eagles run all over them.
EAGLES WIN 34-17
Cleveland Browns (0-1) at Baltimore Ravens (0-1)
Line - Ravens by 6.5
The Ravens were embarrassed last week against Denver - it won't happen again. Look for Baltimore to take out it's frustration on the Browns and quarterback Brandon Weeden. This one might end up a blowout.
RAVENS WIN 34-13
Tennessee Titans (1-0) at Houston Texans (1-0)
Line - Texans by 8.5
The Texans looked less than impressive in their win over San Diego last week. They have a short week to prepare for a divisional opponent that shocked the Steelers last week. The Texans will win the game but it'll be a lot closer than people think.
TEXANS WIN 27-24
Detroit Lions (1-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-1)
Line - Lions by 1
The Cardinals showed me a lot last week while losing on the road to the Rams. I believe they have the defensive playmakers and the offensive weapons to keep the game close with Detroit and maybe steal it at the end. This will be a close game with the victor surviving by a late field goal. I'm going with the home team.
CARDINALS WIN 31-28
New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)
Line - Saints by 3
If you bet on football, don't over-think this one. The Buccaneers will not be able to quickly overcome the loss to the Jets (and the way they lost) and the Saints are rolling hot out of the gate. I don't care that it's a divisional opponent and I don't care that it's on the road. Saints win big.
SAINTS WIN 34-17
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-1)
Line - Raiders by 6
The Jaguars were as bad as advertised and the Raiders, well, I'm choosing to believe that they are better than advertised. Oakland will win some games this year - I'm not so sure about Jacksonville. Take the Raiders at home and don't look back.
RAIDERS WIN 24-10
Denver Broncos (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1)
Line - Broncos by 4.5
The Giants showed last week that they are a shell of the Super Bowl winning teams of the last few seasons - especially running the football. The Giants remind me of the Colts near the end of the Peyton Manning run in Indianapolis - Eli has no help. The Broncos are a team on the rise. Peyton Manning throws four more touchdowns and beats his brother again - sorry, Eli.
BRONCOS WIN 34-27
San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
Line - Seahawks by 3
Early season division dominance is on the line and this should be a fun one to watch. I get the feeling Seattle will win this game and it has a lot to do with their home-field advantage - Seattle has one of the best stadiums in the NFL. This will be a close game and it could go either way. I'm taking the home team by a field goal.
SEAHAWKS WIN 34-31
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Line - Bengals by 7
Last week felt like the beginning of the end for the Steelers, didn't it? You never want to overreact too much to Week 1 but I don't see happy times for Pittsburgh in the near future. The Bengals showed some heart in their loss to the Bears on the road and should shake it off with a win this week at home.BENGALS WIN 24-17
Agree? Disagree? As always, comments are welcome! I will track my picks during the season and brag when I'm right (and pretend I was right when I'm wrong). Pick against me if you dare - remember, I'm a Predictificationist.
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