2013 Regular Season: 30-18 (62.5%)
2012 Regular Season: 164-91-1* (64.3%)
Last Week: 7-9 (43.8%)
All-time Colts Predictions: 14-6 (70%)
A pretty lousy week of predictifications for the Predictificationist. 7-9 isn't my best effort and you deserve better - I'm not saying that you're going to get it, only that you deserve it.
How about those Colts, huh? I've never been happier to miss a prediction than watching the Colts in San Francisco on Sunday. If the Colts defense is starting to come together (as it looked against the 49ers) this team can be very dangerous. It's exciting.
Speaking of dangerous, the Denver Broncos (with some guy named Peyton Manning) look like a team on a mission - they may even go undefeated (the Broncos didn't hire Bill Polian, did they?). Manning is off to a scorching start and is on pace to destroy just about every single season quarterback record in the books. If Manning can keep his current pace his stat line would be: 475/651 (73%), 6096 yards, 64 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
Wow. The crazy thing is when Manning threw 49 TDs in 2004 he did it while only throwing 497 passes, the second lowest total of his career. I know you are wondering, Tom Brady threw 578 passes to get to 50 in 2007 and Dan Marino threw 564 when he threw 48 in 1984. In fact, Manning has the lowest attempts by a quarterback to ever achieve 40+ TDs. Here's some trivia - only one other quarterback in NFL history threw 40 or more touchdowns and attempted less than 500 passes, who was it? (You can answer in the comments and I will post the correct answer next week)
The Colts should be HEAVY favorites in Jacksonville this week - and with good reason. The Jaguars have shown themselves to be the worst team in the NFL over the first three games of 2013. The Jaguars have scored an average of just 9.3 points per games (last in the NFL), they've allowed an average of 30.7 points per game (29th in the league), opposing passers are completing 66% of their passes with 7 touchdowns and 1 interception and Jaguars quarterbacks have combined for just 53% passing, 535 yards, 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions. If you aren't salivating enough yet, consider this: the Jaguars average just 2.4 yards per carry and score on only 12.5% of their possessions (Colts score on 40%).
With all that said, divisional games (and Cecil Shorts) scare me.
Here's a recap of my best picks from last week:
Texans at Ravens - I told you the Texans didn't look good over the first two weeks and that they would be facing their first real test against the Ravens - on the road. Needless to say, I was right. Here's what I said last week:
"I don't think the Ravens are getting much respect - and maybe they deserve it after getting blown out by the Broncos and a closer game than most anticipated against the Browns. However, consider the Texans: They could arguably be 0-2 right now if not for miracle comebacks against the Chargers and the Titans. The Ravens will be their biggest test yet - and they'll be on the road.
I'm taking the Ravens and not looking back.
RAVENS WIN 27-20"
Jaguars at Seahawks - I know, I know - everyone knew this game would be a blowout. Even though Vegas had the Seahawks by 19 I told you that I'd give the Jaguars 24 and still take Seattle - I even called it the lock of the week. Seahawks won by 28.
Raiders at Broncos - Another one that EVERYONE predicted but I added a little something extra to make it more of a challenge - I said Peyton Manning would go his third straight game without an interception and he did. It's a small thing but if you were a Colts fan during Manning's run, you know that three games without an interception is a bold prediction.
Before we get to the games, here are some other fearless predictions, news and notes for Week 3:
- After the game Ahmad Bradshaw had this week, I think it'll be hard to take away any carries from him against Jacksonville. Bradshaw had 19 carries, Trent Richardson had 13 and Donald Brown had 3. I'd say it's a 50/50 split with Richardson from here on out - or until Bradshaw falters.
- Quick, who was the Colts leading receiver against San Francisco? (Don't cheat) It was Darrius Heyward-Bey. DHB caught everything thrown his way (5 catches on 5 targets) and is quietly gaining some chemistry with Andrew Luck. Look for Heyward-Bey to get in the endzone this week against Jacksonville - you heard it here first.
- Peyton Manning has never gone 4 complete games without an interception in his career. He once finished the season with four interception-free games but he was pulled after the first series of the fourth game. Will he make it four interception-free games this weekend against Philadelphia? I don't think so - I expect the streak to end against Philly.
- The Detroit Tigers play at 1:10 pm on Sunday and the Lions play the Bears at 1 pm. That's right, it's another "Oh, my Day"... you know, Lions, Tigers and Bears.
On to the picks!
Indianapolis Colts (2-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
Line - Colts by 8
The Colts are coming off a huge win in San Francisco and the Jaguars get beat by an average of about three touchdowns... and Indy's only favored by 8 points? The Colts are 16-8 all-time against the Jaguars but 19 of those 24 games have been within 10 points or less. In other words - don't expect a blowout. The Colts new clock-draining, grind-it-out, run-first mentality is meant to control possession and limit opportunities.
Look for the Colts to be in obvious control throughout.
It's the lock of the week.
COLTS WIN 24-13
San Francisco 49ers (1-2) at St. Louis Rams (1-2)
Line - 49ers by 3
Everyone is wondering what it wrong with the 49ers - not me. The 49ers beat a good Packers team and lost to the Seahawks and the Colts. That's a tough schedule to start the NFL season. Fact is, the Seahawks have one of the best pass coverage units in all of football and the Colts look pretty strong in that category as well. The 49ers will rebound this week and should win by much more than three points.
49ERS WIN 27-17
Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Buffalo Bills (1-2)
Line - Ravens by 3.5
The Ravens deserve more respect and the Bills are getting too much... such is life in the early weeks of the NFL season. I don't think the Ravens are a serious Super Bowl contender this year but they shouldn't struggle with the Buffalo Bills. It won't be a pretty game but I expect the Ravens to win by a touchdown - maybe more if Ray Rice is able to play.
RAVENS WIN 20-13
Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-2)
Line - Bengals by 4.5
Divisional games are always a little harder to pick - especially the "Battle for Ohio". The Browns are just 2-6 over the last four years against the Bengals but both of their wins are at home and all the games have been within ten points. This game will be closer than a lot of people think but, as we all know, the Bengals are just more talented.
BENGALS WIN 27-23
Chicago Bears (3-0) at Detroit Lions (2-1)
Line - Lions by 3
These teams first faced off 83 years ago... that's crazy. Recent history hasn't been kind to the Lions as they are just 1-9 over the last ten games against the Bears. I think history will repeat itself. The Bears have shown themselves to be a confident bunch that are more than capable on each side of the ball. We haven't seen "bad" Jay Cutler yet - and if that continues I like the Bears to remain undefeated.
BEARS WIN 27-24
New York Giants (0-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
Line - Chiefs by 4.5
In the past, I would say this is just the kind of game the Giants would win. They are a big underdog, on the road, seem dead in the water and playing an undefeated Chiefs team that is coming off an emotional win in Philadelphia last week. Sounds like a recipe for a typical "Giant" upset, right? Well, maybe in the past - I've given up on this Giants team and I'm taking KC.
CHIEFS WIN 31-24
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3) at Minnesota Vikings (0-3)
Line - Steelers by 1.5
The Steelers are bad - really bad. I know that they may be getting some pieces back on offense this week, but this season appears to be spinning down the toilet. The Vikings still have Adrian Peterson, however they may be depending on Matt Cassel to win this game - and I don't have any confidence in that. To me, this is a true "pick 'em" game. Go whichever way you feel comfortable... Me? I'd normally take the home team, but this game will be played in London (further complicating things). I'm taking the Steelers.
STEELERS WIN 23-17
Arizona Cardinals (1-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3)
Line - Buccaneers by 2.5
Last week I made a case that the Buccaneers weren't as bad as their record might indicate. Last week against the Patriots they proved me wrong. Tampa Bay decided to sit quarterback Josh Freeman and turn their offense over to rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. I don't take too many rookies to win their first game - and Glennon isn't one of them. I'm taking the Cardinals.
CARDINALS WIN 24-17
Seattle Seahawks (3-0) at Houston Texans (2-1)
Line - Seahawks by 3
Here is some good news for Colts fans: The Texans don't appear to be the best team in the division anymore. This game is huge for Houston and I don't think they can win it. Seattle is playing with a ton of confidence right now and the Texans can't seem to find their identity. I'm taking the Seahawks to win and cover.
SEAHAWKS WIN 31-24
New York Jets (2-1) at Tennessee Titans (2-1)
Line - Titans by 3.5
I'm still shocked that one of these teams is going to start the season 3-1. Who would have predicted that? The Jets defense has been better than expected and one of the best in the NFL. The Titans are surprising people and Jake Locker is actually looking like an NFL quarterback (shocker). I'd say the game looks even on paper, so I'm taking the home team by 3 points.
TITANS WIN 20-17
Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at Denver Broncos (3-0)
Line - Broncos by 10.5
Remember when things started off so promising for Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles? That seems like a long time ago now - and if they try to run a high-paced offense that gives Peyton Manning more possessions they're crazy. Peyton Manning has a HUGE game in this one - over 350 yards passing and 4 or more touchdowns, BUT he will throw that elusive interception (which would be his first of the season). Broncos roll.
BRONCOS WIN 41-24
Washington Redskins (0-3) at Oakland Raiders (1-2)
Line - Redskins by 3
The Redskins should win this game, right? The Raiders may be without starting quarterback Terelle Pryor this week, which means the game would fall into the hands of Matt Flynn. Robert Griffin III is looking a little better each game but the Redskins defense has been the real problem. Further complicating things is the fact that the Redskins will be traveling across the country for the game. I will probably regret it, but I'm taking the Raiders.
RAIDERS WIN 27-24
Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)
Line - Cowboys by 2
I have doubts about each of these teams, but I have less about Dallas. If the Cowboys can't win the division this year with the Giants and Redskins failing and the Eagles rebuilding, it may never happen again. The Chargers have shown that they can be competitive but seem to lack a killer instinct to finish off games (see the Houston and Tennessee games for examples). Look for this game to be close and the Cowboys to pull it out in the end.
COWBOYS WIN 27-24
New England Patriots (3-0) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
Line - Falcons by 2
I just can't believe that the Atlanta Falcons could fall to 1-3 - and I don't think they will let it happen. The Patriots offense finally seemed to be getting on the same page against Tampa last week and that could spell danger for Atlanta. Regardless, Tom Brady or not, I can't pick against the Falcons at home in a must-win game.
FALCONS WIN 31-27
Miami Dolphins (3-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-0)
Line - Saints by 6.5
What the Dolphins have done to this point has been impressive - but I don't think it'll continue against the Saints. For the first time in a long time it appears that the Saints have a defense to go along with their offense... and that's a scary thought. I think the Dolphins get a lesson in what great teams look like and take one on the chin this week.
SAINTS WIN 34-17
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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