2013 Regular Season: 23- 9 (71.9%)
2012 Regular Season: 164-91-1* (64.3%)
All-time Colts Predictions: 14-5 (73.7%)
13-3. I could get used to this...
Two weeks into the NFL season and we have achieved perfect symmetry: Eight undefeated teams, eight winless teams and 16 at .500.
The undefeated teams are the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots,Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos. No undefeated teams square off against each other this week so it's possible we will still have eight following Monday night - but not probable.
Which undefeated teams are most likely to fall this week? My money is on the Dolphins (home against Atlanta), Chiefs (at Philadelphia) and, just maybe, the Texans (visiting Baltimore). The last to fall? I say the Broncos.
The winless teams to date are the New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Browns travel to Minnesota and the Giants are headed to Carolina this week, so, at most, we will six winless teams after Sunday.
Most likely to get off the naughty list this week (besides the Giants and Vikings)? My pick is the Redskins (home against Detroit).
In case you forgot, the Colts are one of the .500 teams after losing to the Dolphins last week. They travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers who were embarrassed last week in Seattle. I read a stat somewhere last week that said teams that start 2-1 go on to make the playoffs about 54% of the time, while teams that start 1-2 only make the playoffs about 24% of the time.
Probably not the stat we want to hear with the Colts ranked as the third biggest underdog of the week (behind Jacksonville @ Seattle and Oakland @ Denver).
Here's a recap of my best picks from last week:
Rams at Falcons - Matt Ryan threw for 374 yards and two touchdowns and Julio Jones had 182 receiving yards. The Rams were able to hang around and make it close at the end. Sound familiar? Here's what I said:
"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"
Titans at Texans - I told you the Texans would win the game - but I also told you that this game would be a lot closer than people expected. I think an overtime game fits the bill. If the Texans would have settled for a field goal in overtime I would have nailed the exact score - I guess nobody's perfect.
Lions at Cardinals - I told you this game would come down to a last second score and I thought the Cardinals would steal this game late - Nailed it.
Before we get to the games, here are some other fearless predictions, news and notes for Week 3:
- Trent Richardson plays for the Indianapolis Colts - didn't see this one coming. I guess I was right all last year when I said Donald Brown wasn't the answer - and would never be the answer. Are there any Donald Brown apologists left in the world (besides his mom)?
- After the success of the "Suck for Luck" campaign, people are speculating that the Browns are tanking the season to land a top-notch franchise quarterback - the only thing missing is a catchphrase. My favorite so far? "Going through hell for Manziel".
- Am I the only one who thinks the Jaguars have a legitimate shot at going 0-16? Who would you pick them against? And, if they do, can we blame it on their new (and awful) helmets?
- I'll admit I'm a homer, but how in the world does NBC look at the schedule for Week 3 and pick the Bears at Steelers for SNF? The Colts/49ers game has MUCH better story lines (Davis brothers, Harbaugh/Colts, Harbaugh/Luck to name a few) and features two playoff teams from a year ago. Even if you pass on the Colts/49ers you still have to take Ed Reed's return to Baltimore and a possible AFC playoff matchup with the Texans/Ravens over the Bears/Steelers game, right?
On to the picks!
Indianapolis Colts (1-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-1)
Line - 49ers by 10.5
This game just got a lot more interesting with the addition of Trent Richardson. Do I think it'll change the final outcome? Probably not - but it'll be interesting to see how Richardson fits over the next couple of weeks. I think the 49ers will be frustrated by the Colts 'grind it out' style and that should keep the game close enough. I think Richardson goes for 65 yards in his Colts debut. My prediction is that there will be too many big plays from the 49ers and the Colts fall short again on their final drive in the fourth quarter.
I don't like it, but time to get comfortable at 1-2.
49ERS WIN 27-23
Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
Line - Eagles by 3
One thing has been evident so far during the Thursday Night Football games: they've been very sloppy. With less time to prepare, an emotional environment for Andy Reid and the up-tempo offense from Chip Kelly, I think the Eagles may have just enough to squeeze out a victory at home. I think the Eagles start fast and build a decent lead and barely hang on at the end.
It should be close and fun to watch.
EAGLES WIN 27-24
Green Bay Packers (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
Line - Packers by 2.5
If you've watched the Packers at all this season you'd know they haven't missed a beat. They barely lost to the 49ers in a close game and blew the Redskins off the field last week. The Bengals, on the other hand, have a quarterback I don't trust at all in Andy Dalton and struggled at times against Chicago and Pittsburgh.
I like the Packers to win and cover.
PACKERS WIN 31-20
St. Louis Rams (1-1) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
Line - Cowboys by 4
It'll be another up and down season for the Cowboys and my prediction is that this will be an 'up' week. The Rams are a young team with a lot of weapons but they showed last week they weren't ready to take the show on the road. The Cowboys will win the game but it won't be easy.
With the Cowboys it never is.
COWBOYS WIN 27-24
San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Line - Titans by 3
A big part of me wants to pick the Titans here - but it's not big enough. Phillip Rivers (as much as it pains me to say) has been playing some of his best football to start the season. In the end, this league comes down to quarterback play. I believe these teams are even across the board until you get to the quarterback - and I can't take Jake Locker to win this game.
CHARGERS WIN 24-17
Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
Line - Vikings by 6
The Browns are staring 0-3 right in the face on the road in Minnesota this week. The Vikings will be playing against the Browns 19th different starting quarterback over the last 15 seasons (now do you understand the Richardson trade?) and they should be able to coast to a win. Adrian Peterson will get his yards (90-100) but it'll be the Vikings defense that wins the day.
VIKINGS WIN 24-6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) at New England Patriots (2-0)
Line - Patriots by 7
Yeah, the Buccaneers are 0-2, but they've lost those games by a combined 3 points in the last minute of the game. Talk about some tough breaks. The Patriots won't go easy on them and, even with their offense struggling, I like New England. I don't expect a blowout but Tom Brady and crew should get it done.
I'll take the Buccs to beat the spread, though.
PATRIOTS WIN 24-20
Arizona Cardinals (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (2-0)
Line - Saints by 7.5
The Arizona Cardinals have already shown themselves to be a more complete team than last year - you remember, the team that started 4-0? The Saints are one of the toughest teams in the league to beat at home and they should be able to handle their business against the Cardinals.
If you have fantasy players for either team be sure to play them - it'll be a high-scoring affair.
SAINT WIN 34-27
Detroit Lions (1-1) at Washington Redskins (0-2)
Line - Redskins by 2
Reggie Bush is still very questionable for the game and I'm not sure if the Lions have "it" yet. They remind me a lot of the Dallas Cowboys - a ton of talent but never really able to get over the hump, losing a lot of games they should win. I like the Redskins to get their first win on the 2013 season.
REDSKINS WIN 27-24
New York Giants (0-2) at Carolina Panthers (0-2)
Line - Panthers by 1
The Giants have ten turnovers in the first two games - 7 of them interceptions thrown by Eli Manning. The crazy thing is they haven't played THAT bad. They weren't completely blown out against the Cowboys or the Broncos and the Panthers would seem to be much less intimidating.
I think the Giants finally get out of their own way and win this one convincingly.
GIANTS WIN 27-17
Houston Texans (2-0) at Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
Line - Texans by 2.5
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
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at Miami Dolphins (2-0)
Line - Dolphins by 2
I can't believe how many people have jumped on the Dolphins bandwagon after two games - and I'm not buying it. The Falcons are one of the best regular season teams over the last 3-4 years and shouldn't have any problem with Miami.
I'm not a betting man, but I would put some money on this game.
FALCONS WIN 27-17
Buffalo Bills (1-1) at New York Jets (1-1)
Line - Jets by 2
That's right, folks - one of these teams will be 2-1 by Sunday evening. I'm taking the team from the AFC East with a young, mobile rookie quarterback.
What not specific enough for you? Fine. I'm taking the team with the most playmakers - Stevie Johnson, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to name a few.
BILLS WIN 20-17
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
Line - Seahawks by 19
The Jaguars bring their high-scoring offense (11 points in two games) to one of the easiest places to play in the NFL (the Seahawks faithful broke a record for loudest stadium last week) - wait, reverse that. This will be the most humiliating game of the weekend - and I might enjoy every moment of it.
I know the Seahawks are favored by 19, I'd give them 24.
It's the lock of the week.
SEAHAWKS WIN 31-7
Chicago Bears (2-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2)
Line - Bears by 2.5
I've seen enough of the Steelers this year to know that they don't have anything that scares anyone anymore. The Bears are a confident group after winning some games with fourth quarter heroics. I think the Bears win the game and the Steelers season continues to spin down the tubes.
BEARS WIN 24-13
Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Denver Broncos (2-0)
Line - Broncos by 15
So far, the Broncos have been the scariest team of the 2013 season. Sure, they have some injuries but we should all know that as long as #18 is behind center they should keep winning (until the playoffs anyway).Peyton Manning has been scorching hot to start the year and I think he goes his third straight game without an interception.
Broncos win again.
BRONCOS WIN 38-17
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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