Posted: 9:06 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013
By Nick Ragsdale
Last Week: 11-3 (78.6%)
All-time Colts Predictions: 16-6 (72.7%)
I went 11-3 last week - which I would say is on par with what you would expect from someone who calls himself The Predictificationist. The sad thing is that I was 11-1 headed into the prime time games - and I missed them both. Oh well... the only games I missed were the Jets over the Falcons, Raiders over the Chargers and Bengals over the Patriots.
I can live with that.
The Colts are in the middle of what I believe to be their toughest stretch of the season. After playing Seattle this past Sunday (and winning) Indianapolis travels across the country to play the Chargers on Monday night, followed by the Denver Broncos (and some guy named Peyton Manning) on Sunday Night Football - with a day less to prepare. I predicted the Colts would go 1-2 during that stretch in the preseason - but these Colts have shown to be a stronger team than many anticipated.
On paper it seems that Andrew Luck and crew should be able to take care of business in San Diego, but the recent history of this matchup hasn't been too kind to the boys in blue. Since 2005 Indianapolis has just a 1-5 record against the Chargers and turned over the ball 19 times - an average of over three a game.
Some of the other marquee matchups this week include New Orleans visiting the Patriots, the Ravens hosting the Packers and Jacksonville heading to Denver.... OK, that last one was a joke just to see if you were paying attention.
Here's a recap of my best picks from last week:
Seahawks at Colts - After looking at the stats, I told you the game last week would come down to turnovers - and the Colts made one more big play than the Seahawks. The blocked field goal and drive-stopping forced fumble took points off the board and Butler's interception sealed the victory. The Seahawks blocked a punt for a safety and forced an Andrew Luck fumble:
"This game will come down to turnovers. These teams have similar playing styles and it looks like an even game on paper. The difference is that the Seahawks depend on their defense to provide extra possessions for their offense and to improve field position. This Colts team has shown that it doesn't turnover the ball - they have only two all season (2nd best). If the Colts can continue this trend they will take down Seattle this weekend and kick the hype train into hyperdrive.
I'm taking the Colts.
COLTS WIN 27-24"
Chiefs at Titans - I said that this game would end 27-17 and it ended 26-17. I knew what the Titans would be without Jake Locker down to one point - and that's pretty good.
Eagles at Giants - I told any of you that still thought the Giants were capable of winning this game to bail. Tom Coughlin has lost this team and I don't see many wins on the horizon.
If Peyton Manning were still quarterbacking the team, I'd have some real doubts about the Colts heading into San Diego this week. With Andrew Luck quarterbacking the Colts, I have a lot of confidence heading into the game. This team has done a really good job protecting the football - and that's HUGE on the road. The Chargers will need some turnovers to win this one because the Colts (especially the defense) are playing with a ton of confidence right now.
It makes me that much more pumped for next week's game against Denver. I'm taking the Colts.
COLTS WIN 24-17
I haven't looked at their schedule, but based on what I've seen it'll be tough to pick the Giants the rest of the season. They don't play together and it's clear that Tom Coughlin has lost the team (in my opinion). The Bears are still kind of hard to figure out, but I like the way they play.
As long as we don't get 'Bad' Jay Cutler on Thursday night the Bears should be the winning team - and Tom Coughlin is one week closer to unemployment.
BEARS WIN 34-27
The Bengals beat the Packers and the Patriots - but lost to the Browns. Meanwhile, the Bills beat the Panthers and the Ravens and lost to the Browns and the Jets. This one could be one of those weird games that shock us all on Sunday.
When games get like this you lean towards the obvious (Bengals) but bet money on the underdog (Bills).
BENGALS WIN 27-24
The Browns have taken the NFL by storm winning their last three games. The last one was costly as newly-named starting quarterback Brian Hoyer went down for the year with a knee injury. I'm taking the Lions to win this one only because I could see the Browns becoming deflated again starting Brandon Weeden.
LIONS WIN 31-20
Don't look now, but the Raiders are actually playing some pretty good football. Don't get me wrong - they aren't going to playoffs or anything, but this game will be a lot closer than folks think... and the Raiders just may pull it out.
I don't believe it enough to pick it, but the Raiders will beat the spread.
CHIEFS WIN 24-17
Neither of these teams do anything for me. I love football and you couldn't get me to go to this game with free tickets (or free beer, Jacksonville). It looks like Matt Cassel will start again for the Vikings and Cam "The One Man Band" Newton will still be running around for the Panthers. To me, this is a true "pick-em" game and I always say take the home team by a field goal - but who knows?
VIKINGS WIN 20-17
I'm going to hate myself for doing this - but there is a small part of me that believes that the Steelers may win this game. Coming off of their bye week, getting a bit healthier and playing desperate just may be the recipe for a Pittsburgh win.
Unless they still suck. I'm giving the Steelers one more chance.
STEELERS WIN 23-17
The Eagles and Buccaneers are each having quarterback issues and I don't really like either team to 'win' the game. In games like this, I pick the team that is less likely to 'lose' the game. The Eagles offense has been one of the best in the NFL and, though they turn the ball over, they are capable of scoring points.
I can't say the same for the Buccaneers.
EAGLES WIN 27-17
The Packers haven't won a road game this year and the Ravens haven't lost a home game - seems obvious, right? The difference is that the Packers are playing a lot better than the Ravens and have a quarterback that isn't turning the ball over all the time.
I like the Packers on the road.
PACKERS WIN 34-27
As much as I've enjoyed watching the Texans struggle so far this season, they shouldn't have any trouble beating the Rams on Sunday. The Rams are starting to look like a train-wreck (yes, even after beating the lifeless Jaguars last week) and I don't think they can beat the Texans on the road.
But, if the the Rams win, I think it'll be the last we see of Matt Schaub for awhile.
TEXANS WIN 31-17
This isn't fair. We all know that this won't be pretty and I'd be shocked if Manning plays into the fourth quarter - He's got to rest his noodle-arm for his homecoming game against Indy next week.
It's the lock of the week.
BRONCOS WIN 41-10
The Seahawks are back home (where they are most dangerous) and mad after losing a close game to the Colts last week. The Titans won't have quarterback Jake Locker back for quite some time and Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't beating the Seahawks in Seattle (Locker probably wouldn't either).
The Titans will continue their free fall back to earth this week.
SEAHAWKS WIN 34-17
This is the game that I am most interested to see. The Patriots have looked pedestrian over the first five games of 2013 - and they Saints haven't. But could this be one of those games? You know, the type of game that has made Bill Belichick a legend?
I don't think so - I'm taking the Saints.
SAINTS WIN 27-23
The 49ers finally seem to back on track after a tough start to the season. The Cardinals have a solid team to this point (good for Bruce Arians), but you'd be fooling yourself if you think Arizona is going to beat the 49ers on the road.
Be smart and take the 49ers.
49ERS WIN 27-17
The Cowboys are better than the Redskins - but this will still be a close game... because it ALWAYS is. I don't think Robert Griffin III is ready to put an entire game on his shoulders yet (he would have to for the Redskins to win), so I'm taking the Cowboys.
Although, if RGIII goes "beast mode" on primetime, all bets are off.
COWBOYS WIN 27-24
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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