Saturday, October 24, 2009

Week 7 Pick: Blowout

There are a few lopsided games this week with huge spreads, namely Pats/Bucs, or Packers/Browns, but there's one in particular I can see being completely out of control, and that is:

Indianapolis Colts @ St. Louis Rams

Over/Under: 44 1/2
Line: Colts by 13

My Thoughts:
All the Colts need to do in this one is win by 2 touchdowns. Peyton Manning and company should have very little trouble in that regard against a badly struggling Rams team. St. Louis has had a tough time generating pressure on defense, and the Colts' offensive line is very good, with running backs who are very good at blitz pickup. Steve Spagnuolo loves to blitz, but he simply doesn't have the players to do it effectively in St. Louis.

The Rams' secondary is suspect at best, with their only decent player being Safety OJ Atogwe. They simply do not have the cornerbacks to cover the Colts' receivers, especially a dynamic deep threat like Reggie Wayne. If Indy shows some 3 or 4 receiver sets, the Rams are done, plain and simple. The Colts' 4th best receiver (we'll call him Pierre Garcon) is better than the Rams' best corner (Ron Bartell? Who?), so there will be match-up problems all over the field. That's even without looking at Dallas Clark running in the flat, covered by James Laurinaitis (because Paris Lenon can't cover anyone). Even if St. Louis is able to manage some offense, which I think they will, the Colts' offense will splatter the Rams' D all over the walls of the Edward Jones Dome.

On the other side of the ball, I will give a little credit to the St. Louis offensive line. There is talent there, especially with Center Jason Brown emigrating from the Ravens this Spring. It's a nasty, run-oriented line that should look to control the tempo of this game on the ground. The Rams will give Indy's small defensive line and linebackers a heavy dose of Stephen Jackson (who I think has loads of ability), and try to keep Peyton off the field. Though as we saw with the Miami game, Manning doesn't need a lot of time to shred your defense. I think where the Rams' plan falls apart is when the Colts jump to a 17 point lead, and Stephen Jackson is relegated to just pass protection and short screens. Outside of Donnie Avery, St. Louis doesn't have an NFL receiver on their roster, and Marc Bulger is simply finished as a quality QB. The Rams will be drafting corners, receivers, and a franchise QB in April, and all those areas will hurt them this game.

Colts 41
Rams 17

Last Week: 3-1 straight up (stupid Eagles...), 3-1 against the spread (STUPID RAIDERS!!!)
Overall: 17-6 straight up, 14-9 against the spread


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