Colts Might Run Into Buzzsaw by the Bay With Angry Niners
Alan Penny 2013-09-20 in NFL Picks
The Indianapolis Colts were disappointing to say the least in their game against the Miami Dolphins last weekend. On Sunday they will try to redeem themselves against the San Francisco 49ers, but it will be an angry Niner squad coming at them after a humiliation against Seattle.
Indy has some help on the way, however, as one of the better young backs in the NFL is ready to join them.
The game will take place at Candlestick Park and is slated to kick off at 4:25 PM ET. In the pro football odds that have been established on this game at Bookmaker.eu, the Niners are double-digit favorites:
San Francisco 49ers -10 -105
Indianapolis Colts +10 -115
And here is the total as it is posted:
Over 46 Points -110
Under 46 Points -110
There are obvious story lines that are in place in this game. One of them is the fact that Andrew Luck not only comes to the area in which he became a college football icon, AND brings his old offensive coordinator (Pep Hamilton) with him, he also has a reunion with his coach at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh, who is now the coach with the Niners.
This is going to be a fired-up Niner team after they committed five turnovers in the shameful 29-3 loss to Seattle, gaining just 207 yards from scrimmage. Colin Kaepernick had thrown for 412 yards in the opener against Green Bay, but he was stymied by the Seahawks’ secondary, hitting just 13 of 28 passes for 127 yards and three interceptions. Whereas he didn’t take off and run all that much against the Packers, the team he burned for 181 yards in last year’s playoffs, Kaepernick did manage to run for 87 yards on Sunday night. The running backs had 13 net yards, and that is something that was unexpected.
The Colts (a whopping +361 on the Bookmaker.eu money line here) were very disappointed in their 24-20 loss to Miami, As Ryan Tannehill actually outplayed Luck. But there were some good signs, as T.Y. Hilton broke a few, catching six passes for 124 yards. He can be a very good complement to Reggie Wayne. And Ahmad Bradshaw had a better week than he did in the opener, rushing for 65 yards. There is a new go-to tailback in town now, as the Colts dealt a 2014 first-round draft choice to the Cleveland Browns to acquire Trent Richardson.
No one is sure how much he will play on Sunday, but the consensus is that Cleveland should have never made the trade. According to Mike Holmgren, the former president of the team, “How do you make your team better by trading your best player? He’s the best offensive player. He’s a valuable, valuable guy.”
Now he’ll just become one of the better offensive players in Indianapolis.
And that is good news, since the Colts lost guard Donald Thomas and running back Vick Ballard for the season last week. The loss of Thomas is not at a particularly opportune time, since owner Jim Irsay was sending messages on his Twitter account imploring his offensive line to protect Luck better.
The 49ers (a -462 money line favorite) have been an outstanding proposition against the pro football odds when they are playing at home, covering 70% of the time since Harbaugh took the head job. As NFL betting customers may know, they have never lost two in a row under his leadership.
Indianapolis did not show a lot of great metrics last season, and needed seven comebacks engineered by Luck. Those kinds of things have a tendency to catch up after a while. Will this happen with the Colts, who were just 2-3 last season with their current coach, Chuck Pagano, on the sidelines?
And is there any advantage to be derived from either Luck or Harbaugh due to the familiarity one might have with the other? If there are more secrets, they are being held by Harbaugh, who’s got a decidedly different kind of quarterback at his disposal, albeit one who is not always as calm and cool in the pocket.