Indianapolis Colts vs. Los Angeles Rams Preview
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, CA
When: Saturday, September 10, 2017 – 4:05 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
NFL News and Previews
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- 2017 NFL Week 4 Picks and Predictions
Betting on the Indianapolis Colts (+175)
The Colts have been a model of inconsistency over the past two seasons, where they are a combined 16-16. Last year, it was as evident as it can come, as they alternated wins and losses for 14 straight weeks (Week 3-Week 17).
The passing connection of quarterback Andrew Luck and wide receiver TY Hilton will remain as the ONLY strength of the team. Both are among the best in their position and should be able to continue as such – the QB had a 31-13 touchdown-interception ratio and passed for over 4,200 yards in 2016, while the receiver led the league in receiving yards, with 1,448.
With that, the question is of course about Luck’s ability to push the team forward considering the circumstances he’s in. He’s still healing from a shoulder injury (expected to play on Sunday) and has an almost non-existent offensive line (took 41 sacks last year).
Over on defense, there are a number of additions that are quite exciting – Jonathan Hankins, Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, and first-round pick Malik Hooker, to name a few – which is (thankfully) a check mark on the positive column. Indy’s D was among the worst last season, allowing the third-most yards in the league (382.8 per game) and ranking a lackluster 22nd in points allowed (23.9 per game).
Indianapolis went 4-4 on the road last season (3-4-1 ATS).
Betting on the Los Angeles Rams (-210)
2016 was a hell year for the Rams. They plummeted in just about every area of the game, with former head coach Jeff Fisher appearing to be completely unable to make the team play in its true potential. The offense, in particular, was at the very bottom, both in scoring (14.0 per game) and total yardage (262.6 per game).
Enter 31-year-old Sean McVay: the youngest NFL coach in history. He is expected to lift this squad a couple of notches higher, similar to what he did as the Washington Redskins’ offensive coordinator (2014-2016).
Second-year QB Jared Goff, who, as a rookie, went 0-7 in his starts with an appalling 22.2 QB rating, should be able to do well under the offensive-minded McVay. He will have new threat on the wing in Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, and they’ll join a list of receivers aiming to breakout, including Pharoh Cooper, intriguing rookie Cooper Kupp, and the strong, athletic, and speedy Tavon Austin. The once-exciting Todd Gurley will still be in the main man of the backfield, and will be hoping to redeem himself after his disappointing sophomore season, where he only rushed for 3.2 yards per carry. Like Goff, he should be able to do better this time.
Another group gunning for redemption is the offensive line, as they possibly had one of the worst regressions of an O-Line in recent memory. After giving up the fewest sacks in 2015 (18), they allowed the second-most in 2016 (49), while also bringing down the RBs’ yards per carry numbers (4.6 to 3.3).
As for the defense, it’s also hoping to finally wake up from their season-long nap. New coordinator Wade Phillips, a renowned guru that stirred the destructive, Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos defense, is shifting the Rams’ scheme into a 3-4. The change is interesting for the group’s two best players and pass-rushers: Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn. The latter’s likely move into a linebacker from an end will be something to watch out for.
The Rams were 1-7 at home last season (0-6-1 ATS).
The Rams (-4.5) take it, 24-20.
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