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Monday, December 6, 2010

Week 14 NFL Predictions: Thursday Night Edition

UPDATE: The line has moved to -3, but it would still be a posted play at this number too.

Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee Titans: IND -2.5
In this week's Thursday Night game IND must travel on a short week to take on their division foes.  This is probably the last thing Peyton wanted after another interception-laden game.  Everyone knows how much time he puts into preparation so it could be a little concerning for those looking to back this week.  At the same time, one could say that a short week might be good for him because he the sooner he gets back out there the better. 

This game wasn't difficult to figure out because despite the struggles IND have had recently, they match up pretty good against a TEN team that looks to have mailed it in.  However, even if TEN get motivated for a division game in prime time, it should not make a whole lot of difference in the final score.  TEN have a lot of trouble defending the pass which is very bad news if IND is up next.  I expect Peyton to continue airing it out and doing what he does on Thursday.  TEN don't have the kind of defensive pass rush needed to disrupt Peyton's rhythm.  One of the biggest oversights of the IND/DAL game was how many long drives Peyton orchestrated.  They had four touchdown drives over over 60 yards.  Is there any reason to believe he won't do that again against a susceptible TEN defense?  

Usually TEN lean heavily on Chris Johnson in these games to eat up the clock and dominate their own long drives. Unfortunately for TEN fans, not to mention fantasy football owners, CJ hasn't been running the same of late and part of that is due to the QB situation.  Those huge running lanes created by Young's mobility aren't there anymore and nobody is fearing the passing game.  TEN are in the bottom half of the league in red zone/third down offense and can't sustain long drives consistently.  They also rank near the bottom in completed plays.  This stat is the combination of running plays and completed passes.  TEN average 40 per game which is 10 below the number most good teams have.  To make matters worse, TEN take more penalties per game than 90% of the league.  None of these things translates well in the win/loss department.  Now offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger is undergoing chemotherapy and his availability for Thursday's game is unknown.  TEN have lost 5 in a row and look for them to reach number 6 in week 14.  IND might have lost to DAL last week, but it had more to do with their own mistakes than anything DAL did.  Prediction: Bank IND -2.5.
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