There were a few question marks about the Indianapolis Colt’s defense entering this NFL betting odds season but for the most part it looked as if this unit would be as good as it ever was, even on par with its talented ’08 squad that won the Super Bowl…maybe even better.
But after giving up 355 yards net yards in its Week 1 opener, 257 of those yards on the ground, this team has some serious questions about its ability to stop opponent’s offenses this season. Worse still the team lost its best defensive player S Bob Sanders for the remainder of the season due to an elbow injury. Without Sanders this defense is only slightly above average, at best, and has little to no margin for error.
The team’s run defense issues will be put to the test on Sunday as the host the power-running Giants, a team that didn’t run well in ’09, but that’s looking to reestablish the ground game with new starting RB Ahmad Bradshaw.
Fortunately for the Colts the Giants running attack wasn’t all that effective (118 net yards on the ground) in Week 1 versus Carolina but it’s hard to get a good reading after just one game, especially the season opener. Giants RB Brandon Jacobs appears to be in decline but he’s a bruiser and the type of runner that gives the small Indy defense problems. He’ll share duty with Bradshaw who offers big play capability to balance Jacobs’ battering ram running style which softens up the defense.
Indy will have to have an extra man in the box for most of the game to try and prevent a repeat performance from Week 1 against the run. This will leave its CBs vulnerable in the passing game and Eli should be able to exploit this. He will have to improve his performance as well. If he turns in another 3 INT day the Giants aren’t likely to win.
The Colts offense looks to be great shape, led by the unflappable Peyton who threw for 433 yards and 3 TDs in the Week 1 loss.
But if the Colts D can’t stop the run it’s doubly painful as the Giants will put points on the ball and it will consume huge chunks of time and keep Peyton off the field.
Colts should win this NFL gambling matchup but you may want to consider betting on the spread.