This Colt’s offense has looked outstanding this season with Frank Reich as Head Coach and Andrew Luck returning from his never-ending shoulder injury. Evidently, Reich was a significant factor in the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl run last season, and the Colts are currently 9th in total offense this season. Last season they were 30th. Granted, this was without the play of their franchise quarterback, but the offense is more cohesive and fluent as a whole this season, and the addition of Eric has bolstered this offense in a huge way. He is having the best season of his somewhat criticized career, and is currently second in the league in receiving touchdowns with nine. They can run the ball effectively with Marlon Mack or Nyheim Hines and throw on you all game, and I haven’t even begun to talk about the defensive side of the ball.
Second round pick out of South Carolina State, Darius Leonard, has shown that he is a star in the making. Leonard leads the league in tackles, and plays with a chip on his shoulder. After being stiffed on a scholarship to Clemson and tweaking his hamstring at the combine, Leonard plays with a chip on his shoulder and it certainly shows. Keep an eye on this guy and Malik Hooker next time you watch this Colts defense.
The Colts get a tough match-up in Week 11 against a hot Titans team at home, but my prediction is they will win this game 27-24. Their schedule down the stretch is not difficult, facing the Dolphins, Jags, Texans, Cowboys, and Giants. Although their schedule is not as easy as the Texans, they are in a great position to win some games, and compete for the second wild card spot in the AFC.
I think rookie guard out of Notre Dame Quenton Nelson is fitting well in his NFL role:
After a huge win at home against the Packers in Week 11, the Seahawks are still well-behind the electric LA rams and sit at 5-5. It will be difficult for them to secure the second NFC Wild Card spot given the competitiveness of the NFC North, and the Panthers looking to firmly secure that first Wild Card sport. However, they face the Panthers in week 12 and they get the privilege of facing the Niners twice after that. I see this team finishing 9-7 or 10-6, and that will probably be good enough to secure a wild card spot given the Vikings and Packers screwing everything up with their 29-29 tie in Week 2.
Russell Wilson showed last night that him and Rodgers are the only guys in the NFL that can single handedly win their team’s games week in and week out. They make tight ends Nick Vannett and Robert Tonyan look like world class players. Rodgers perfectly threw a 54-yard bomb to Tonyan in the first quarter in the Packers loss. If Wilson continues to play at such a high level, this team has a chance against anyone. Wilson launched a perfectly thrown ball to Doug Baldwin in the second quarter and is constantly evading pressure. He’s amazing to watch amongst these high-powered offenses that get most of the attention.
Wilson can control the tempo on the offensive side of the ball, and despite this defense seemingly breaking apart in the offseason, they still have baller’s in KJ Wright and Bobby Wagner. Both Griffin brothers and Rookies Rasheem Green and Jacob Martin looked good as well.
Look for the Seahawks to win some tough games down the stretch, and ultimately make the playoffs. It’s what studs like Rodgers and Wilson do, and this year is not looking good for the Packers.
I know what you’re thinking, “Dean, you have two AFC South teams in this write-up one of them is going to get bounced cause the Chargers are taking that first wild card spot.” You’d be right, but I think there’s a scenario where both the Colts and Titans make the playoffs. I still believe the Titans or the Colts could make a run at the division title, and knock the Texans out. The Texans have the easiest schedule in football, but face both the Titans and Colts in the remainder of their schedule. Both of those games will be must wins for them to secure the division title, and their offensive line is the worst in football according to Pro Football Focus. Jurrell Casey of the Titans is licking his chops thinking about that matchup in Week 12, and it has been a big reason why we have not seen the same DeShaun Watson during the last two months of last season.
The Titans are coming off big wins against the Cowboys and Patriots over the past couple of weeks, and it looks like Marcus Mariota is finally getting comfortable taking risks with this offense. He FINALLY has a go-to receiver in Corey Davis (Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe could only go so far). This addition has made the offense more dynamic and opened things up down field. Davis had a few big plays last week against the Patriots and logged seven receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur has done a great job with Mariota and making him comfortable throwing downfield, and this Week 11 matchup with the Colts will be fun to watch.
Prediction: The Titans lose to the Colts this week 24-27, but barring a potential losing streak from the flukey Texans still have a shot at the playoffs. Plus, a huge win for first-year coach Mike Vrable last week against his former coach. A win like that is reaffirming to both the coach and the players that everyone is all-in on a playoff push.