When the schedule comes out every year Peyton Manning and the Colts look to see when they’re playing the Patriots. Then they look for when they are playing the Chargers. San Diego and Indi have combined for some classic football games, in both the playoffs and regular season over the last several years, and on Sunday Night we’re fortunate enough to watch two of the game’s best competitors take centre stage. Philip Rivers and the Chargers take on the Colts in Indianapolis this week on Sunday Night Football.
The Chargers have never lost a November game under Norv Turner. San Diego picked the Broncos apart on MNF last week, and it doesn’t seem to matter who’s playing receiver, as long as Rivers is throwing the ball. Rivers’ ability to keep the play alive outside the pocket is a very underrated part of his game. He has an uncanny ability to extend the play long enough for his receivers to get open. He is also fearless, not afraid to take a hit if it allows for more space to open up down the middle. He gets his #1 receiver back for the first time this year on Sunday, with the return of Vincent Jackson. The Chargers running game has been disappointing, or should I say draft pick Ryan Mathews has been disappointing. His season has been filled with injury, which has allowed for Mike Tolbert to take over as starting RB. Tolbert has exactly what a RB needs to beat the Colts. He’s a bowling ball of a man, similar to MJD of Jacksonville, but bigger, and the undersized Colts defense will have problems stopping the run. The Chargers special teams got a boost last week with a well executed fake punt, which in fact turned the momentum of the game right around. Their coverage on kick offs and punts is still the worst in the league, but Indi don’t have anyone that poses a threat on kick returns. For the Chargers to win this game they’ll need to start fast and score early and often. The matchup to watch will be how the Chargers O line handles Freeney and Mathis who are different players at home. They’ve been the difference makers in all of the Colts home games this year.
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Manning was near perfect last week against the Pats, and the Colts as good as won that game if it wasn’t for the slightest of mistakes by Manning. But that’s why there’s no one aspect of the game that matters more than the other. Manning drove the field in the final minute and dissected the Pats secondary. He won’t have as easy a time against the Chargers, but he still has the advantage as the smartest QB in the league. San Diego will need to keep him off the field as much as they can. The Chargers have a history of showing up big against the Colts. They knocked them out of the playoffs 3 years ago, they disrupted their perfect season in Indi before that, and who can forget Manning’s 4 INT game on SNF. Like Indianapolis vs. New England last week, this game will be one of the best of the season.
Chargers vs. Colts Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
San Diego Chargers +3
@ Indianapolis Colts -3
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Chargers vs. Colts Prediction for Week 12 Betting:
Game Total Prediction (Top Play): So far this season we’ve learned that there is no one dominant team like there’s been over the last few season. We’ve also learned that when the best face off, a lot of points are scored. The Patriots Steelers game two weeks ago and the Patriots Colts Game last week both went well over the number. The Chargers are ranked 1st in the league in offense, which includes 3rd in offensive points with over 27 per game, and they do this without an effective running game. The Over is 6-3 in 9 games that the Chargers have played in this year, which includes 3-0 in the last 3. The Colts offense is similar to the Chargers, with great ranks and in the top 3 in most categories, without an effective running game. No defense can ever slow down Manning, and he’ll be happy to be back in Indi after a disappointing finish in New England last week.
Top Play Prediction = Over 51
Spread Prediction: Like I said before, the Chargers are undefeated lifetime in November under Norv Turner, but the Colts are just as automatic coming off a loss. This is defiantly a tough game to pick. It’s very tempting to go with the Chargers plus the points, but until Manning gives me a reason to go against him, I won’t. The Chargers get Vincent Jackson in their lineup for the first time this year and Rivers will look for him often. V-Jax will be rusty and he might have trouble getting deep with Mathis and Freeney putting pressure on Rivers in the pocket. I like Colts minus the points.
Prediction = Colts -3.