The Andrew Luckless Indianapolis Colts get their season started in sunny California against the L.A. Rams. Neither of these teams are going to be competing for much this season. Well, barring something miraculous happening and Jared Goff improves 10x in 2017, the Rams aren’t going to be going too far. The goal for the Rams is to hopefully find a starting quarterback in Goff. If he doesn’t perform this season, he’s going to be competing for the starting job next year.
The Rams want to be patient with Goff, but this is the year where he has to start showing some promise. This is a first-round selection who didn’t look too confident on the field last year as a rookie. He didn’t deserve to be a starter in the NFL. However, with a year under his belt, and an offseason to improve, we’ll see if he ends up with a breakout campaign. He was coming from an offense in college at Cal where he didn’t have to perform under the center. Goff played out of the shotgun in college and rarely had to take a snap from directly behind the center.
Goff has had plenty of time to get accustomed to the Rams’ offense, so there aren’t any excuses now for him. He finished his rookie season with 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in seven starts. That isn’t enough time to evaluate a quarterback. Goff is going to have the full year ahead of him to give coaches a positive impression, though. If he doesn’t? Get ready for the bust tag being floated around.
It isn’t like he won’t have talent around him. Todd Gurley is one of the better running backs in the NFL, and they also acquired Sammy Watkins from the Bills. Say what you want about Watkins, but when he is healthy he’s a weapon. Nonetheless, a player is useless injured on the bench, which is where he was more times than not in Buffalo. We will see how long he holds up, but what we do know is that he will is going to be suiting up this Sunday against a porous Colts’ secondary.
The Colts will start the season with Andrew Luck on the shelf. Luck didn’t even practice this week, giving way to Scott Tolzien getting the start. Luck was activated from the PUP list, but he won’t be getting the nod as the starter in Week 1 against the Rams. Tolzien isn’t ideal, however, there is worse options out there but it isn’t saying much. Head below for our free Colts vs. Rams pick for Week 1.
Indianapolis Colts vs. L.A. Rams Betting Odds:
vs. Rams -4.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Colts vs. Rams Pick:
Tolzien has starting experience. It isn’t like he’s being thrown into the fire. However, he doesn’t have the kind of arm to be a constant starter. His role as a backup in the NFL is fine, but even that can be questioned at times. Tolzien appeared in three games, including one start in 2016. He threw for a touchdown and 2 interceptions. The most starts he ever got in a season was in 2013 with the Packers, which resulted in 1 touchdown and 5 interceptions. Tolzien didn’t look like Aaron Rodgers out there as his replacement, nor will he look like Andrew Luck against the Rams.
You can make the argument that the Colts aren’t going to be a good team with Tolzien as a starter. It’s a fair argument, but the real problems on the Colts are in their defense and offensive line. It starts up front on both lines. They have two of the worst offensive and defensive lines in the NFL. Whoever is back at quarterback, it doesn’t matter, they’re going to get frequent contact.
The quarterback got hit 128 times in 2016 for the Colts, second last in the NFL. Defensively they finished 30th in the NFL, allowing 382.9 yards per game. I see their defense having trouble generating a pass rush, resulting in a lack of turnovers. The Colts tied for last with only 8 interceptions in 2016.
This is a team that the Colts should be able to get some pressure, but don’t hold your breath. The Rams offensive line allowed 49 sacks in 2016. The only team worse was the Browns. This is such an important game for Goff. He must take advantage of a bad defense who are coming from the east.
The Rams will get the win because of their defense nullifying Tolzien, though. Finding points for the Colts isn’t going to be tough. I would place the Rams as -6.5 favorites in this matchup, but we’re getting better than that. Whenever you think a line is off, which is the name of the game, you have to pull the trigger. I would go with a pick on the Rams at -4.5 over the Colts on Sunday.
PICK: RAMS -4.5 (-110)