Like the Colts offense, I can’t do much worse this week with my predictions. I can’t possibly go 0-4 again. Can I? The season is young, but this already feels like a very important game for the Colts with many possible reverberations if there is not some modicum of improvement on the field and between Pagano’s ears. Throw in Bruce Arians and what I assume is his desire to embarrass Colts owner Jim Irsay and this game could spin in many different directions.
I see the following happening at Lucas Oil Stadium this week:
- QB Jacoby Brissett throws for two touchdowns in his first start for the Colts. He hasn’t been in town long, cannot have a grasp on all of the playbook, has had limited prep time with his receivers, yet he will buy just enough time with his legs for his receivers to break free for two scores. (I’m guessing those go to WR T.Y. Hilton and TE Jack Doyle, but am not bold enough to include that in this prediction). He may not lead the Colts to the victory, but he does offer hope of moving the ball consistently and having a chance.
- Former Colt Kerwynn Williams, now the Cardinals starting RB, will have success against his old team and will run for over 75 yards. The Colts defensive is currently ranked #1 against the run, but the former seventh round draft pick of the Colts in 2013, will find a seam and break a couple 10+ yard runs. The Colts will give up more rushing yards this week and Williams will have the most carries for the Cardinals. (Note: The Colts waived Williams after the 2013 preseason so that they could add TE Jack Doyle to the active roster so it has worked well for all involved).
- Future Hall-of-Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri (pictured) will not miss a kick for the Colts this week. In fact, if he is given an opportunity he will nail a field goal from 50+ yards this week. This may not be an overly bold prediction since he has been successful on 98% of his extra points and 87% of his field goals as a Colt. However, last week prompted a few to wonder if the end is near and I believe that Adam quelches those fears this week.
I expect to see improvement and even a few exciting plays by the Colts this week against the Cardinals. I believe the defense will get more pressure on Cardinals QB Carson Palmer which will help the depleted and young Colts secondary against the pass. I want to go against conventional wisdom again this week and predict a Colts upset, but in the end Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is more prepared for this game than Colts coach Chuck Pagano is and the Cardinals leave Indy with a 31-24 win.