Indianapolis Colts vs. Oakland Raiders Free Pick - 9/8/13
Oakland Raiders (0-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm (Lucas Oil Stadium)
The Line: Indianapolis Colts -9.5 -- Over/Under: 49 See the Latest Odds
The Oakland Raiders travel to Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Indianapolis Colts in week one action.
Gone are the glory days of an Oakland franchise that was year in and year out were a Super Bowl contender with the likes of John Madden roaming the side lines. That was ions ago and the Raiders are simply a team searching for an identity. Draft picks haven't panned out and the quarterback situation has been unsettled for quite some time. The Raiders are hoping new offensive coordinator Greg Olsen injects some life in to an attack that was just 28th a year ago so many believe the only way to go is up. Question number one is who will start the year under center with Matt Flynn banged up with a sore elbow and Terrelle Pryor not looking good in the preseason which also makes us wonder who will get the ball to Denarius Moore and Rod Streater. This could be a season where Darren McFadden's running will be the offense if he can last 16 games. The defense was ranked 18th a year ago and might be about the same so asking this unit to win games by their lonesome might be a stretch.
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The Colts might have been one of the surprise teams in the NFL year ago with a dramatic turn around from a 2-14 campaign the previous season to a Wild Card berth. Even more dramatic considering it was without Peyton Manning but Andrew Luck proved to be up to the task with nearly 4,400 passing yards although a 23/18 touchdown to interception rate wasn't ideal. Reggie Wayne is another year older but showed no signs of slowing and will be Luck's go to guy, while TY Hilton is poised for a solid season. Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard giving the team a productive back field if Bradshaw's foot is 100%. Indy also bolstered the offensive line after Luck was decked 41 times which can't continue to happen or he'll have a very short career career. There are new faces throughout the defense mixed with the old that looks to improve with another year of working under Chuck Pagano.
The Raiders are clearly in turmoil which explains the spread but the Colts have the talent to cover if they are focused and limit mistakes. I'll back Indianapolis because the Raiders have struggled and not looked good in the process...