The Green Bay Packers (2-2) travel to face the Indianapolis Colts (1-2) at Lucas Oil on Sunday.
The Colts will be trying to match their win total from last season minus their coach, who’s pulling the leukemia sympathy card. We’re not impressed. Meanwhile, the Packers are trying to get all three units to show up on the same day.
Here’s what you need to know and what to watch for.
Who’s not going to play?
Greg Jennings and Sean Richardson are out. Even though he practiced all week, we’d be surprised if Davon House made his season debut this week. Everyone else is a go. The Colts are banged up — linebacker Pat Angerer, cornerback Vontae Davis, cornerback Justin King, guard Seth Olsen and guard John Reitz are out. Tight end Coby Fleener, linebacker Dwight Freeney, running back Mewelde Moore, and center Samson Satele are all questionable.
Who should I bet on?
Don’t. That’s our advice to you about betting on any games involving the Green Bay Packers right now. They’re way too unpredictable. When the defense shows up, the offense doesn’t and vice versa. The Packers opened as 7.5-point favorites and that hasn’t fluctuated much, which is probably because everyone is staying the hell away from this game. The Colts are going to be playing with some emotion because of their coach, Chuck Pagano, and the aforementioned leukemia battle. How many points does emotion get you? Maybe seven. The first seven and then the Packers roll, beating the seven-point spread. For the record, we’re 1-3 on the season in this department, so you should probably do the opposite of what we say.
What to Watch For
Announcers fawning over Andrew Luck
Coming out of Stanford he was the next Peyton Manning. Now he’s the next Aaron Rodgers. Which one is it? Giant forehead or reigning MVP? We’re gonna say neither. The No. 1 draft pick will probably be great someday, but right now he’s not even the best quarterback in his draft class. That would be Robert Griffin III. Bob has passed for over 1,000 yards and ran for over 200 in four games. He’s accounted for eight touchdowns (four passing, four rushing). Andy has thrown for 846 and five. Of course, Andy has four picks to Bob’s one, isn’t the same rushing threat and has a much lower completion percentage (53 for Andy, 69 for Bob). Still, that won’t stop the announcers from tripping all over themselves to tell you how great Andy is going to be.
Which Packers defense shows up
This game will go a long way toward telling us if last week can be attributed to Drew Brees’ precision passing and quick release or if the Packers defense is back to its old ways. The defense was stellar through the first three weeks of the season. Then Brees came to town and threw for 400-plus and four touchdowns. We’ve seen this movie before — we watched it all last season. Was it Brees or is Dom Capers’ unit back to square one? If they don’t corral the Colts offense and their rookie QB, it’s probably the latter.
A bunch of guys you’ve never heard of
The Colts are rebuilding, so their roster is made up of a bunch of has-been and never-was guys. Well, that, and a bunch of really young guys. The casual fan will probably only recognize the names of Luck, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Freeney may not even play, so the people you’re watching the game with are going to be saying, “Who the fuck is that guy?” a lot, especially after “that guy” beats Jarrett Bush for a 74-yard touchdown. If you look at the matchups on paper, the Packers should win by about 246.
The Packers coaches have been blathering on all week about how Benson is their horse, about how he gives their offense balance, about how they’re going to feed him the ball. Well, shut the fuck up and do it already then. When he’s carried the ball on a regular basis, Benson has been good. Thing is, his season high in carries was 20 last week. The Colts defense is ranked 25th against the run. Give Benson 25 carries and he surpasses 100 yards for the first time with the Packers, it opens up the passing game for the big play and the Packers win easily. This seems like an ideal week for that to happen. Doesn’t it?