NFL PLAY OF THE WEEK:
Take the Redskins (-5.5)
Washington (1 - 0) is coming off a convincing victory on the road at Arizona by a final score of 24 - 6. Sure, the Cardinals are not considered to be an elite team, but to win on the road, and hold the Cards to 6 points is still an accomplishment.
The Colts (0 - 1) make their way to D.C. after losing at home 34 - 23 to the visiting Bengals. After witnessing Cincinnati put the Ravens to rest yesterday evening, it appears Indianapolis was simply out matched in the loss.
This weekend, the Indianapolis Colts are once again out matched. The Skins have a very competent and experienced QB in Alex Smith who limits mistakes, is accurate, and with a rejuvenated Peterson providing a ground game versus a Colts defense that struggles against the run, the Skins should be able to handle Indianapolis quite easily, and start the season 2 - 0.
In 2017, the Colts were rushing the ball an average of 28 times per game for 104 yards, which was good enough for 21st rank in the league. If the first game of 2018 (75 yards on 22 carries) is any indication, whereby they fell behind and were forced to become one dimensional versus the Bengals, then even with the return of Andrew Luck, it will be a very long season. They do not have a star RB, and they lack depth at that same position. On the defensive side of the ball, the Colts were giving up 120 yards per game on the ground in 2017, and 101 yards last week. This plays right into Washington's hands.
Indianapolis should be equal, if not better, passing the ball this season with Andrew Luck back at the helm, but he will be facing a 9th ranked defense versus the pass in 2017, allowing 214 yards per game through the air.
Last season, without Adrian Peterson, the Redskins ran the ball 25 times per game and averaged 90.5 yards. They were ranked 28th in the NFL. Their first game in 2018 at Arizona, they were able to establish the run game, running the rock 42 times and accumulating 182 yards, the most potent showing of any team in Week 1.
In Kansas City, Alex Smith was throwing the ball 34 times per game, but he did have more weapons with the Chiefs. Not that Washington does not have any weapons for Smith to utilize, he simply had more talented WR's in KC. They do, however, have a strong TE in Jordan Reed, and veteran Vernon Davis, to complement their new found rushing attack. Alex Smith is best when the ground game is established, opening up the play action pass. This should be what happens when they face off against the Colts this weekend.
Historically, you have to go all the way back to 1993 and 1996 when these two franchises clashed in Washington and the Redskins a favorite. The Skins won both 30 - 24 and 31 - 16, respectively. In 2010, the Indianapolis Colts dealt the Redskins a 27 -24 loss in Washington, and a 49 - 27 loss most recently in Indianapolis on November 30, 2014. The aforementioned information is purely for entertainment purposes, however, since we all know they are not relevant to the present situation.
PREDICTION: Take the Washington Redskins (-5.5)
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Indianapolis Colts 14, Washington Redskins 35
Also see "Reality Versus Perception: Language and Psychological Implications Initiated by the Oddsmakers" on my profile page for further details as it pertains to why I am selecting the Washington Redskins.
Good luck this weekend everyone :)
Edited 9/14/18 at 12:23PM by Timothy Wynn - Additional information