(6-9, 7-8 ATS)
(9-6, 8-6-1 ATS)
All that QB Peyton Manning wanted to do this year was to just have a chance to win the Lombardi Trophy. That’s it. He just wants a chance. After having to listen that his dynastic reign of terror on the AFC South was certain to come to a close, he and his Indianapolis Colts and rule the day once again and claim the division title on Sunday with a win in this NFL betting battle against the Tennessee Titans at home.
Is this going to be the last time that Head Coach Jeff Fisher runs onto the field with his Titans? There is still speculation running rampant that Fisher, the longest tenured coach in the league, is going to be axed on Black Monday along with about a half dozen other coaches, so an upset in this one would go a long way towards smoothing things over with Owner Bud Adams. Tennessee really has been terrible this season by its standards, and it crashed out of playoff consideration last week with a brutal loss to the AFC West champs, the Kansas City Chiefs. QB Kerry Collins might be at the end of the road as well. Just days after celebrating his 38th birthday, Collins is going to be called into duty for a fifth straight game. He is just 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS so far as a starter in this run, and he has thrown five picks in four games. For the season in nine games played, Collins has 1,523 yards and 12 TDs against eight picks. For the third straight season, RB Chris Johnson is over the 1,200 yard mark, as he is at 1,325 yards and 11 scores on the season to date. It’s hard to think that he has already accounted for 37 TDs and over 5,500 yards of offense in his career, which averages out to almost 120 total yards per game.
For Indy, the formula is simple. A win or a loss by the Jacksonville Jaguars gets it into the second season. Manning and company will be watching the scoreboard intently at Lucas Oil Field, as the Jags are playing at the same time as this one at Reliant Stadium against the Houston Texans. No. 18 is once again going back to the Pro Bowl after throwing for 4,436 yards and 31 TDs this year, as is his top man on the outside, WR Reggie Wayne. Wayne has been the only skill player to play in even 14 of the 15 games this year for the Colts, and he has 102 grabs, 1,287 yards, and five TDs to show for it. On the other side of the ball, expect to see both DE Robert Mathis and his bookend, DE Dwight Freeney harassing Collins in the backfield. These two have 20 sacks between them, and both are on their way to the Pro Bowl. Don’t be shocked if LB Pat Angerer, a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year, comes up with a huge game in this one. He has 53 tackles and a sack this year, and he is going to have a lot of pressure on him trying to stop Johnson before getting into the third level of the defense.
The Titans found a way to hit the backdoor when these two teams met up the first time at LP Field, and we expect to see much of the same this week. Tennessee will play with pride and confidence, and it will not be blown out of the water. There’s also a chance that Manning and the starters could be rested late on if the Jags are handily taking care of business, which could leave a backdoor very widely opened.
Week 17 Free Pick: Tennessee Titans +10