2002 Season NFL Football Past Picks
January 04, 2003
Indianapolis at New York
Saturday 01/04 04:30 PM Eastern
4 units on Indianapolis +6 (-110) (risk 4 to return 7.64) RESULT: WIN
Can anyone stop the ground and air “force” of the New York Jay-Eee-Tee-Ess – JETS – JETS – JETS? I don’t think the Colts can.
Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy is just horrible in playoffs (2-4) and 0-4 on the road. QB Peyton Manning has a well-deserved reputation as someone who has not stepped up in big games. He couldn’t win them in college and he is 0-2 in NFL playoff games.
On the other side of the ball, Jets QB Chad Pennington is En Fuego (“On Fire” for my Spanish-speaking challenged readers out there). Since taking over for Vinny earlier this season, he has completed 69% of his passes and thrown 22 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. The Jets also have a strong running game to complement Pennington. Curtis Martin racked up 1,094 yards and scored seven touchdowns this year.
Over the course of the entire season, the Colts are giving up 21.8 points per game while the Jets are giving up 22.4. But wait a minute… Jets coach Herman Edwards changed six defensive starters at the beginning of the season. It took about six weeks for those changes to start benefiting the team. From week six on, the Jets are giving up less than 16 points per game!
The Colts rely on the passing game. They pass a lot (58% of the time). Colts’ running back Edgerrin James’ cockiness caught up to him this year. His hold-out, which he predicted would have absolutely no effect on his game, seems to have caused some problems. James didn’t reach 1000 yards, had only two touchdowns and had no runs over 20 yards. Indianapolis ranks 26th in the league in rushing and averages just 3.6 yards per carry. Peyton Manning will have to win this one and I think he is just too inconsistent.
The Jets are on a roll and brimming with confidence after winning 7 of their last 9 including an impressive trouncing of Green Bay last week in a game that Green Bay desperately wanted.
Yes, the spread in this game is inflated following that game (should probably be closer to 3 or 4) but I don’t think it will matter. The Colts have underperformed expectations this year as they are only 38% ATS this year, while the Jets are 60%.
As far as trends go, New York qualifies for a situation involving home teams on grass that is 19-5 ATS including 6-1 the last two years. Indianapolis does qualify for a couple of very high-percentage trends involving teams that ended the season poorly SU and ATS. These two trends combine for 41-10 ATS (6-0 the last two years). Despite these trends for Indianapolis, I think New York, playing at home, is just too strong.