The Indianapolis Colts head out to Los Angeles, California, in a matchup against the new look Los Angeles Rams. However, there is a dark cloud hanging over this game with the Colts franchise quarterback Andrew Luck unlikely to play in Week 1. Kickoff inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is at 4:05 P.M. ET.
The Colts come into 2017 with their star player Andrew Luck still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Although the team activated Luck from the P.U.P. list to the active roster, he’s highly unlikely to play. In fact, he could miss a few games before getting out there on the playing field and shaking off some rust. This could cause problems for the Colts in the first quarter of the season, especially this week on the road against the Rams.
Jared Goff is in his second season and he’s expected to take a big step forward in terms of his progression as a NFL quarterback. Some pundits believe that Goff could actually be the most improved player this year. One thing is for sure, he will have to be improved for the Rams to win games.
The Colts opened up as a 3 point favorite and that’s where the spread currently sits. Although, there are a few books that have the Colts at -3.5. The Over/Under opened at 47.5 points and has only come down to 47 total points.
Most likely, this game will be a matchup between Goff and Scott Tolzien. Despite Tolzien’s meager success running the Colts offense, he’s going up against a Rams defense that should be improved from last year. In fact, it’s safe to say that the Rams offense didn’t do their defense any favors with the turnovers and high volume of 3-and-Outs.
The Rams will unveil a new offensive scheme under the youngest head coach in the league – Sean McVay. The new Rams coach constructed the #3 offense in total yards last year, as the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator. If he can help make Cousins a star quarterback, pundits believe he can do the same for Goff.
Additionally, the Rams signed the reliable wide receiver Robert Woods in the offseason who will pair up with the recently acquired, and former Buffalo Bills teammate, Sammy Watkins to form a solid receiving duo. Watkins will draw the double teams, which opens up the field for Woods and the other receivers. It also prevents defenses from stacking the box and stopping the Rams stud running back Todd Gurley.
Gurley had a down year in 2016 due to the Rams being a one dimensional offense without any real passing attack. He’s tabbed for a bounce back year in 2017 and he has a great matchup in week one against the Colts. Indianapolis had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season, and they will need to prove on the field that their offseason defensive additions can make a difference.
The Rams are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against the Colts. Indianapolis is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 overall games and 1-5 in their last 6 September games.
Despite having plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball, without Andrew Luck and a bad defense that had too many holes to fill, it’s hard to think the Colts will beat an up-and-coming Rams team on the road, let alone win by over a field goal. If you can find a book that gives the Rams +3.5 points, jump on it!