I expect the Indianapolis Colts to remain one of the biggest value teams in the NFL for the foreseeable future. The mainstream sports media and the casual fans that take their cue from them have completely overreacted to the retirement of Andrew Luck. Luck was physically a wreck and not in the right place mentally or emotionally to play quarterback in the NFL. This is the Andrew Luck that the Colts lost, not an elite top 5 quarterback.
Nor does the public have any confidence in his replacement, Jacoby Brissett. Brissett was considered to be among the top backups in the league before Luck’s retirement but now he’s not even given a chance to be the starter. The average ‘Joe SixPack’ wants the Colts to pick up Eli Manning or another veteran quarterback on the decline. Brissett looked very good in his first start with 190 yards on 21 for 27 passing, 2 TDs and no interceptions. His quarterback rating of 120.7 was just fractions behind Phillip Rivers’ 121.3. Had Adam Vinatieri not had the worst game of his 24 year career–two missed field goals and a missed extra point–the Colts would have very likely won the game.
Brissett is a very capable quarterback surrounding by a very good team led by a very good head coach. The public might not have faith in Brissett but consider what some very sharp NFL players and coaches think. He was drafted by Bill Belichick who was so impressed with Brissett that he made the choice despite already having one of the best backups in the league in Jimmy Garoppolo. Colts GM Chris Ballard calls Brissett ‘a rare, rare leader’. Head coach Frank Reich thinks very highly of him as does the team’s former starting quarterback Andrew Luck who summed up Brissett in a few words: “Diligent, sharp, loves football.”
You can’t take anything away from Tennessee’s opening week effort in Cleveland. I’ve been talking about the Titans throughout the preseason as one of the seriously underrated teams in the league. They had a winning record in 2018 (9-7) and -one of only 8 AFC teams with a positive points differential. Only the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens allowed fewer points per game than the Titans (18.9). They were particularly strong against the pass ranking #6 in passing yards per game against. They had such a successful opening week that they’re now ripe for a letdown in this spot and particularly with a tough 4 day turnaround to a road game at Jacksonville.
Indianapolis has completely brutalized the Titans in head to head play. The Colts are on a 13-2 SU/11-3-1 ATS run against Tennessee and swept the Titans last year outscoring them by a combined margin of 71-27. The marketplace has a tendency to overreact to short term performance in the NFL–positive or negative–and it didn’t get more ‘positive’ than the Titans in Week 1. The Colts are 10-3 SU/8-4-1 ATS in their last 13 games. Titans’ blitz gave Baker Mayfield tons of trouble last week but could be far less effective against the more mobile Brissett. Colts win outright. Get while the gettin’ is good with Indianapolis as the public will eventually figure out that Jacoby Brissett is a very solid quarterback.