Monday Night Football: Eagles at Colts

Monday Night Football: Eagles at Colts

A bloody and brutal week of NFL football both on and off the field comes to a merciful end on Monday night when two of the league’s most potent offenses go head to head. The 0-1 Colts host the 1-0 Eagles in what should be a scoring bonanza under the lights. Andrew Luck has never lost back-to-back games as a pro and is 14-3 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Nick Foles is 6-3 on the road with 2654 yards, 23 touchdowns and 3 interceptions during his brief career. Neither defense conjures images of the 2000 Ravens and Vegas apparently agrees considering the Over/Under is 54. Which team has the edge? Here’s a preview and prediction.

PHILADELPHIA AT INDIANAPOLIS -3

The Eagles overcame a 17-point defense to dispose of a pesky Jaguars team 34-17 in Week 1. However, the final score was a bit misleading because the Jags led early in the fourth quarter. Foles finished with a good stat line, but was miserable for much of the game — missing open receivers, sensing phantom pressure, and totaling three turnovers. The offensive line lost guard Evan Mathis and fill-in right tackle Alan Barbre to injuries, the latter for the season, the former until at least Week 9. Chip Kelly’s up-tempo attack is predicated on the line moving and communicating quickly, so a patchwork unit could be in for a long night inside noisy confines.

Andrew Luck nearly led his charges to a come from behind victory against Denver. If offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton ever hands the keys to his superstar quarterback instead of ramming Trent Richardson into a pile of bodies for two-yard gains, the Colts will be an even bigger handful than they already are. Luck has the skills, savvy, and weapons to beat any defense in the league as witnessed by 2013 wins over Seattle and San Francisco. The return of Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen from injuries, plus the addition of Hakeem Nicks gives Luck an above average arsenal of playmakers. The loss of the suspended Robert Mathis for the season with a torn Achilles means a pass-rusher starved defense will need creative means to generate pressure.

With both defenses lacking studs, it’s almost assured this will be a shootout. LeSean McCoy was underwhelming a week ago, but he has a tendency to blow up on the big stage; he totaled 475 rushing yards in three primetime outings in 2013. Look for the Indy defense to sell out to stop McCoy and Darren Sproles and let the shaky Foles prove he’s more than a one-year wonder. The Eagles are stout against the run, but their secondary is prone to bumbling breakdowns (see Alan Hurns). If Luck is allowed a clean pocket he should have little trouble finding receivers running free.

Since Luck has been under center, the Colts are 10-0 ATS following a loss. Eagles are 5-1 SU in their last six road games. This one should be an entertaining back-n-forth slugfest. A crucial turnover late by Foles will be the difference.

Bet Indy -3

Bet the Over 54