Head-to-Head: Colts in for Another Letdown?
by Jordan Adams and Drew Mangione - 12/06/2006
Each week two of Doc's Sports gambling aficionados will give their alternating perspectives on the key games and interesting issues in the game at both the college and professional levels. You may not agree, they may not agree, but it should be interesting!
Here are this week's topics:
Indianapolis Colts (-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10)
Drew: Ah, divisional road games-my favorite. This one looks like a great match-up on paper for Jacksonville. The Jaguars have a great run defense, with the Thing and the Hulk at defensive tackle allowing just 55 yards per contest in the last three. Plus, they run the ball with a two-headed back attack that has amassed 1,452 of the team's second leading AFC rushing offense with 1,716 yards on the season. Sure, the Colts have found 174 yards per game over the same stretch and Joe Addai has fans saying, "Edge who?" But the Colts would have a hard time stopping Curtis Martin…with the bad knee.
Prediction: Jaguars 20, Colts 14
Jordan: The Colts are terrific paper champions. Frankly, that's the closest they get to winning it all. Their defense is miserably flawed and now even the offense is a little shaky. Sunday's loss to the Titans now makes three of the last four games where Indy has failed to score 20 points. Tennessee has a respectable defense but they should not hold Peyton and company scoreless in the second half, let alone to 14 points all game. At home the Jags have not allowed more than 13 points since week 1 to Dallas. Like we saw in Cincy last Thursday, this game is more vital to Jacksonville and they will come up with the victory.
Prediction: Jacksonville 21, Indianapolis 17
New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) (8 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10)
Drew: The feel good story of 2006 is the luck of the French quarter: No hurricanes and a winning football team. The Cinderella story of the NFL this year is Tony Romo looking like the next Kurt Warner. Except Romo is going to the ball with Jessica Simpson, not a wife that is probably jealous of her mother-in-law's looks. Of course, Warner's wife could probably do more advanced arithmetic, but Simpson can probably count up to 6-1 as a starter. Maybe.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Saints 28
Jordan: New Orleans continues to impress, however they are much more susceptible on the road. America's Team is finding ways to win even when the Tony Romo doesn't play perfectly. And by the way, why in the world did he deny rumors of dating Jessica Simpson? Who cares if it's not true, run with it. New Orleans finally got the President to break out, however Dallas will be able to contain him and Deuce on the ground, thus making Drew Brees less effective.
Prediction: Dallas 27, New Orleans 20
Which is the most intriguing bowl match up?
Drew: I love the BCS. I do. What I love is that it sucks so bad that there is no way it could be anything other than an evolutionary step from no system to a playoff system. College football has to evolve. And part of that evolution is the rise of the new power programs. Who wouldn't want to play home games on blue turf? I would. I'm looking forward to the Fiesta of Boise State and tough guy Ian Johnson rolling over the old guard Oklahoma Sooners and a groggy Adrian Peterson. Give me a Broncos win!
Prediction: Boise State 45, Oklahoma 21
Jordan: The most intriguing college bowl match-up was the one that didn't happen. Michigan should be headed to Glendale and I was already counting the days until USC/LSU. Regardless, I'm interested in the Texas A&M/California match-up in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. Plenty of playmakers in Marshawn Lynch, DeSean Jackson and Steven McGee, but two very underrated and athletic defenses will see this game come down to the final seconds.
Prediction: Cal 27, Texas A&M 26
No. 9 Texas A&M at No. 1 UCLA, (2:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9)
Drew: I like what UCLA has done this season. Coming off an impressive run to the championship game in last year's tournament, Ben Howland and the Bruins scheduled three ranked teams and an improved Michigan Wolverines team among the cupcakes in their non-conference schedule. So far they're 2-0 with wins over Georgia Tech and Kentucky. This is just the second of two tough non-conference games for the Aggies. I look for home court to hold up.
Prediction: Bruins 77, Aggies 66
Jordan: It's funny that they play this early because I picked them both to make it to the Final Four. With all due respect to Florida, Texas A&M has the most balanced starting five in the country. Four of those starters average double figures, led by Joseph Jones and Acie Law. While UCLA's Arron Afflalo could be the best two-guard in the nation, I'm not sold on the Bruins bench. Despite having No. 11 LSU earlier in the week, I think A&M prevails.
Prediction: Texas A&M 69, UCLA 63
Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic (7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 8)
Drew: Pardon me while I listen to Dwight Howard sing: We can win, with or without you! We can win, with or without you ohhh! Fortunately for the rebounding beast that reminds me of a young Ewing (pre-outside shot), Grant Hill is healthy so winning could mean a top seed, not just a playoff berth. Detroit can sing the same thing to Ben "Disgruntled and headbandless in Chicago" Wallace, but without the clock tower in the middle, I see Howard having one of those 8-11 FG and 15 rebound games.
Prediction: Magic 93, Pistons 88
Jordan: The Magic look impressive while Detroit is quite average. The combination of Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson is something to behold. This duo will be better than Shaq and Penny in mid 90s, write that one down. My only concern for Orlando is if they can get consistent supplemental scoring elsewhere. For the Pistons, it still seems like their biggest issue is controlling Rasheed Wallace's ten-year-old temper tandems and lowering his technical count.
Prediction: Orlando 101, Detroit 96
Jordan and Drew will be going Head-to-Head every Thursday. If you have any comments or questions for them, or any topics that you'd like discussed, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.