With expectations high and the results mixed, both the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts are entering their second preseason game (Sunday, 7pm ET) with a lot of unanswered questions and a lot left to prove.
Indianapolis Shows Defense is Very Much a Work in Progress
The Colts appeared a bit disheveled and very out of sorts during their first preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, which they lost by a score of 44-20. At first glance the team appeared strong, quickly scoring 10 first half points while allowing just three to the Bills.
But Buffalo quickly dismantled the defense, specifically the run defense to the tune of 20 total first half points, 17 of which came in the second quarter.
Bills runningback CJ Spiller gashed the defense for an average of nine yards a carry while quarterback EJ Manuel also showed off his legs to the tune of 9.3 yards a carry. Both runners seemed to have no issue finding holes and splitting the gaps of the Colts and their first line of defense. And quite frankly, this is a very bad sign for the Colts.
Not only are they in a division that features a premier back on each team in Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans, Arian Foster of the Houston Texans and Maurice Jones Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the entire regular season schedule for Indianapolis features a lot of top tier running talent.
And this will continue against the Giants. Because while David Wilson and Andre Brown are not the best runningbacks in the league, they present themselves as a formidable tandem that could very well cause the Colts some trouble.
Expect to see the Colts’ frontline take a good deal of snaps on Sunday, so it will be key to watch those New York runningbacks. If they get off to a good start, then it could be a long day for the struggling Colts’ core.
Despite First Week Win, Tom Coughlin Pinpoints Issues with Consistency
There was a reason the Giants managed to finish just 9-7 last year and it was consistency. Week in and week out there was never a clear picture of which New York team would take the field. And because of that players like quarterback Eli Manning have garnered somewhat of an unreliable reputation.
Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, head coach Tom Coughlin has once again noticed that inconsistency could doom this team in 2013. Last season it was this inconsistency that led to the Giants sitting at or near the middle of the NFL in rankings for passing yards, rushing yards and total yards.
Of course, the caveat of, “this is just preseason” has to be mentioned. A good portion of the Giants’ top players especially on defense, missed the week one win. And despite the big play offense that showed up, it was only there at portions of the game.
Against the Colts, the Giants will be getting some of these starters back but it remains to be seen which team will come to the field. Obviously it only being the second week of preseason, there are still things that the team needs to work on as can be expected. But with consistency a carry-over problems from last year, you can expect to see this as something that Coughlin and his coaches will be looking for against the Colts.
Look for the Colts Starters to Play Up to One Half of the Game
Head coach Chuck Pagano is looking for an improvement on last week’s beatdown by the hands of Bills and hopes to do so by playing his starters just a bit longer than one typically would in a second preseason game.
From offense to special teams, the Colts struggled in all areas of the ball and because of that Pagano wants to give his starters a chance for redemption and a chance to fix some of the more obvious mistakes made last week.
Luckily enough for Indianapolis, the Colts really don’t have too many positional battles going on right now which makes it easier for Pagano to get more series out of his starters. And from a betting standpoint, this does look to favor the Colts.
Indianapois is bound to get a false sense of security however because their first teamers will likely only see one, maybe two series from the Giants top squad. So even if the Colts do go on to score a few first half touchdowns, the meaning for the progress for the regular season might not be all that telling.
However from a betting perspective, having this in mind will be important to note when making a decision of who to pick.
Colts v Giants Betting Picks Verdict
It is hard to overlook all of the struggles had by Indianapolis in their first preseason game. And yes, it is only preseason but at the same time, we are learning a lot about this team and most importantly a lot about their weaknesses. Unfortunately, it seems these weaknesses are things that the Giants are prepared and ready to exploit. That is of course, permitting that they can take care of their own level of consistency.
- Ultimately however the Giants have to be favorites entering this game and it shows in the sportsbooks. The books opened with the Giants as four point favorites but they have since moved to just 1.5 point favorites. It is the safe bet to take the Giants -1.5pts at -110 with Bovada.
- And while the preseason games have been relatively low scoring so far this year, it is hard to bet against the over at 40.5 considering just how badly the Colts’ defense was in week one. I wouldn’t say to expect a blow-out but with the talent level of the Giants offense and the holes of the Colts they can exploit, it is easy to take the over 40.5pts on this one at -110 with BetOnline or Bovada.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.