NFL Insider

NFL INSIDER: Emotional homecoming, major shootout in Indy

2013-10-17T18:30:00Z 2013-10-18T00:35:06Z NFL INSIDER: Emotional homecoming, major shootout in IndyMatt Erickson NFL Insider nwitimes.com
October 17, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

BOSTON | Most weeks, I luck into a couple things, and some weeks, I really know things.

This week, I can pretty much promise you a shootout on Sunday Night Football.

Peyton Manning is returning to Indianapolis, the city that made him, and yes, it's going to be a highly emotional night, and he's going to want to put up yet another big number on the scoreboard.

But the crazy thing is, the Colts have been outstanding against the pass this year – so his yards might not come as easily. But believe me, they'll come.

And on the other side of the field, you can be sure the Colts are going to be passing the ball. Andrew Luck will want to make up for his poor outing on Monday night, especially in front of the man he took over for. And the Broncos have the league's best rushing defense. So the Colts' running attempts will be few and far between.

Working in Indy's favor? The Broncos aren't very good playing the pass, so the Colts could have a lot of success there.

I fully expect Manning to get his, and the Broncos to get theirs. I fully expect them to win and cover – but I think the Colts will make a very solid game out of it.

This week, I like a few mild upsets with the Bears over the Redskins and Cowboys over the Eagles, both on the road. And the Bills and Rams should be able to keep things close against the number.

BEARS (4-2) +1 (50) at Washington (1-4)

MattE's pick: Bears 27, Redskins 24

Tampa Bay (0-5) +7 (43) at Atlanta (1-4)

MattE's pick: Falcons 31, Buccaneers 17

Buffalo (2-4) +8 (42.5) at Miami (3-2)

MattE's pick: Dolphins 27, Bills 20

Cincinnati (4-2) +2.5 (47.5) at Detroit (4-2)

MattE's pick: Lions 34, Bengals 31

Dallas (3-3) +3 (55.5) at Philadelphia (3-3)

MattE's pick: Cowboys 31, Eagles 27

St. Louis (3-3) +6 (42) at Carolina (2-3)

MattE's pick: Panthers 24, Rams 20

New England (5-1) -4 (43.5) at N.Y. Jets (3-3)

MattE's pick: Patriots 28, Jets 23

San Diego (3-3) -7.5 (45.5) at Jacksonville (0-6)

MattE's pick: Chargers 31, Jaguars 21

San Francisco (4-2) -4 (39.5) at Tennessee (3-3)

MattE's pick: 49ers 26, Titans 17

Cleveland (3-3) +10 (46) at Green Bay (3-2)

MattE's pick: Packers 34, Browns 13

Houston (2-4) +6.5 (40) at Kansas City (6-0)

MattE's pick: Chiefs 27, Texans 17

Baltimore (3-3) +1.5 (40.5) at Pittsburgh (1-4)

MattE's pick: Steelers 24, Ravens 20

Denver (6-0) -6.5 (56.6) at COLTS (4-2)

MattE's pick: Broncos 41, Colts 34

Minnesota (1-4) +3 (47) at N.Y. Giants (0-6)

MattE's pick: Giants 27, Vikings 23

Last week: 11-4 straight up, 7-8 against the spread. Season: 58-33 (.637) straight up, 46-41-4 (.529) against the spread

Matt Erickson is an award-winning journalist whose NFL picks have appeared in The Times for 12 seasons. He covers mixed martial arts for The Times and is assistant MMA editor for USA Today and MMAjunkie.com.

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