When Andrew Luck was drafted first overall by the 2-14 Indianapolis Colts, the public skepticism was running high.
Luck was chosen to be the instant savior of one of the least formidable teams of the new millennium. Names like JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, David Carr, and Vince Young immediately came to mind.
But flash to November 8th, 2012 – the Colts have become the surprise of the league, boasting a 5-3 record with wins over the Green Bay Packers (6-3) and Minnesota Vikings (5-4). Luck is being touted as one of the best young players in the league: if he can turn the last-place Colts into a playoff contender, he must be the messiah himself.
Luck’s week 10 opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, missed out on a Colts-style fairytale. As a perpetually lackluster team themselves, the Jags needed a franchise quarterback, and so they traded up to draft Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall pick two Aprils ago. After a season and a half, Gabbert has been underwhelming, to say the least. The Jags sport a 1-7 record and the worst offense in football.
Tonight, the two storylines collide. Lucks vs. Gabbert; playoffs vs. first overall pick; Disney family film vs. Plan 9 from Outer Space. Yes – the Jags are as bad as Plan 9. And if you don’t know Plan 9, think The Room. That’s the feeling the Jags give off every Sunday.
Except that today’s a Thursday and things will be different.
The Jags defense won’t let the Colts run the score any higher than 24. Luck’s skill notwithstanding, the Indianapolis offense doesn’t have the overall talent to put up more than 3 TDs (and that itself would be surprising) against a half-decent Jacksonville defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Jaguars will finally get some offensive production. According to the stats, the Colts rank as the worst defense in football. The run-pass balanced attack of the Jaguars may not be flashy, but it sure can hold its own against bad defenses (22 points against Indy in Week 3, 23 points against Oakland in Week 7). I like the Jaguars to put up 24 points tonight.
So, I’m taking Plan 9 from Outer Space to outsell Cinderella in the box office; The Room to outsell the Lion King. It sounds ridiculous.
But have you not seen all the NYU kids that pack the periodical midnight showings of The Room? I’d bet the Lion King doesn’t have that kind of following.
Bold prediction: Jaguars outlast Colts 17-13.
DynamicPicks Computer Prediction:
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Projected win: Jacksonville, 52.4%
Projected ATS win: Jacksonville +3.5, 59.6%
JAX +3.5 has a lot of value; no reason not to take it.