The new look Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck head to Solider Field to take on the Bears as 11 point dogs on the NFL odds board in Week 1 NFL. Will Luck find early success or will the Bears defense put the clamps on?
Both teams have new looks
After letting Peyton Manning go, the Colts franchise was totally flipped upside down, granted they still have Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney, but they just lost the best QB to have ever played the game. Andrew Luck is about as gifted as they come and has an incredible IQ as well as football IQ for that matter but he is being thrown to the wolves here.
The Colts have serious issues at offensive line and Chicago is stacked at the DL with pass rushers such as Julius Peppers. It’s going to be very tough for Luck to find any throwing lanes at all with Peppers and Co. in his face every play. Chicago also plays the Tampa 2 defense, which is very hard for a rookie QB to play against. The Bears D does not give you anything over the top as they have their safety’s back and they also don’t give you anything over the middle with line backers everywhere. For Luck to have any success at all he must dink and dunk his way down the field with precision passes, he will not have those big play options that he had at Stanford, so right away we will see just how well this kid adjusts to adversity because he will be certainly be tested over and over again.
The Bears have reloaded on offense bringing in Brandon Marshall at WR to reunite with Jay Cutler. When Cutler and Marshall were together in Denver they were one of the most prolific passing offenses in the league that nobody could stop. Both players had their best seasons of their careers together and now that they are reunited we can expect the same. Chicago also added more fire power to WR position, drafting Alshon Jeffrey out of South Carolina. Jeffrey caught 183 balls for 3,042 yards and 23 TDs in his career for the Gamecocks. Another addition they brought in was bruising RB Michael Bush, to compliment Matt Forte. Bush rushed for 977 yards and 7 TDs in a limited role for Oakland in 2011. Chicago now owns one of the most well rounded explosive offenses in the league to go along with their ferocious defense.
Can the young Colts hang within the 11 point spread?
This is a very tough task for a young team like the Colts; to go into a very hostile environment like Soldier Field and expect them to compete. The Bears are light years ahead of Indy in every aspect of the game. The Colts defense were dreadful in 2011 giving up 28 points a game, 370 passing yards a game and a whopping 143 rushing yards a game. They did not make any moves what so ever to address the defense so we do not see them getting any better. If they think Andrew Luck is going to be able to get into a shoot out with Jay Cutler and the Bears offense they have another thing coming. The Colts offense averaged 15 points per game last year and only 99 rushing yards, so really how much can a rookie QB improve on those stats with no running game to help him? He can’t. The Bears defense will eat him alive, possibly pitch a shutout. Luck will be hard pressed to move the ball down the field at all and if they do it will be all field goals. We predict the Bears to win this game going away 28-6.