Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts
NFL Preseason Pick: Philadelphia +3 -110 odds (August 27th 2016)
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The Indianapolis Colts have one goal in Saturday’s preseason tilt against the Eagles – avoid more injuries! That’s not a recipe for preseason success, especially from a favorite. But all the notes and quotes coming out of Indianapolis this week are focused on Indy’s barrage of injuries; most notably in their secondary.
Indy doesn’t have many healthy bodies in their secondary. Cornerbacks Jalil Brown, D’Joun Smith, Tevin Mitchel, Vontae Davis, Patrick Robinson, and Antonio Cromartie all won’t play. Head coach Chuck Pagano said that his staff would have to get ‘creative’ to fill the holes at defensive back on Saturday, talking about using safeties as cornerbacks. In fact, Indy will be without 13 injured players (including six defensive STARTERS) and potentially 14 – starting offensive tackle Joe Reitz is a big question mark here. And if Reitz doesn’t play, don’t expect Andrew Luck to stay in the game into the third quarter – Chuck Pagano is not going to leave him in there to take vicious hits.
Let Chuck Pagano tell you what you need to know. “It makes it tough, but we’ve got to go. That’s why we challenge every one of these guys that comes through here to prepare like starters because it’s next-man-up. You guys get tired of hearing me say it, but it’s reality. If some of those guys thought I was kidding, thought we were kidding, we were lying about next-man-up, they’re going to get a big dose of reality if they haven’t already because they’re going to trot out there. Somebody’s going to have to play.”
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More Pagano, basically telling us that he doesn’t care if Indy wins or loses: “You’ve got to look through it with the right lens. I’m not worried about numbers, stats, those kinds of things….“Just continue to evaluate these guys and it’s a great opportunity for the young players. We’re going to get to look at a lot of young guys that normally wouldn’t get the amount of reps that they get in the third preseason game.”
Philly is 2-0 SU and ATS here in the preseason, and Doug Pederson is exactly the kind of coach who wants to win these meaningless exhibitions in August. The Eagles have one of the best backup QB’s in the league in Chase Daniel, expected to play the rest of the way after Sam Bradford sits. That gives Philly a legitimate QB edge in the second half of this preseason tilt. Even if the Eagles don’t dominate this game early (and they could, given Indy’s woes), I expect them to be in control late! Take Philadelphia.