September 29th. The day that not only the Colts look to go 3-1 against the Raiders, but the day Young Mantis was born. 23 years old. I celebrated my birthday with my hometown friends last night and had a blast. The one benefit of being the hometown Make-A -Wish kid is that everyone knows you and will buy you a drink. But the one flaw of being that hometown hero is pulling girls. I snagged a cute date last night but would then ditch yours truly when the night was still young. I don't know how you guys do it. I've been chasing the coochie for 23 years, but it feels like 50. It's ok (not really) because IT'S GAMEDAY BABY! I'm seeing the Boys In Blue live at Lucas Oil Stadium today too! Here's the scoop:
- We Are Beaten Up.
We have some big names out for the game. T.Y. Hilton, Darius Leonard, Malik Hooker, and Tyquan Lewis. If you remember from last week against the Falcons, T.Y. injured his quad after scoring a TD right before halftime. The Raiders don't look great right now, so I'm assuming they are making sure T.Y. will be good for Kansas City next week. Darius is still in concussion protocol, and Malik has a knee injury that will last a few weeks.
- Colts Offense Without T.Y. The Colts offense should be interesting. Jacoby has been on fire, but you could see how much different they played with T.Y. gone in the 2nd half of the Falcons game last week. With T.Y. out, they should have a gameplan, this will be a great for Parris Campbell, Deon Cain, and Zach Pascal to keep showcasing their talent. Eric Lebron without the L should be a redzone target, Jack Doyle should be another first down target, and Mo-Alie-Cox may make some sneaky plays under Frank Reich's calls. But I expect Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines to carry the stats and scoring. They combined for 222 yards against the Raiders last year and look even better this year. I even expect Jordan Wilkins and Deon Cain to have a great quiet game. Be on the lookout for those 2 players.
- The Defense Should Have A Field Day, But.. The defense is beat up, but it's not the end of the world. Anthony Walker has stepped up BIG TIME for Darius with a career high 14 tackles last week. 4th round pick Khari Willis will be replacing Malik Hooker and playing alongside Clayton Geathers. Jabaal Sheard is returning to the field from undergoing a knee surgery back in August. Our front 4 is great and with Jabaal back, I can see us sacking Carr at least 3 times. This is another opportunity for our man coverage to get better as they have been shaky. Derrick Carr will either look like John Elway or look like Derrick Carr.
It's about to rain here in Indy so we got the roof and window closed just for Vinny's sake. My prediction? I will probably have 5 waters and 2 orders of Chicken Tenders throughout the game to get back into reality. My actual prediction? The Colts are winning, no question. It's my birthday and the Lord's day! Colts 27 Raiders 17. As always, Go Horse.