Game 1-of the NFL season is upon us, and now we find out how the Bolts and the Colts will do without some of their key stars.
There is no Melvin Gordon in that Chargers lineup, and that means less of a running game to support QB-Philip Rivers.
There is no Derwin James, the catalyst of the defense, playing out of the secondary, making plays all over the field.
There is no LT-Russell Okung, the personal pass protector of Rivers, who has put together two very solid seasons blocking on his blind side.
There is an untested young LT-in Trent Scott, who will face a fierce pass rush.
For the Colts, they are missing one player, ‘the’ player, that made the Colts a dangerous team.
There is no Andrew Luck, forced into retirement by 8-major injuries suffered over a 4-year span.
He was brilliant, his was dangerous, he was tough, he was a leader. He was everything to Indianapolis that Rivers is to the Chargers.
The Colts have grown as a team, as witnessed by how well they played around Luck.
Now they will have to show they can do that with Jacoby Brissett, who had 1-full season as a starter for Indy in 2017, when Luck was out with shoulder surgery.
Yes, the Bolts have a running back by committee group, and do have Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry, and Mike Williams to catch the ball.
But the Colts have equals, in running back Marlon Mack (905R), two good tight ends in Jack Doyle (200R)…Eric Ebron (66R)….big play receiver TY Hilton (76R-16.7YPC) and newcomer Devin Funchess (44R) the ex-Carolina Panther.. They can spread the ball around.
Bot teams have pass rushers, Joey Bosa back for a 3rd year with the Chargers. The ex Chief Justin Houston (75) career sacks joins big play LB-Darius Leonard in the Indy defense.
The kicking game comes down to the old warrior Adam Vinatieri vs the young second year kicker Michael Badgley.
The wildcard in all this is Brissett and how he handles the pressure and the blitz that the Bols will send.
Of course, there will be lots of pressure on the Chargers defense, because Brissett has tons of options to throw to.
And the one stat no one pays attention to, the Colts offensive front, led by Quentin Nelson, a group that allowed only 18-quarterback sacks last season. If they protect Brissett then the Chargers will have their hands full.
Rivers can get lots done, but this is an Indy defense that gave up just (336YPG) last year, so moving the ball, without Melvin Gordon as part of the game plan, may be a challenge.
It will be interesting to see whether this turns out be to be a Chargers home game, or a stadium awash with Colts fans wearing their blue and white colors.
Who wins? Both could.
But the Chargers, are a different team now, without Mevlin Gordon, and without Tyrell Williams making big plays, and surely without Derwin James their playmaker on defense.
I just don’t see the Bolts as being the same team they were last year. Surely the Colts don’t have Luck, but they didn’t have him before and did okay.aren’t, Indy seems to have more weapons to go to. The Chargers have their starters, but nothing proven after that.
Pick’em Pal. I say Colts over the Bolts in a mild upset. Truly a Litmus Test for both teams considering who they won’t have playing on Sunday.