Well-Rested: Why the Layoff Won't Affect the Colts

Logan DaltonCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2010

BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 22:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts passes during warmups before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Colts defeated the Ravens 17-15. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens are pretty hot right now.

Using an unstoppable run game behind their two young hogs Mike Oher and Jared Gaither, they whomped the Patriots 33-14. Joe Flacco is a cool and collected game manager who doesn't turn the ball over. The Ravens D forces turnovers and has great leadership in Ray Lewis and Trevor Pryce. Is this too much for Indy?

Even though in Week 11 Manning threw three picks and barely won a sloppy game against the Ravens, the Colts have improved. Their up and coming wideouts Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie should challenge Baltimore's inexperienced corners. They also will take attention away from Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. And this time Peyton has time to study.

Peyton Manning is a sponge. He had such a quick recall at the University of Tennessee that a GA nicknamed him R2D2. With a week to prepare, Peyton is unstoppable. The extra film study and practice reps will give him an extra edge to stop Baltimore's tricky blitzes and Ed Reed's disguised coverages.

The Indianapolis Colts' Web site says "[They] had perhaps their best week of practices of the season, an intense three-day week in which starters often worked against starters." Instead of lounging in Cabo watching soaps, Indy got back to work and had hard-hitting practices.

Dwight Freeney vs. Peyton Manning in January. That's what I call football.

Because of their playoff experience, an extra week of practice, and the ability of Peyton
Manning to dissect opposing D's like a mad scientist, the Colts will win on Saturday.

The two-headed attack of Ray Rice and McGahee will keep Baltimore in the game early, but the speed rush of a healthy Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis will ice young Flacco in the second half and give Peyton Manning and the gang more chances to put points on the board.

A week off never hurt anyone.