Atlanta Falcons vs. Indianapolis Colts: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Tom LoughreyAnalyst IIINovember 4, 2011

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass during the fourth quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  The Falcons defeated the Lions 23-16.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

The winless Indianapolis Colts (0-8) need to change the course of their season, but can they do it against last year’s NFC regular-season champ—the Atlanta Falcons (4-3).

Both teams have underachieved this season, but the Falcons have started to turn the corner toward success.

The question is: Which team will score a win in Sunday’s game?

Let’s analyze the matchup.


Where: Indianapolis, IN

When: Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET

Watch: FOX and DIRECTV: 710


Spread: Atlanta -7 @ Indianapolis, according to

With no wins thus far this season, it’s a bit of a surprise not to see a double-digit line. The Falcons are coming off a win over the Detroit Lions, who have risen to NFL prominence. The Colts are just two weeks removed for a 55-point loss to the Saints.

The line is probably low because the Falcons are in the red in terms of point differential on the season. However, they’ll score enough to cover against the Colts.


Over/Under: 44.5, according to

The Falcons will get into the 30’s by themselves, but will the Colts be able to chip in two touchdowns?

The Falcons defense has been allowing over 23 points per game, and the lowest they’ve held a team is 16 points. The Colts offense is just abysmal, only averaging 15.1 points per outing.

I’d take under, but only because the Falcons won’t need to score much late. They’ll already have a big lead.


Key Indianapolis Injuries

Peyton Manning (neck): Out

Joseph Addai (hamstring): Probable

Dallas Clark (knee): Probable

Key Atlanta Injuries

Julio Jones (hamstring): Probable

Tony Gonzalez (back): Questionable


Fantasy Big Plays

Start Michael Turner

The strong, gritty Falcons running back will get a lot of touches on Sunday. He should have no problem carving up the second-worst run defense in the NFL.

Expect at least 100 yards and a touchdown.

Start Reggie Wayne

If you’ve been waiting for the Colts receiver to do something huge, your prayers may never be answered. However, with Dallas Clark limited and a weak Atlanta pass defense, Wayne will see more targets.

He should finish with around 70 or 80 yards in this game if he runs precise routes.

Sit Julio Jones

His injury concerns coming into the game aren’t worth the risky start. The Falcons will run the ball early and often, limiting Jones’ targets.

Jones' hamstring injury limits his ability to do things like this.


Keys to a Colts Win

The Colts cannot let Michael Turner beat them. They have to stuff the box and trust their corners in single coverage. If Turner gets to the secondary, it’s going to be tough to bring him down.

On offense, the Colts have to want it. There’s no other explanation. Sharp routes, hard cuts, precise throws all have to be done regularly. Maybe the Colts should throw in a few trick plays, but they have to execute whatever they do to near perfection.


Keys to a Falcons Win

The Falcons need to use Michael Turner excessively. If he’s stopped, they should try spreading the field with their dynamic wide receivers. Matt Ryan can take some shots down the field to test the Colts corners.

On defense, the Falcons can jump some routes and take chances. If they trust their offense to score points, might as well try to put away the game early by shell-shocking Curtis Painter.



Falcons 31, Colts 10


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