Monday Night Football features the San Diego Chargers playing host to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6. Oddsmakers have set the Colts as 1-point road favorites.
In order to get an inside look into this matchup, we’ve enlisted the help of those who know these teams the best. Expert NFL bloggers Kyle Rodriguez of Indianapolis blog “The Colts Authority” and John Gennaro from San Diego blog “Bolts From the Blue” strap on the pads and debate which team will not only win, but cover the spread Monday night.
WHY INDIANAPOLIS WILL COVER
Kyle Rodriguez is a senior writer and assistant editor at The Colts Authority. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @ColtsAuthority.
Andrew Luck, Andrew Luck, Andrew Luck
Philip Rivers is having his best season since 2009, and is a top-three quarterback in the AFC right now. But Andrew Luck is right with him battling for the title of "Best Quarterback not named Peyton F. Manning." There's a paper-thin margin between the two across just about every advanced statistic, although Rivers does have a slight edge in most. But Luck has two game-winning drives and signature wins over Seattle and San Francisco, and the Colts are a legitimate contender at 4-1. Rivers' started strong, but three interceptions in the Chargers' latest loss to Oakland leaves a sour taste.
While Rivers has played phenomenally, the Chargers' defense has completely dropped the ball, and is a contender for the worst defense in the league this season. The team has been particularly bad at stopping the pass, and Luck, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton should be able to attack weak areas of the field with ease. The Colts defense has been significantly better, especially when they absolutely have to be. They've only allowed seven fourth-quarter points all year, the lowest amount in the league, and are currently fifth in third down conversion percentage.
Robert Mathis currently leads the league in sacks with 9.5, and will match up with either Michael Harris or King Dunlap Monday night (likely Dunlap). Both players are better run blockers than they are pass protectors, and Mathis could find himself with more than a few chances to bring down Rivers. With just eight sacks this season, Rivers has done a good job of staying out of trouble, but Mathis is having the best start to a season that he's ever had.
WHY SAN DIEGO WILL COVER
John Gennaro is the editor-in-chief at Bolts From the Blue. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @BFTB_Chargers.
The San Diego Chargers have followed every loss with a win this season, and have upset the Eagles and the Cowboys in doing so. It would only make sense that they would follow up their disappointing loss to the Raiders with an upset over the Colts.
The Colts defense is good, but not dominant. The way the Chargers have won games this season has been with Rivers. He puts up points early, and puts together long drives in the second half to keep the opposing offense off of the field and out of rhythm. There's no reason why he couldn't do the same against the Colts on Monday night.
It's the Chargers!
The Chargers tend to win when they're expected to lose, and they tend to lose when they're expected to win. They're expected to lose this game, which means they stand a good chance of winning.
Also, and I know this doesn't make any sense, the Chargers have a freakishly good history against the Colts. I know Peyton Manning isn't there anymore and the team is almost entirely different from what they were the last time they faced San Diego, but these meaningless "historical records against each other" stats have a weird tendency of being accurate when predicting what will happen in Chargers games.
Join the debate. Who covers the spread Monday night: Colts or Chargers?