I suspect there were a lot of disappointing days for miners that came west in the 1850’s. But, for the lucky few that found a vein of riches for their tedious work with a pick on rocks, they savored a joyful exhilaration experienced by few others.
While I wouldn’t be so presumptions to know how those miners that struck it rich felt, I do know how I feel when I strike a winning vein on a National Football League team. Each result in alignment to where the next one leads. There is a rhythm to a team when they fall one week after another into perfect motivational spots.
On opening day, our Top Pick was the Indianapolis Colts. The point spread was 6½ most of the week, in the final hour before kickoff it kicked down to the Chargers favored by 6 points. That made a huge difference, because the final score was Los Angeles winning by six in overtime, 30-24.
By our measure the Colts should have won that game, but the fact that they didn’t while clipping the point spread, set them up for a win in second week action when they visited the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans were coming off a surprisingly easy victory over the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium, 43-13. The Colts were playing their second straight on the road, and spent most of the week as a 3½ point underdog. On game day, the line ticked down to 3 points, which didn’t affect the result with the Colts winning straight-up, 19-17.
This week, the Colts play in their third straight home opener. They lost to the Chargers in Los Angeles the opening weekend and played the Titans last Sunday in the first game they played in their stadium. Now, the Colts home opener is for their fans, and according to my charts, the home fans are going to have a lot of fun on Sunday.
The Colts motivation for the season got spiked when Andrew Luck announced his retirement three weeks into the preseason. They played the Chargers tough in their opener, and may have beaten a very good Titans squad last Sunday in Tennessee.
Their talent is good enough to beat this week’s opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, who are looking to win their second game following last Sunday’s squeaker over the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-20. In the opening week, the Falcons got run over in Minnesota by the Vikings, 28-12, in a game not as close as the score.
Sunday night, the Falcons were coming off a loss and getting points at home in a game against an Eagles team that they had double-revenge to beat. The Eagles edged them in a Division Playoff game the year the Eagles won the Super Bowl, and following their Super Bowl win they downed the Falcons in the Thursday night season opener, 18-12, at Lincoln Financial Field.
Now the Falcons get a shot at revenge on their home field with all those spikes for their performance, and they require a late red zone stop to preserve the home triumph.
This week, following that victory, the Falcons go on the road and meet a Colts team perfectly positioned for a big effort.
If the Falcons struggled to win when they had all the motivation on their side, after failing in their opener on the road, and are now back on the road following a win … well that is a real tough spot.
Some of the best picks are when one team is in a good spot and their opponent isn’t.
Qoxhi Picks: Indianapolis Colts (-2) over Atlanta Falcons