Surprisingly, for the second week in November, the weather at the seven outdoor venues for National Football League play today is mild without any conditions that would dramatically affect play.
Covid-19 can be a different story.
The NFL owners have had meetings to determine what they will do if all the teams don’t get in their 16 games during the 17 week regular season. Expanded playoff formats and standings being determined by percentage of wins have been tossed around like a football at practice. Nothing has been resolved, but this thread the needle season with the threat of the virus interrupting play is a reality.
As for today, both the Miami Dolphins had concerns with an assistant coach testing positive, they will play today in Arizona, and the Detroit Lions are in observation after multiple player personnel tested positive. The Lions are expected to play today in Minnesota.
We hold our breath for the games to go on as scheduled.
In Indianapolis today, the Colts also have two players sidelined with the virus while they will host the Baltimore Ravens. John Harbaugh’s Ravens had the best record in football last season and are coming off a home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that they gave away on turnovers.
Few things are more debilitating in preparation for an upcoming game than thinking you played well enough last week while you lost. The Ravens practiced under that cloud this week, and the homesteading Indianapolis squad is taking nothing for granted even though they did win last week as a road favorite. They beat the Lions in Detroit, 41-21.
No quarterback has had a better career during the past 55 years without an appearance in a Super Bowl than Philip Rivers. After 16 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, he joined the Colts this season. In their opening game, Indianapolis lost their number one running back when Marlon Mack suffered a season ending injury. Last week, top receiver T.Y. Hilton injured his groin and is week to week.
What does this mean for today’s game at Lucas Oil Stadium?
It means the Colts, who rely more on their defense than their offense despite Rivers, know they are going to have to put in a special performance today to survive against the talented Ravens. While the Ravens are pretty sure what they did last week will be enough to win this week.
We don’t think they are right.
The Indianapolis Colts are one of our rated plays posted now on this site. If a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the day’s first kickoff, that contest will be added to our list of recommendations by 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time.
As for the public, their three favorite plays today begin with the Seattle Seahawks (-3) over the Buffalo Bills, followed by the Baltimore Ravens (-1) over the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans (-6½) over the Jaguars in Jacksonville.