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Colts to Win +245
The 5-5 Indianapolis Colts have won two in a row but still sit three games out of first in the AFC South and now head coach Frank Reich must figure out how to stop Josh Allen’s Bills, and he will use his accurate quarterback Carson Wentz who has only thrown three picks all season and balance that passing attack with a solid run game from second-year RB Jonathan Taylor.
This Week 11 matchup with the surging Colts will be a proper test for the 6-3 Buffalo Bills whose success has been partially attributed by some to a relatively weak 2021 schedule, but quarterback Josh Allen is coming off a big win over the Jets where he completed 75 percent of his passes for two TDs and a pick so expect him to bring that A-game back to Orchard Park.
These two AFC franchises have played each other 71 other times (including 1 postseason game), with the Buffalo Bills winning 38 of those games and the Indianapolis Colts winning 32 of the games, plus there has been 1 tie.
Last week, Indy’s quarterback Carson Wentz showed why having a veteran under center benefits the entire team by spreading the ball to multiple receivers in the team’s Week 10 win over the Jaguars, completing at least one pass to nine different players.
Tough to defend a passing attack that is so widespread, and especially when the veteran quarterback completes almost 64 percent of his passes the way Wentz has this season, still with just three interceptions all year.
Wentz’s main targets are T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., and rookie receiver Mike Strachan, but he also has plenty of tight ends and running backs with soft hands who he can hit for the easy check down, a short-range attack that should be tough for the Bills defense to neutralize.
The Colts have the NFL’s sixth-most productive run game, and it will be Buffalo’s job to figure out how to stop that, and one of the major points of focus should be running back Jonathan Taylor who co-leads the league in rushing yards (937) while averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
The Bills have plenty of effective tacklers including linebackers Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds, so it will be up to them to take down Taylor with the first hit instead of letting him breakaway, the second-year back already with the longest run in the NFL this season (83 yds.).
Right now Buffalo has the top-ranked defense after allowing opponents to gain just 274 total yards of offense each game, and they keep the team that they are playing to just 15 points on the scoreboard, a recipe for dominating all four quarters of the game.
One of the reasons the 5-5 Colts are beginning to find wins is because their run game is starting to heat up, and that’s due to the play of second-year back Jonathan Taylor who last week averaged 5.5 yards per carry on 21 rushes for 116 yards and a TD in a win over the Jags.
Taylor is a 5’ 10” 226 pound Wisconsin alum who was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft (41st overall) and since then he has been a major contributor to the Colts offense by both carrying and catching the ball out of the backfield.
Last year in his rookie season, Taylor posted 1,460+ yards from scrimmage and right now he leads the league in that same category with 1,240 after just ten games, so watch for him to be a big factor against this Buffalo run defense ranked third best in the league.
Slot receiver Cole Beasley is now in his tenth NFL season, his third with Buffalo after spending his first seven pro seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, and this SMU alum is now a solid target for quarterback Josh Allen as the two continue to develop their connection.
This season, Beasley, the 5’ 8” 174 pound route runner, has been targeted 69 times and he has caught 53 of those passes for 461 yards and 1 touchdown, a dependable set of hands with the quickness to elude tackles and gain yards after the catch.
Beasley shares the receivers’ room with some other talented players including Emmanuel Sanders and Stefon Diggs as well as tight end Dawson Knox, so he must take advantage of every target he receives, something to watch for during this AFC battle.
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|Colts vs Bills Information|
|Teams||Indianapolis Colts vs Buffalo Bills|
|Location||Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY|
|Time||Sunday, November 21, 2021; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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