The Indianapolis Colts are obviously a significantly weaker team without the services of All-Universe quarterback Peyton Manning. After being pummeled by the Texans in Week 1, the Colts plummeted down power rankings across the media landscape.
Rightfully so, but that Week 1 loss came on the road against a potential playoff team.
Now, the Colts return to Indy for their home opener. And they’ve drawn a team that finds itself dead last in quite a few power rankings. The Cleveland Browns are coming off a dreadful loss at home to the also-terrible Cincinnati Bengals.
Yet the Browns are 2.5-point favorites for Sunday’s Cleveland-Indy matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium.
And I’m a bit flabbergasted.
I mean, I realize that Indy is a bit of a trainwreck without Manning and that they’ll also be missing Gary Brackett and Ernie Sims on defense, but this is a Cleveland team adjusting to a new offense and a new defense on the fly. The Browns converted just four third downs all day against a rebuilding Bengals defense Sunday. Colt McCoy was mediocre at best and the defense was gashed by Cincy’s running game.
But Vegas is smart, and they’re predicting that the Colts fall to the Browns on Sunday. If that happens, Indy might be the worst team in football.
And the Andrew Luck era might not be far off.