Believe it or not, the Indianapolis Colts can still make the playoffs. That might be enough motivation to make the Colts a solid NFL pick versus the Tennessee Titans.
Jason's 2015 record as of Dec. 29: 51-51-3 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 25-32-1 Total
They've written so many songs for Christmas – how about a tune for Week 17 of the NFL regular season? Maybe a blues number for all those teams who've already been eliminated from the playoff chase. Or perhaps something edgier for teams like the Indianapolis Colts, who need a win and a whole lot of outside help to survive. Jeeves, see if you can get Radiohead on the phone. Maybe they've got an unused James Bond theme lying around somewhere.
This is indeed a very difficult week for the Colts (7-8 SU and ATS). They close out the regular season this Sunday at home against the Tennessee Titans (3-12 SU, 4-10-1 ATS), which isn't too daunting in and of itself. But who will play quarterback for Indianapolis? And will the Colts fold up their tents if they look up at the scoreboard and see the Houston Texans winning their season finale?
Bizarre Quarterback Rectangle
We're not sure about the answer to the first question. At press time, both Andrew Luck (kidney) and Matt Hasselbeck (shoulder) are listed as doubtful, and Charlie Whitehurst was put on injured reserve Monday with a strained hamstring. That leaves Stephen Morris as the only healthy quarterback on Indy's roster. It also leaves this game circled on our NFL odds board. The Colts did open as 6-point favorites in Las Vegas, so we'll use that as our baseline for now.
Who is Stephen Morris? He's the drummer from New Order – oh, that Stephen Morris. You might remember him as the starting quarterback of the Miami Hurricanes in 2012 and 2013. Morris went undrafted the following year and spent some time on the practice squads of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles. Indianapolis plucked Morris off the waiver wire on Christmas Eve. Unless the Colts sign a free agent off the street – Josh Freeman's name has been thrown about – Morris is almost certainly going to start on Sunday.
A Little Help Here
As for the second question, the Colts need Houston to lose its season finale at home against the Jaguars; the NFL has wisely scheduled both games for 1:00 p.m. Eastern to cut down on the possible shenanigans. But that's not all the help the Colts need. Because of the tiebreakers, there are seven other games that have to turn out just right for Indianapolis to win the AFC South. Two of them are late-afternoon affairs.
This all adds up to a very lousy situation for the Colts. The Titans haven't covered since Week 9, so we're not to keen on putting them in our NFL picks, and we still don't have an opening total, not even on the Strip. So let's pump the brakes for now – I'll provide our pick later on as an addendum to our Week 17 BeeVee Awards. Who knows, maybe the Titans will be our Best Value this week.