Pick Colts to Cover vs. Redskins for Luck-RGIII Showdown

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:39 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 3:39 PM UTC

It's an intriguing matchup between the first two players chosen in the 2012 NFL Draft on Sunday when Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III face off for the first time in their careers. Luck's Colts are 9.5-point home favorites on BetOnline's NFL odds.

RGIII's Days Numbered in D.C.?
Washington gave up three first-round picks and a second-round pick to move up in the '12 draft to take Griffin III, the reigning Heisman winner, at No. 2 overall. It actually looked like a steal for Washington for a while there. Griffin was a sensation immediately in winning that season's Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Griffin completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and just five picks. He also rushed for 815 yards and seven scores. The Redskins won the NFC East for the first time since 1999.

That's where it all went wrong, however. Griffin tore up his knee in the wild-card round loss to Seattle and really hasn't been the same since. He played in only 13 games last season and clearly wasn't the same guy. This season has been an abject disaster as RGIII suffered another serious injury, a dislocated ankle, and missed six games. He still hasn't started and finished a game that the Redskins won. In Sunday's 17-13 home loss to San Francisco, Griffin threw for just 106 yards. His mobility is now a thing of the past.

Redskins coach  Jay Gruden called out Griffin last week and there was talk he was considering benching him. Washington's last two wins were thanks to Colt McCoy. Circle May 3, 2015, on your calendar if a Redskins fan. That is when we should have some clarity if Washington thinks RGIII is the team's future. By that date, the Redskins must determine whether to extend his rookie contract through 2016.  To activate the fifth-year option, Washington must tender Griffin a 2016 salary that equals the 2015 transition tag for quarterbacks. Essentially, it means whether to pay Griffin $18.4 million for that season. If the Redskins decline it, Griffin could become a free agent after making $3.2 million in 2015. It sure doesn't seem as if he and Gruden are on the same page, although owner Dan Snyder supposedly loves Griffin. Perhaps Gruden gets the boot after one season.

Washington (3-8) managed 213 total yards against the Niners. Griffin was sacked five times. His 3.3 yards per dropback average was the third lowest in a start of his career and his average completion  yardage of 3.7 yards downfield was the fourth lowest. RGIII has not started and finished a Redskins victory since Week 9 of last year. The Redskins are 3-17 in his last 20 full games played. About the only bright spot Sunday was a season-high 125 yards rushing and a touchdown on 21 carries for Alfred Morris.

The Redskins played Sunday without excellent left tackle Trent Williams and lost cornerbacks Tracy Porter and E.J. Biggers during the game to injuries. At times, the team used four safeties and a corner in coverage because they were so thin at the position.

The Skins are 4-7 against the spread at sportsbooks and 5-6 'over/under' on NFL odds.


Luck-y to Have Him
The Colts, meanwhile, couldn't be happier about Luck and they wouldn't trade him for any player in the NFL. In fact, if you held a draft tomorrow with every player in the league eligible, I can just about guarantee you that Luck goes first because he's already terrific and still only 25. Luck may become the first NFL player to get a $200 million contract soon.

Indianapolis (7-4) bounced back from a blowout loss to New England with an easy 23-3 win over Jacksonville on Sunday. Luck threw for 253 yards, ending his consecutive 300-yard games streak at eight -- one shy of Drew Brees' NFL record. Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton had the day of his life. His wife gave birth to a girl and Hilton raced to the stadium right after, making it 75 minutes before kickoff. Then Hilton, no doubt on no sleep, had four catches for 122 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown. The Colts really couldn't afford for him to miss the game because they lost versatile running back Ahmad Bradshaw to a season-ending injury the previous week. It was thought the Colts would thus rely more on running back Trent Richardson, but he didn't even start. Seldom-used Daniel Herron did and carried 12 times for 65 yards but did lose a fumble at the Jags' 7. Luck lost two fumbles on the day. The offense was really sloppy, but the defense held Jacksonville to 194 yards. Supposedly Richardson was ill so he probably starts this week.

Josh Cribbs made his Colts debut in the game and had an 82-yard touchdown on a punt return in the third quarter, but it was called back by penalty. Cribbs finished with 64 yards on two kickoff returns and 48 yards on five punt returns.

Injury wise, Colts right guard Hugh Thornton left in the third quarter with a knee injury. Xavier Nixon and A.Q. Shipley filled in. The team played without starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus due to a shoulder injury with Joe Reitz struggling in his place. Linebacker Andy Studebaker injured a hamstring in the first half and did not return.

The Colts, who have a two-game lead in the AFC South, are  8-3 against the spread on NFL odds this season and 8-3 'over/under.' Make the 'over' your NFL pick here.

NFL free picks: Colts and 'over' 51 points at  5Dimes. Indy has covered four of its six games at home. The 'over' has hit in three of Indy's past four overall.

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