NFL Football: Los Angeles Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Sept. 19, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 1 p.m. ET, Sept. 19, 2021
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Where to watch: FOX

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Rams -3.5; O/U 48.5; Rams -190, Colts +160
BetMGM: Rams -3.5; O/U 48; Rams -189, Colts +160
Caesars: Rams -3.5; O/U 48.5; Rams -190, Colts +160

Season record
Rams: 1-0
Colts: 0-1

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Rams - Colts preview and analysis


Recent form
Rams: won 34-14 vs. Bears in Week 1
Colts: lost 28-16 vs. Seahawks in Week 1

That Matthew Stafford guy might be good at throwing the football.

Stafford, the new quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams, had a stellar debut for his new club with 321 yards and three touchdowns in a 20-point win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football in Week 1.

It was the best-case scenario for the Rams opening SoFI Stadium in front of fans for the first time. Now the Rams hit the road for the first time this season to take on quarterback Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts.

You couldn’t have put together a more perfect debut for Stafford, the longtime Detroit Lions quarterback who was traded for Jared Goff in the offseason. The Rams’ offense outgained Chicago 386-322 and had the ball for just under 11 minutes longer than the Bears.

The Rams’ big-play element showed flashes when Goff was in L.A., leading the Rams to an appearance in the Super Bowl a few years ago. But with Stafford and his big arm, combined with the offensive genius of head coach Sean McVay, it’s an unlocked feature the Rams haven’t had as of yet.

Cooper Kupp led all receivers with a game-high 108 yards and a 56-yard touchdown, and Van Jefferson had two catches for 80 yards; one of them came on Stafford’s second pass of the game for a 67-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Also consider the Bears’ defense, which is normally a stout unit, giving up almost 400 yards to a new and improved Stafford. And also consider that being in a dome, which is what will happen in Indianapolis this weekend against a Colts team that fell flat in Week 1 against the Rams’ biggest rivals in the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks.

The Colts are coming off a 28-16 loss in Wentz’s debut as Indy’s starting quarterback. Wentz, acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia Eagles to replace the retired Philip Rivers, was held to 251 yards and two touchdowns in his debut.

But it’s not Wentz’s fault that the Colts’ offense faltered against the Seahawks. The Colts are already down T.Y. Hilton for the foreseeable future. Running back Jonathan Taylor was the Colts’ leading rusher and receiver. Zach Pascal caught both of Wentz’s touchdown passes, but only had four receptions on the day.

Prediction


The good news is Wentz was mostly clean with no interceptions against the Seahawks. That’s likely not continuing against a tough Rams defense. If Russell Wilson was that good on only 23 pass attempts, imagine what Stafford can do by spreading the ball to Kupp, Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee. Rams win by 13

Betting trends


The Rams are 15-9 as a favorite against the spread, but the over is 5-19 in that stretch.

The Colts are 2-6 ATS and straight up against non-conference opponents the past eight games.

Players to watch


Rams: Recently acquired running back Sony Michel could see some more time this week after only one carry for two yards. While Darrell Henderson had 70 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, it would be beneficial to spread the wealth in the running game.

Colts: Indianapolis should look to exploiting the middle of the field, which would require more targets to tight end Jack Doyle. Doyle had only three catches for 21 yards in Week 1.

Statistical leaders


Rams:
Passing: Matthew Stafford -- 321 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Darrell Henderson Jr. -- 70 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Cooper Kupp -- 108 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Aaron Donald -- 1 sack; Jordan Fuller -- 11 tackles

Colts:
Passing: Carson Wentz -- 251 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Jonathan Taylor -- 56 yards
Receiving: Jonathan Taylor -- 60 yards; Zach Pascal -- 43 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Khari Willis -- 7 tackles, 0.5 sacks

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All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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