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NFL Game Preview: Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis Colts (-5)

Can Peyton Manning bounce back this weekBetting Overview:

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts are trying to live up to the preseason NFL predictions that had them playing in Super Bowl XLV at the end of the season. The problem is that the NFL scores have not been cooperating, and neither has the injury bug. The Colts have several important players out injured, and the injury list is starting to take its toll on the Colts’ season. At 6-5, the Colts do not look like the powerhouse that had NFL betting enthusiasts excited before the season began.

The Dallas Cowboys are 2-1 since Jason Garrett took over as head coach. They are playing better offense and much better defense in the past three games than they have played all season long. There seems to be a cohesiveness developing on the Cowboys that was lacking with Wade Philips. Then again, guilt over getting your head coach fired will bring any team together. The Cowboys are still the most talented team in the league that cannot win games, but at least they are figuring things out now.

Offense:
The Cowboys will go another game without starting quarterback Tony Romo. That means a lot of play from running backs Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, and a lot of underneath passes. The good thing about veteran back up quarterback Jon Kitna is that he has enough experience in the league to be able to throw the ball deep once in a while to spread out the opposing defense. But that Cowboys offensive line sometimes finds it difficult to give Kitna the time he needs to throw the ball.

The Colts offense is Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. Wide receiver Pierre Garcon chips in once in a while, but Wayne is doing the bulk of the receiving work. Wide receiver Austin Collie is out, tight end Dallas Clark is out and running back Joseph Addai is out. Pretty much every weapon Peyton Manning would use to reduce the opposing defense to tears is out injured. Peyton Manning is a great quarterback, but he is only human. With no running game to speak of and only two decent receivers to throw to, Manning just cannot put up the fight he needs to win games.

Defense:
Safety Bob Sanders and defensive lineman Dwight Freeney are out. Freeney may play on Sunday, Sanders will not. The Colts defense has done an excellent job of keeping the team in games while the offense tries to get going, but even the defense has been kicked around by injuries. To help a depleted linebacking corps the Colts just signed Nate Triplett to the team. But with linebackers Cody Glenn and Gary Brackett out for this Sunday’s game, the Colts defense looks to be in trouble.

The Cowboys defense is much-improved since Wade Philips left. They are not making as many mistakes and they are taking less penalties. Dallas has a good defense, they were just playing bad football. Now that they have started to turn the corner on their play and reducing mistakes, that could spell bad things for the Colts.

The Bottom Line:
You never want to bet against Peyton Manning but, in all honesty, he has nothing left to work with for this game. A depleted Colts defense is coming up against a confident Dallas offense, and the Colts offense just does not have the weapons it needs to be effective.

Pick: Dallas Cowboys

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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