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Monday, April 22, 2024

Colts will be serious vs. Jaguars

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Peyton wants to play. Reggie wants to play. In a game that has no playoff meaning to the Indianapolis Colts, the starters want to be on the field Thursday night against Jacksonville.

That might not be so good for the Jags.

Indy’s eyes are on the prize awarded in Miami on Feb. 7, but there’s still plenty of pride running through the roster for the regular season. An undefeated record remains on the horizon, even if it’s eclipsed — rightfully so — by the quest to win a second Super Bowl in four seasons.

Just how much the regulars are in action is up to coach Jim Caldwell and his staff. But don’t think Manning, Wayne, Dwight Freeney and the guys wouldn’t like to surpass what the Patriots achieved in 2007 by going 16-0, then sweeping through the playoffs and actually winning the championship.

Although the Colts have no responsibilities toward other NFL teams, if they stay serious in Jacksonville, it helps playoff contenders like Miami, Denver, Baltimore and the New York Jets, who don’t want the Jags getting a gimme.

The Colts are nothing close to a gimme with their true lineup participating, even for less than a full game. The oddsmakers didn’t put a line on the game because of the uncertainty surrounding who will play for Indy.

COLTS, 21-17

Oakland (plus 11 1/2) at Denver

BEST BET: Broncos pretty much can salt away a playoff berth. How sweet would that be against Oakland?

BRONCOS, 30-10

Green Bay (plus 1) at Pittsburgh

Impossible to figure what’s happened to Steelers.

UPSET SPECIAL: PACKERS, 21-20

Dallas (plus 7) at New Orleans

Saints could clinch NFC home-field advantage against the December flops.

SAINTS, 28-22

Cincinnati (plus 6 1/2) at San Diego

Winner clinches division. Chargers have won eight in a row and haven’t lost in December since 2005.

CHARGERS, 24-21

Minnesota (minus 7 1/2) at Carolina

Vikings get the NFC North crown with a win.

VIKINGS, 27-10

Miami (no line) at Tennessee

Titans think they still have a shot at the playoffs. Dolphins know they have a shot.

DOLPHINS, 17-16

New England (minus 7) at Buffalo

With all their troubles, the Patriots still can handle Buffalo.

PATRIOTS, 20-10

San Francisco (plus 8) at Philadelphia

Niners showed their mettle against NFC West leader. Can they do so against NFC East leader? Not quite.

EAGLES, 23-14

Atlanta (no line) at N.Y. Jets

Defenses might have to score in this one.

JETS, 13-10

N.Y. Giants (minus 2 1/2) at Washington

Here’s a team Giants can get stingy against. If not, they can kiss postseason goodbye.

GIANTS, 20-9

Arizona (minus 10 1/2) at Detroit

After Monday night’s embarrassment, Cardinals need a patsy.

CARDINALS, 31-13

Chicago (plus 10) at Baltimore

Ravens still thinking wild card.

RAVENS, 17-10

Tampa Bay (plus 8 1/2) at Seattle

Bucs seem destined to finish 1-15.

SEAHAWKS, 20-3

Houston (no line) at St. Louis

Rams seem destined to finish 1-15, too.

TEXANS, 27-7

Cleveland (plus 2) at Kansas City

Browns showing something on defense, Chiefs can’t protect Matt Cassel.

BROWNS, 12-7

RECORD:

Versus spread, 6-8 (88-105-2 season); Straight up, 12-4 (138-60 season)

Best Bet: 6-8

Upset Special: 9-5

© 2009 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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