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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Indianapolis Colts open thread

San Diego Chargers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Today, Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers will take the field for their first game of the NFL season. On the other sideline, we will find the Indianapolis Colts led by former Chargers offensive coordinator (and legendary backup quarterback) Frank Reich. The Chargers enter this game as fairly solid favorites (6.5-points at last check) and even though they will be without their star safety, their only good offensive lineman, and their consistent kicker, that seems fair.

The Colts are, of course, dealing with a much bigger loss. Their superstar quarterback, Andrew Luck, retired prior to the season and they will try to get by with Jacoby Brissett. He is, to be fair, one of the NFL’s best backup quarterbacks, but it remains to be seen if he can lead a team with playoff aspirations for a full season. This afternoon, we’ll get our first look.

Three things to watch for against the Indianapolis Colts
I expect Henry to start this season with a bang. The Colts’ defense is no joke, but there are areas to exploit. Aside from linebacker Darius Leonard, there aren’t notable defenders who will match-up with Henry. Leonard will likely be tasked with limiting Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson in the passing game, leaving Henry to abuse whatever defender is left.

Chargers vs. Colts: game time, TV schedule, online streaming and more
The Los Angeles Chargers will open the season by playing host to the Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts. The Bolts will be without superstar safety Derwin James, but they are otherwise remarkably healthy on the defensive side of the ball, and on offense the only meaningful player they are missing is left tackle Russell Okung. This game will no doubt be tough as almost all NFL contests are, but the Chargers are big favorites for good reason.

Chargers kicker Michael Badgley has been ruled out for week 1
The Los Anglees Chargers will be without their excellent kicker today as they take on the Indianapolis Colts in their home opener. Michael “Money Badger” Badgley has been dealing with a groin injury and yesterday moved from questionable to doubtful, and this morning it was made official that he was now out.

Start ‘em or Sit ‘em: Chargers vs. Colts
Given where you drafted Allen, you are probably expecting to start him every week, and the first game of the season is not going to be the exception. He is a quality, low-end WR1 this Sunday and an easy start. Both Hilton and Williams have lower floors than Allen, but the ceiling is definitely there. You can confidently roll both out with WR2 expectations. The rest of the receivers in this game are dart throws at best and are better left on your bench (or the waiver wire).

NFL Bets: The Degenerate Gambler revives in time for week 1
So there we have it, a scattering of bets for the first unsure steps of a new season. From the Gambler’s picks we can see that he agrees with the vast majority that the Chargers should win the day. However, the current line is at -6.5 for the Bolts, which is hard to lock into this early in the season. The Colts had Super Bowl aspirations just three weeks ago, so this is a team that will not likely roll over and die.

The Chargers will win against the Colts courtesy of Stampede Blue
Here’s the problem. Apart from T.Y. Hilton, none of these guys have proven themselves to be particularly incredible in real game action. Sure, Devin Funchess has had decent production, but when the spotlight was shone on him last season as the WR1 in Carolina, he wilted. Deon Cain and Parris Campbell still haven’t done anything to warrant the hype yet.

Three Reasons the Chargers will Lose to the Colts Sunday Courtesy of Bolts From the Blue
The Chargers have found ways to lose in September for years now. The last time they won a season opener was 2015, and they haven’t had a winning record in September since 2014. Yes, even last season when the Chargers went 12-4, they still lost two of three to open up the season. There is no logical reason why this pattern should continue. The Chargers have turned over both the roster and their coaching staff during that time.