The Manning-less Indianapolis Colts (0-3) head to Raymond James stadium to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) for the final game of week 4.
With Kerry Collins suffering concussion-like symptoms, third-year QB Curtis Painter gets his first NFL start on Monday night as the Colts try to avoid going 0-4 for the first time since 1998. Painter showed some spark at the end of last week’s loss to the Steelers, leading an 80-yard scoring drive, but had several missteps prior. The running game, which is averaging 90 yards per game, will need to find its feet to take some pressure off Painter despite a defense that is going to crowd the front. Expect to see TE Dallas Clark, who has only been thrown to 10 times, getting more involved with the passing game. Defensively the line will have to stiffen against the run, having given up 113 yards per game and DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are going up against a line that has given up 13 sacks and 28 QB hits. If they can keep the pressure up it will help the Colts in field position taking more of the load off Painter.
The Buccaneers come in behind QB Josh Freeman, who like Painter is in his third year. Freeman has completed an impressive 67.9% of his passes but only has two touchdowns to four interceptions and has a QB rating of just 76.1. Second-year RB LeGarrette Blount will bring the power running game against a Colts defense that is giving up over 113 yards per game and is without MLB Gary Brackett. On the defensive end, if the Bucs can have a repeat of last week, where they held the Falcons to just 30 yards rushing, they can put the game in the hands of a QB getting his first start in a stadium where the crowd is getting its first Monday night game in eight years.
FOX Business has evaluated the win/loss and stock-market statistics over the past 20 seasons of Monday night NFL games and come up with a Monday Night Markets (MNM) score for each team, based on their record and the prior week’s market activity. Let’s take a look at what the markets have to say.
The markets were mixed with Dow Industrials closing out the week up 1.32%, now up two of the last three while the S&P 500 was down, closing out the week with a loss of 0.44% and down for the second week in a row. Volatility was driven by concerns on the euro-zone debt crisis with Germany finally approving a stronger emergency fund. While initial jobless claims fell to a 25-week low of 391,000, optimism was offset by a slump in pending home sales and some disappointing earnings and revenue reports.
Over the past 20 years, the Colts have played 17 Monday night games and based on our calculations have a Monday night rank of .800 when the Dow closes the prior week up and .600 when the S&P 500 is down giving them a MNM rank for this week of .700.
During the same 20-year period, the Buccaneers have played 15 Monday night games and have a rank of .625 when the Dow is up and .286 when the S&P 500 is down, giving them an MNM rank this week of .456.
Monday Night Markets picks the Colts on the road over the Buccaneers.
FBN STAFF PICKS - WEEK 4
Sandra Smith (4-0)
Chris Cotter (3-1)
Curtis Painter? Nice hair and all, but... Bucs all the way.
FOX BUSINESS FOOTBALL INDEX