Bolt Beat week 3 staff picks: Chargers vs. Colts

Nov 2, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; A Indianapolis Colts helmet lays on the field after the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Indianapolis 29-26 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; A Indianapolis Colts helmet lays on the field after the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Indianapolis 29-26 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

We were nearly all on the San Diego Chargers last week, despite the huge letdown in Kansas City, and our faith (or hope) in the team came through as the Chargers punished the Jacksonville Jaguars in the home opener, winning 38-14. The team was able to get this win despite not having the services of Keenan Allen for the entire game or Danny Woodhead for about three quarters.

Without two of their top offensive weapons, the Chargers were able to answer many of the questions critics had coming into this game.

So what do they do for an encore?

The team now travels to Indianapolis to face an 0-2 Colts team that, despite a bevy of injuries, will throw everything it can at the Chargers in order to get their first win. Whether we’re Colts fans or not, we must recognize that Andrew Luck will be a dangerous opponent in a situation such as that.

Taking all of that into consideration, let’s see who our writers are going with this week. Each writer’s record in picking games this season is in parenthesis next to their name.

Derek Anselmo (1-0): “Chargers ride the momentum into Indy and get a win. I just think they are the better team on both sides of the ball. Chargers take advantage of the lack of protection and get after Andrew Luck.  28-14 Chargers. “

Sean Begler (1-1): “This game is being reported as a shootout between two good quarterbacks. Everyone seems to be forgetting one detail. The Chargers corners are great. If the Jaguars (who have one of the best wide receiver combos) struggle to find yardage in the passing game, then the Colts will have an even more difficult time doing so. The Colts have a decent running back in Frank Gore and reliable tight ends in Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle, but it won’t make up for the lack of production usually created by the wide receivers.  The Chargers on the other hand will be facing a Colts defense that seems to be held together by Elmer’s glue. Philip Rivers won’t have any trouble finding open receivers and Melvin Gordon has it easy this week against a lackluster defensive front. Chargers go 2-1 with a win over the Colts, 31-17.”

Conor Denton (1-1): “This week will tell me a lot about this team. Indy is perhaps the only team in the league with more key injuries than San Diego. As a result, the Chargers should *pause* smell blood in the water and make quick work of the Colts. Rivers will have a big day, mainly because I can’t name a single healthy starter in Indy’s secondary. Gordon will also feast on the 28th best run defense in the league. Bold prediction alert, MGIII gets over 100 yards again, and tallies two touchdowns. Defensively, Jason Verrett will buy T.Y Hilton a one way ticket to #FeevaIsland and Frank Gore will be non-existent with Mebane patrolling the line of scrimmage. Andrew Luck picks up some garbage time stats late in the fourth but the victor has already been decided. San Diego trounces the Colts 38-17 and improves to 2-1 on the young season.”

Louis Gorini (2-0): “The Chargers usually match up well against the Colts. The Chargers are going to try and slow down the game with their new running attack, but this game will ultimately turn into a shoot out. Even though the Colts are at home and desperate, the Chargers still find a way to win this game thanks to Rivers’ Herculean effort where he throws for over 300 yards and two touchdowns. Chargers 31 Colts 23”

More from Bolt Beat

John Burress (1-1): Luck and company will not be easy. With Hilton and Dorsett, they have great speed on the outside and good tight end play with Allen and Doyle. Our defense will really be tested. Fortunately, they may be playing into our strength, our corner play and pass rush have been solid. Their o-line seems to be their weak point and it’s Luck’s escapability that keeps them in games. If we can keep him in the pocket and handle their wideouts, I don’t think their run game will hurt us. Watch for Jatavis Brown and Hunter Henry to have increased roles. Bolts by 7.”

Kevin Valenzuela (0-0): “I feel if the Chargers can continue to play the physical style of play they’ve showed the first two weeks, where they’ve dictated a lot of the time of possession and done a good job defensively by getting some solid pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run, they should be able to win. The Colts don’t have a running game, their offensive line is shaky at best and their defense isn’t feared. I predict Melvin Gordon continues to shine and Philip continues to be efficient and Chargers win 31-21.”

Matt Pagels (2-0): “The Chargers are coming off a huge win against the Jaguars and will now face an 0-2 Colts team. The game is in Indianapolis, but I expect Philip Rivers, who is coming off a four-touchdown performance, to cruise again against an injury-riddled defense.”

Travis Wakeman (2-0): “I expect there to be a lot of offense in this game. I also expect the Colts to be quite competitive despite all of their injuries. The difference in the game will be he Chargers’ offense will be a balanced one with Melvin Gordon having a big day and the Colts’ offense being one-dimensional as Frank Gore will never get it going. My bold prediction is that this is the day Hunter Henry puts his name on the NFL map. Antonio Gates is listed as doubtful. I say Henry finds the end zone not once, but twice.  Chargers 31, Colts 27.”