Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#417 Cleveland Browns vs.
#418 Indianapolis Colts
Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 4:00pm EDT
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Written by Ricky Dimon

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The Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns will contest their second game of the preseason when they get back on the gridiron for a Saturday afternoon date at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Baker’s boys

Odell Beckham Jr. did not play in Cleveland’s preseason opener against Washington, but Baker Mayfield did. That is more than the Colts can say about their starting quarterback, as Andrew Luck is banged up just a bit (what’s new?) and did not see the field last week. Luck won’t play this week, either; who knows when or if he will play in the preseason. But Mayfield played–albeit sparingly–and played well. He tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins as the Browns went no-huddle and drove 89 yards in just 2:13 to open the game en route to a 30-10 victory over the Redskins.

“That’s what they were supposed to do,” first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens said. “They’re supposed to get completions, big-chunk plays. And I thought we did a good job outside, inside, everywhere. It was a real nice first drive.”

Update (8/14/19): There is a kicking competition going on between Greg Joseph and Austin Seibert. Joseph made a 43-yarder in the preseason game, but missed an extra point. Seibert hit both of his extra points in the game. At Monday’s practice, Joseph was 6-for-6, while Seibert nailed a 52-yarder at the end of practice.

“One of them is going to win the job,” special teams coach Mike Priefer said. “I know we have the right two punters in camp, and one of them is going to win the job. We are hopefully going to win a bunch of games with those guys.”

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Preseason woes

The Colts’ preseason got off to a losing start, as they fell 24-16 at Buffalo last Thursday. Preseason results obviously don’t matter, but it still was not a particularly encouraging performance as head coach Frank Reich’s team continues to prepare for the real thing. Indianapolis got shut out in the first quarter, had only three points at halftime, and was still stuck on three going into the fourth quarter before erupting late with the contest already out of reach.

Wide receiver Penny Hart (hamstring), kicker Adam Vinatieri (knee), quarterback Andrew Luck (calf), wide receiver Parris Campbell (hamstring), running back Jordan Wilkins (foot), cornerback Nate Hairston (injury not disclosed), guard Quenton Nelson (ankle), offensive lineman Le’Raven Clark (injury not disclosed), and defensive end Jabaal Sheard (knee) were held out of practice on Monday. With Nelson out, the Colts utilized Josh Andrews as his replacement at left guard with the first-team offense. Andrews has spent camp as the team’s primary backup center.

Of course, all eyes are on Luck. He is definitely out for the preseason and there is no immediate timetable for his return according to Colts GM Chris Ballard (who also said the calf issue has now become an ankle problem). They hope that a change in his rehab to address the front of the ankle can help him get closer to 100% by the Sept. 8 opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Once we get that under control then we can really move forward,” Ballard said. “All players need reps and he knows that, and he knows he needs to get out there and get his reps. So we’ll play that kind of day-by-day.”

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The Browns want to inspire confidence in their fan-base heading into what is a promising 2019 campaign. They already accomplished that with their offseason spending spree, and success in the preseason would keep that enthusiasm alive. As such, Cleveland could be more motivated than other teams generally are in August. The Browns looked good against Washington last week and should be able to produce something similar this weekend.

Prediction: Cleveland Browns

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Cleveland limited Washington to just 10 points in week one of the preseason. That could be bad news for the Colts, who struggled offensively against Buffalo. The under is 3-1-1 in the Browns’ last five overall. It is also 7-2 in the Colts’ last nine overall, 15-6 in their last 21 at home, and 6-1 in their last seven against the AFC. Additionally, the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between the two teams. Look for this one to stay under the total.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Winners & Whiners Staff, he worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.