Rant Sports NFL Experts Pick the Thursday Night Football Game

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Introduction

Intro
Thomas J. Russo-US PRESSWIRE

Welcome back to the Thursday Night Football special of Rant Sports' NFL Pick 'Em. The Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars will do battle tonight, with the Colts looking to stay the course in the AFC Wild Card race and the Jags trying to give their fans anything to cheer about. This game features two young quarterbacks heading in complete opposite directions. Andrew Luck seems to be getting better with each passing week, and Blaine Gabbert keeps giving Jaguar management reasons to draft another quarterback early in next year's draft.

This is the second week of Rant Sports NFL Pick 'Em, and it was a pretty successful week for those experts returning. Ben Grimaldi led the way with a 13-1 record in Week 9, Anthony Blake went 9-5, Gil Alcaraz IV went 10-4, Kase Brammer and Joe Morrone each went 12-2, and finally Craig Ballard and I went 11-3. All-in-all, it was a pretty solid week for our experts.

Without even looking, I imagine all of us will be picking the Colts in this game for obvious reasons, but this slideshow will give you every writer's reasons why. Be sure to check out all the expert picks and comment if you disagree with our selections below.

Anthony Blake

Ben Grimaldi

Gil Alcaraz IV

Kase Brammar

Jeff Shull (myself)

Joe Morrone

Craig Ballard

Jeff is an NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. Like Jeff’s Facebook Page here. Follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Shull

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Gil Alcaraz IV (Vikings Writer) Pick: Colts

Colts
Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

This season is circling the drain for the Jaguars as they search far and wide for some semblance of stability from both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, up in Indy, the Colts are enjoying a hot streak fueled by Andrew Luck and a team that’s playing for their ailing head coach. Unless the Colts get lost on the way to the game, there’s no way the Jaguars come out of this one without another notch in the loss column.

My pick: Colts win 33-7

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Jeff Shull (Giants Writer) Pick: Colts

Colts
Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

The Colts have been on a roll the past month and I don’t see that trend changing. There is something special going on with this team as they get up and play well for head coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano is currently battling leukemia and the team is rallying around each other. There is no way anyone outside of Indianapolis thought they would be 5-3 by the halfway point. Let’s also not forget that the Jacksonville Jaguars are simply awful in every facet of the game. The Colts should run away with this game in what feels like the fifth terrible Thursday Night Football matchup in a row.

Prediction: Colts 27, Jaguars 10

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Kase Brammer (Cardinals Writer) Pick: Colts

Colts
Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Indianapolis Colts have won 4 out of their last 5 games and are looking to continue that streak on Thursday Night Football. QB Andrew Luck passed for a rookie record over the weekend with 433 yards. The Jaguars are struggling hard at this point in the season with one lone victory over the Colts. They won’t get lucky twice. Luck looks like a season veteran a times.

Prediction: The Colts ride their Luck to a 6-3 record. Colts 27, Jaguars 13

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Joe Morrone (Broncos Writer) Pick: Colts

Colts
Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

The surprising Colts head to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. The Colts are one of the best stories of the season and the Jaguars are the Jaguars. It’s been tough for the road teams to win on Thursday nights, but give me the Colts.

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Craig Ballard (Dolphins Writer) Pick: Colts

Colts
Thomas J. Russo-US PRESSWIRE

The Colts are coming off an emotional win over the Dolphins in front of their home crowd and their head coach Chuck Pagano. I would be concerned about a let down this week, but the Jags only 2012 victory came in week 3 as they beat the Colts 22-17. Revenge game for the Colts.

In that game Blaine Gabbart was just 10 for 21, but he hit Cecil Shorts III for an 80-yarder with 45 seconds left to win the game. Revenge game for the Colts.

Amazing to see the progression of Andrew Luck. Not that it is unexpected, but it is always fun to watch a player play to his potential. He was particularly awesome last week vs the Dolphins, but on the road he has had his share of issues. Luck has just 2 TDs and 6 INTs on the road. Indy is just 1-2 on the road. The losses were blowouts at the Chicago Bears and at the New York Jets, and the only win so far was an OT victory at Tennessee.

Also amazing to see that Luck has 2,404 passing yards which is the exact same amount that Peyton Manning has.

Reggie Wayne has been a monster. Already north of 100 targets in 2012. Wayne leads the NFL with 835 receiving yards, and he gets over 100 yards per game. He also has 44 receiving 1st downs. Impressive stuff from Wayne.

Donnie Avery is 2nd on the team in targets, but he has not caught a TD since week 1.

There is nothing here to like on this Jags team. This passing offense gets a measly 170 yards per game (last in the NFL). Their #1 draft pick Justin Blackmon averages 3 catches and 30 receiving yards per game despite being the teams #1 target. Last week Blackmon caught a TD, it is his lone TD so far this season.

The Colts are the #5 seed currently (better conference record than Pittsburgh) so they cannot afford to go 0-2 vs the Jags. Too much at stake for Indy, plus too much talent for Indy vs the lack of talent in Jacksonville. Colts win.

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Anthony Blake (Rams Writer) Pick: Colts

Colts
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

It has quickly become quite apparent that rookie signal caller Andrew Luck is no joke. Despite having a revolving door at running back and a cast of no-name wide receivers outside of veteran Reggie Wayne, Luck has been the steady for the Colts all year long. The only steady presence for Jacksonville has been losing and that will continue.

Colts 28 – Jaguars 13

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Ben Grimaldi (Cowboys Writer) Pick: Colts

Colts
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Thursday night kicks off the NFL week with an AFC South battle between the surprising Colts and the Jaguars. I really feel that even though the Jags aren’t winning games, they are growing as a team and without MJD in the lineup they are forming a new identity with Blaine Gabbert. It doesn’t look good now but it may in the long run. I still like the Colts to win because they are playing very well. I like it to be close, especially coming off of a short week but Indy gets the win.


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