Found October 03, 2011 on Midwest Sports Fans:

The 0-3 Indianapolis Colts will face the 2-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers for your Week 4 Monday Night Football entertainment. The Buccaneers beat the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3, while the Colts struggle to pull themselves together and make something happen without Peyton Manning.

Of note: Tampa Bay will be hosting their first Monday night game in eight years.

Here’s a preview to the game.

The Colts

curtis-painter-peyton-manning-indianapolis-colts-tampa-bay-buccaneers-monday-night-football-preview-prediction-point-spread-pickColts fans are missing Peyton Manning like I miss cheese (which is often and a lot). Forget Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter will make his first career start in the NFL on Monday night. Painter hasn’t shown much success in his three years with the Colts. His infamous turnovers and inability to drive the offense have left fans less than thrilled.

However, receiver Reggie Wayne backs Painter and was a little discouraged when the Colts brought in Collins earlier in the season. There is no better time for Painter to prove the skeptics wrong and play like he has nothing to lose (Because, quite frankly, he has nothing to lose).

Quarterback woes are not the only issues the Colts are experiencing this season, as they were rocked by some season-ending injuries on the defensive side of the ball as well. Safety Melvin Bullit and middle linebacker Gary Brackett were put on the injured reserved list for shoulder injuries. Luckily the Colts had linebacker Pat Angerer to step up to the plate. Angerer had 20 tackles at middle linebacker last week, putting him ahead of  any other NFL player in that position.

With the Colt’s motto of “the next guy has the opportunity to step up”, that would leave David Caldwell and rookie Joe Lefeged to fill in for Bullit.

All-in-all, the Colts are struggling to find a sweet spot to pull the team together. The offense is without a strong leader to make plays and challenge their defensive opponents. Watching the team, they seem out of sync…and who can blame them? They are trying to play without their key/power player they’ve had for the past several seasons. Injuries in the starters definitely doesn’t help their case in any way, shape or form.

The Buccaneers

After beating the Falcons in week 3, the Buccaneers have their confidence up and are ready to take on the less than impressive 0-3 Colts.

This Tampa Bay team is one that we haven’t seen for awhile. The Buccaneers have quarterback Josh Freeman to lead the offense and he has been doing just that through week 3. Since losing in Week 1 to the born-again Detriot Lions, the Bucs have shown that they mean business. While Freeman doesn’t put up number like Tom Brady or Drew Brees, he has a solid completion percentage of 67.9 and can make the plays that count.

Look out for LeGarrette Blount, running back, is on the rise with 167 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. Expect him to be a big tool in Monday’s game. While Preston Parker, Earnest Graham, and Kellen Winslow are solid players but the Buccaneers are still missing some explosiveness in their game. Perhaps second year man Mike Williams, who has been a disappointment so far this year after his breakout rookie season, can bring some of the explosiveness back to the Bucs’ offense.

Colts-Buccaneers Prediction

While the Buccaneers still have improvements to make on their team, the Colts are not going to take them down. The Bucs are going to come out looking good, while the Colts will continue to struggle on both sides of the ball.

Freeman will outshine Painter, unless Painter decides to shock the world and play his heart out. Doubt it.

Tampa Bay 27 | Indianapolis 10

  • Colts-Bucs Spread Pick: Bucs -10
  • Colts-Bucs Over Under Pick: Under

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Game Info

  • Colts-Buccaneers Date, Time, and TV: Monday, October 3rd at 8:30 ET on ESPN
  • Colts-Buccaneers Announcers: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, and Ron Jaworski
  • Colts-Buccaneers Point Spread: Buccaneers -10
  • Colts-Buccaneers Over-Under Odds: 41
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