Both the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts had high expectations entering the 2013 NFL season, However, one of them is about to start the year at 1-2.
The clubs are set to face off as part of the slate of late afternoon games. CBS will begin TV coverage at 4:25 p.m. ET. Viewers who don’t get to see the game locally can watch a live stream online with a subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
The 49ers are coming off one of the worst losses from Week 2. They were held without a touchdown, falling 29-3 to the Seattle Seahawks in what could turn out to be a crucial game in the NFC West. Indianapolis wasn’t blown out, but they were upset at home by the Miami Dolphins. The defeat came a week after they almost lost to the Oakland Raiders in Indianapolis.
The matchup will feature two of the best young quarterbacks in football. Colin Kaepernick will try to bounce back from, probably, his worst performance since taking over for Alex Smith last year. Against Seattle, he completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 127 yards and three interceptions. In the opener against the Green Bay Packers, he threw for a career-high 412 yards.
Andrew Luck seems to be improving from an impressive rookie campaign in which he led the Colts to a nine-win turnaround. His 96.7 passer rating is 20 points higher than what he finished with in 2012.
On Sunday, Luck will get a chance to play with Indianapolis’ latest addition. In the middle of the week, the Cleveland Browns shocked the NFL by trading their best playmaker in running back Trent Richardson. The No.3 overall pick from last year will suit up after rushing for 105 yards on 31 attempts through two games. He’s a much needed addition to the Colts offense, which lost No.1 rusher Vick Ballard for the season.
It’s the first time Luck will be facing Jim Harbaugh in his professional career. The 49ers head coach was at Stanford for the first two years of the quarterback’s career.
The Colts and 49ers are both potential playoff teams, but the game features one of the largest point spreads of Week 3. The betting line has the 49ers as 10-point favorites in San Francisco.
Prediction: San Francisco 30, Indianapolis 17