NFL betting players figured Indianapolis would roll through the AFC South again this year, largely on the arm of perennial MVP candidate (and four-time winner) Peyton Manning. But the future Hall of Famer has hit one of the toughest patches of his illustrious career with 11 picks in his last three games (four of which were taken back to the house for six points) and unless he can right the ship starting with Thursday’s trip to Tennessee, the Colts may miss the playoffs for the first time since 2001. What are Manning’s problems, and can he fix them? 1) Injuries The Colts have been decimated by injuries to their skill players this year. Anthony Gonzalez was lost for the season after just five receptions, while Dallas Clark joined him on injured reserve in Week 6, and fellow receivers Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon have both spent time on the sidelines. Even the dependable Reggie Wayne has been banged up this year. And it’s not just the receivers: running backs Joseph Addai and Mike Hart have been out for a few weeks, which adds to a running game that was never really all that great to begin with. Other quarterbacks are going through injuries and changes to their offense, but it’s different in Indy, where online football betting players have seen the offense get designed around the strengths of Manning, not the other way around. 2) The Offensive Line Indy’s offensive line has long been one of their strengths, although they’ve been helped out a lot by Manning’s ability to get the ball out quickly, not to mention the Indy offense is predicated on timing. The Colts have given up 13 sacks, which is the second-lowest amount in the league to Peyton’s brother Eli and the New York Giants, but older brother is getting hit a lot more than he’s used to getting it. For example, he was sacked just once in a 36-14 loss to San Diego, but he was hit nine times, and three of those were directly related to picks, of which he threw four in the game. 3) He’s Just Playing Poorly However, those making NFL picks can say that they haven’t seen Manning make bad decisions like this since earlier in his career. Manning needs to learn down the stretch that maybe it’s better if he just tucks it and takes the sack, instead of trying to make something out of nothing. A prime example of this was the 34-31 loss to New England, in which Manning put a ball into an area with two Colts, but three Patriots, and those are bad odds no matter how you look at them. Manning is supremely confident in his arm, but maybe he should rein in his instincts a bit to improve the Colts’ betting odds.