The Foul Polecats of Jacksonville Are Upon Us!

Al Uhrich helps you get ready for the big game against the Jaguars with his observations and analysis, executed with his usual flair and enthusiasm!

It's time to put an end to the celebration of that glorious victory over the winged rodents! Put down your tankards, Colts fans! Push yourselves away from the sumptuous buffet table!! A stench grows more powerful; its presence sounds alarm bells throughout the Colt nation: Arise, Protectors of the Shoe! The foul Polecats of Jacksonville are upon us!!

Yes, Jacksonville. A very solid team, with a powerful defense. A quarterback with a bizarre resemblance to Gary Coleman. And a head coach sporting credentials almost as impressive as his moniker. The name, you ask? His name's Del Rio, and he dances on the sand. And his team is hungry for our divisional crown – "Hungry Like the Wolf", I say!!

They have improved their one weakness on defense with the addition of Reggie Hayward and the return of a healthy Paul Spicer at the defensive end positions, to try and put some pressure on the passer, and gain the upper hand in this divisional struggle. They have solid linebackers, anchored by the irrepressible Mike Peterson. And they have great defensive backs, including "Mean Rashean" Mathis, and "Double D" -- Donovan Darius, a huge hitter with a spiffy handle to rival that of his coach.

And don't underestimate their offense. "Arnold" Leftwich, unlike hyped quarterbacks Kyle Boller and David Carr, IS showing significant signs of improvement. Jimmy Smith IS NOT over the hill. Fred Taylor IS still an elite running back. Reggie Williams may not have shown much yet, but he's still an NFL baby, and rookie wideout Matt Jones already made a mark in week one. And they are both rather…huge.

When the Colts have the ball, I expect the offense to go back to the stretch play more, and a little less between the tackles. John Henderson and Marcus Stroud are the Uruk-Hai of NFL defensive tackles, and it would be pretty smart to run primarily at the perimeters. This would also help neutralize the edge pass rushing, and help the play-action passing game. Don't expect big rushing numbers; I'd expect less than they got on the Ravens. 

Expect a similar passing attack as in week one, with Brandon Stokley and the tight end (hopefully Dwight Clark this time) getting a lot of work in the short/mid ranges early. And Edgerrin James should catch some passes out of the backfield as well to get the offense rolling. 

These teams know each other so well, it really will come down to making plays and execution. In a weekend with some great matchups, this has got to be the game of the week.

KEY MATCHUPS

Cory Simon and the Colts' Front Seven versus Fred Taylor:
It will be crucial for Simon to be a major force versus the run so that speed demons Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis can go Leftwich-hunting first, and running back stuffing second. Stopping Taylor without sacrificing pressure on the quarterback will be vital, as Leftwich was able to go deep on several occasions versus Seattle while Fast Freddie pounded the ground game and kept the Seattle defenders honest.

Marlin Jackson/Nick Harper/ Jason David versus Jimmy Smith: 
Taking absolutely NOTHING from Nick Harper and Jason David, I'll be surprised if Jackson isn't the main man matched up fairly often against the ageless wonder this week. The big question will be whether Marlin's practice battles with Marvin and the boys will have him ready for this matchup?


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