KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
TV: CBS, Gus Johnson, Brent Jones
SERIES: 9th game. The Colts lead the series, 6-2, but the Jaguars have won
two of the last three games including a 27-24 victory in Indianapolis last
year. Look for the Colts to score 20 or more points. In the last six games
in the series, they've scored 28, 20, 23, 23, 24 and 24. But in the second
game in 2003, the Jaguars beat them 28-23 and did it again last year by a
Jaguars: Taylor has averaged 4.9 yards on 137 career carries
against the Colts. ... Have 11 INTs in their past four games.
Colts: Are 6-0 at home since losing to the Jaguars last Oct. 24.
PREDICTION: Colts 27-23
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Jaguars unveiled their new offense under coordinator
Carl Smith in the season opener, and it includes a bag of tricks involving
rookie WR Matt Jones. As a threat to run, throw and catch the ball, Jones
provides an extra weapon for QB Byron Leftwich, who completed 52 of 71 (73.2
percent) of his passes against the Colts last season. But Indianapolis'
improved defense includes DT Corey Simon plugging the middle, where RB Fred Taylor will attempt to run to help control the clock and keep the Jaguars'
defense fresh. The Colts' offense showed patience in its season opener, and
won't be afraid to lock horns in a ball control game -- for the first half.
Look for QB Peyton Manning to rely on RB Edgerrin James early, even if he's
stopped early on, in an attempt to open the passing lanes in the second
INSIDE THE CAMPS
The Jaguars don't want to throw Mike Pearson and his tender knee to the
wolves or to Dwight Freeney.
At least not at the start of the game Sunday against Indianapolis.
The Jaguars didn't make an official announcement, but Pearson said
Wednesday he's been benched for the Indianapolis game Sunday in favor of
They rotated last Sunday against Seattle and will rotate again, but
Salaam will get the nod at the start of the game.
Pearson said, "I want to play every snap. I want to start every game.
Ephraim wants to, too. Even though I'm disappointed, I've got to look at the
silver lining that maybe this is not putting as much strain on my legs. I
think I've come back sooner than expected, but you kind of wish you were all
the way back."
Stopping Freeney will be the job of the left tackle, but Pearson said he
thinks the Jaguars will give him and Salaam help with double teams and won't
try to block Freeney one-on-one.
"I think that would be foolish," Pearson said of the idea of trying to
block Freeney with one player. "He's one of a kind."
Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Doss officially returned to the team
earlier this week when he was reactivated and added to the team's 53-man
Doss went through his first full practice Wednesday in nearly a month and
it couldn't have come at a better time for the Colts.
With third-year cornerback Donald Strickland placed on Indianapolis'
injured reserve list due to a nagging hamstring injury, safety Joseph Jefferson not expected to play against Jacksonville Sunday due to a turf toe
injury and safety Bob Sanders listed as questionable because of a
concussion, Doss, a former second-round draft pick from Ohio State, is
expected to get plenty of playing time against the Jaguars.
A groin injury kept Doss on the sidelines for most of training camp and
the preseason. But that appears to have improved to the point that he should
see extended playing time against the Jaguars.
"I'm just glad to be able to get back out there. It's been a while since
I've practiced. But I feel like I'm ready to go," he said, adding that it
wasn't easy watching the Colts' win over the Ravens last week.
"They played great. Watching them out there running around, hitting
people, making things happen. It was fun to watch, but I really missed being
Colts coach Tony Dungy was pleased to see Doss back and healthy.
"Mike was running around pretty well and with Joseph's (Jefferson)
situation, I think we'll need him. We'll see how much he's ready to play.
But he'll probably start and should be in good shape," Dungy said.
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