Sunday, September 21st, 1:00 P.M.
Kickoff Temperature: 81 degrees, 0% chance of precipitation
Line: Colts by 7
In a matchup of winless teams, something has to give. Despite a brutal opening schedule with a road game at Denver and then home to face the NFC East champs, Indianapolis expected to at least have one victory. If the Colts have aspirations of winning their second consecutive AFC South crown, this will be a must win game for them, as Chuck Pagano’s team runs the risk of falling three games behind the Houston Texans.
Keys To A Jaguars Victory
Play some keep away. We’ve been saying it all year, and all year it hasn’t happened. The Jaguars can’t get into shootouts, they’re simply not equipped to do that at this time. They need to be able to run the ball effectively and keep drives alive while the great Andrew Luck watches from the sideline.
Convert on 3rd down. The Jaguars are a combined 5 for 27 on 3rd down conversions, easily the worst in the NFL. If they’re going to control the clock and keep drives alive, Chad Henne, the offensive line and the receivers have to be better on third down.
Protect the quarterback. Jacksonville has yielded 13 sacks in two games, 10 coming last week. There was a shakeup on the offensive line as Cameron Bradfield was cut and it appears Austin Pasztor will be ready to play on Sunday. The Jags are also auditioning Luke Bowanko at center and they hope for better results against an anemic Indianapolis pass rush.
Tackle better. The Jaguars defense has missed 34 tackles in the first two games, an unacceptable number for any team. With Jonathan Cyprien back, the Jaguars should have a much better defense on the back end and shouldn’t be playing guys such as Chris Prosinski.
Find some big plays. It sounds simple, but the Jaguars haven’t been making the big plays that have been sometimes available to them. Allen Hurns dropped a deep ball last week that could have changed the outlook early. The secondary and linebackers have had footballs slip through their hands which could’ve been big plays. Someone wearing a black helmet needs to do something highlight worthy (in a positive way).
What We’ll Be Saying on Monday
The Jaguars defense did a better job against the run. Indianapolis doesn’t have the backfield talent of the Jaguars first two opponents, so they should do a better job.
Andrew Luck will show why he was the first-overall pick. One of the craziest statistics ever was when Blaine Gabbert had a winning record against Andrew Luck. We know it wasn’t based on either of their skill sets and Luck has turned into a superstar. Luck will have another big game against the Jags on Sunday.
When will we see Blake Bortles? Barring injury, the Jaguars will keep their prized asset in a cage under lock and key. Fans will again be clamoring for Bortles after Chad Henne has a Chad Henne type of game.
The Colts tight ends will make some plays. Ever since the franchise’s inception, the Jaguars have not been able to cover athletic tight ends. We don’t know if that was the deal the city had to make to get the team but if it was the Jaguars are certainly keeping up their end of the bargain. Expect Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener to have big games.
Better luck next week. The Colts are simply a better football team with a much superior quarterback and they’re desperate. Desperation is real in the National Football League and the Colts can’t afford to fall to 0-3.