The Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) will travel to Indianapolis to take on host Indianapolis Colts (1-1) at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. The Jaguars are looking like worst team in the NFL right now with coming off of a 27-7 loss to division opponent Houston Texans at home last week and a 26-23 overtime loss in Minnesota Week 1.
There’s no guarantee win in the NFL these days, but if the Colts don’t win on Sunday there’s going to be a huge problem in not just the locker room, but the city.
Jacksonville’s offense is utterly horrid, as they rank 30th in points per game (15.0), 32nd in yards per game (236.0), 31st in pass yards per game (147.0), and 23rd in rushing yards per game (89.0). Second year quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, is banged up and has only thrown for 313 total yards and three touchdowns.
Star running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, isn’t getting the amount of carries he’s used to, something that could be credited to missing the entire training camp. Jones-Drew, has rushed for only 137 yards on 31 carries. The Jaguars ground game has yet to score a touchdown and doesn’t pose much of a threat.
I think this plays right into the hands of the Colts defense, who last week only gave up 60 yards to Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson. The Jaguars have come out of the gate throwing way more than rushing. The Colts defense needs to bring pressure on Gabbert and force him into bad situations like they tried to do Christian Ponder last week. Ponder, was able to escape sometimes and hit open receivers, but I don’t see that happening this week with Gabbert.
Gabbert is big but banged up. He won’t have the ability to run away from defenders. I noticed he’s still too shaky in the pocket and prefers to run out of it. That’s great for the Colts. Unlike last week too, Ponder found Percy Harvin to help bail him out. Gabbert doesn’t have that luxury.
The receiving core for Jacksonville has been extremely disappointing. Laurent Robinson leads the team with receptions and receiving yards with eight catches and 115 yards. Only tight end Marcedes Lewis and Cecil Shorts have touchdowns this season on the team with one each.
Mike Thomas and rookie Justin Blackmon have been very far off of expectations, as both have four catches combined for 36 yards. These two were supposed to be the top two receivers on the team and they haven’t helped at all.
As long as the Colts can get pressure on Gabbert and I think they will, the Colts defense should have a big day.
On the other side of the ball, I think the Colts rushing attack will finally get going. The Jaguars rank 31st out of 32 teams against the rush in giving up 169.5 yards per game. I like Donald Brown to break into the secondary of Jacksonville a few times and open up play action for Andrew Luck.
I also look for Donnie Avery to come up big again as Jacksonville will try and spend most of their time shutting down Reggie Wayne. I look for playaction to help Luck find Avery or tight end Coby Fleener all day and help the Colts on some long drives.
Indianapolis 30 – Jacksonville 16