Do the Jaguars Still Have the Colts Number?
By Julie Voigt
Special to Pro Football Guru
Vacation time has come and gone for both the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars. And these teams will battle it out this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. This will be one of the three straight home games for Frank Reich’s club, who face only their second divisional foe of the season.
While both club owns identical 3-5 records, that’s where the comparison end. Like the Colts, Jacksonville is coming off its off week but is rising a four-game losing streak. When last we saw Doug Marrone’s squad, they fell short to the defending Super-Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles via a 24-18 loss at London’s Wembley Stadium.
As for the Colts, a 1-5 start has been followed by wins over the Buffalo Bills (37-5) and Oakland Raiders (42-28) in which Andrew Luck and company scored a combined 79 points. But if Reich’s team is to make it three straight wins, they have to make amends against a Jaguars’ squad that has owned this series as of late. Indianapolis has dropped four of the last five meetings between the clubs and in 2017, were swept by this rival for the first time since 2011.
With a newly-built Colts’ offensive line and the return of Luck this season, the offense is currently ranked 10th in the NFL in total yards per game. The recent returns of running back Marlon Mack and tight end Jack Doyle have been huge. And with the addition of rookie guard Quenton Nelson, the Colts’ offensive front has not allowed a sacks in three straight games while Mack and the ground game have flourished.
While the defense still has some question marks, it’s a unit that is finding other ways to help. Just ask Kevin Bowen of 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. “Despite a lack of impactful personnel and the implementation of a simpler defensive system, the Colts still find themselves in the top 10 of key play-making categories: sacks (21), tackles for loss (43) and forced turnovers (16).”
All of the pieces are suddenly coming into place for these Colts. And the team plays four of its next five games vs. their divisional rivals, starting this Sunday. Although Reich’s squad is looking up at the Houston Texans (6-3) and Tennessee Titans (4-4), the opportunity to climb up the divisional standings is certainly there. But it starts with snapping the Jacksonville Jaguars’ recent hold in this AFC South rivalry.
Julie Voigt, a former contributor for NFL Female (now OurTurf Football) is a freelance NFL writer. You can find her on Twitter (@JulieNoted_NFL), Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.