It’s a little confusing rooting for the Indianapolis Colts this year. On one hand you want them to win every game. On the other hand you know (or you think you know) that they won’t win more than 4-6 games the entire season. That’s why games like the one this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars is so important as a fan. You have to pick and choose the games to get fired up about. This is a game they can win. This is a game they should win.
Jacksonville is 0-2 coming off losses to Minnesota and a very good Houston Texans team. They have the 31st ranked run defense. They do have the 16th ranked pass defense but you can probably credit that to the fact that teams don’t have to pass against them. The Jaguars gave up over 200 yards rushing to the Texans. Arian Foster only had 110 of those yards so it looks like it didn’t matter who they handed the ball to.
Maurice Jones Drew is an annual Colt killer. He only got the ball 12 times last week but, again, I’m assuming that’s because they were playing from behind pretty much the whole game. Against Indianapolis he’s like a bowling ball. I’m not sure, but I believe he gets his first 1000 yards per season in the two games he plays against the Colts. Indianapolis has fared decent against the run this year holding both Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte below 100 yards. That’s pretty good against two of the NFL’s premier running backs. They will have to continue that against the Jaguars if they want another win.
The Colts seem to get a little better each week both offensively and defensively. This may be a good chance for Andrew Luck to be unleashed. If the Colts can get Donald Brown going a little Sunday it should open up the play action. That’s obvious, but the offensive line so far this season has not been very impressive and Brown and Luck have been pretty much on their own. So I’m hoping that this week they get off the ball a lot better. Instead of being pushed backwards all day long I would like to see some forward motion for once. If they can’t do it against Jacksonville they won’t do it against anybody this year.
I’m not sure which Blaine Gabbert we will see this week. I think the Jaguars are going to stick to the run at least in the beginning to minimize the impact Gabbert will have. Obviously if they’re running the ball well they won’t have to rely on him to win the game. If the Colts can limit MJD even a little and keep pressure on Gabbert then I believe the Colts win big. But if history tells us anything it’s that MJD loves to play the Colts.
So, there you have it. Limit MJD, pressure Gabbert, open some running lanes and the Colts win. Honestly, I think it will be close. I think MJD will get his yards, but in the end Colts win 24-17.
About the Author
Written by Rich Marchione
I have lived in Indiana most of my life with the exception a stint in the Marine Corps in the early 80's. I currently live in Anderson, IN, where the Colts camp out for the summer. I have followed the Colts since the Jeff George days. Back then you had to go to the game to watch them because they weren't very good and around Indiana basketball was king, so they were never on television. Then Peyton showed up and the rest was history. Now he's gone and we start a new era. I am excited about all the new changes and will be following them closely. I am married to Cynthia Marchione, I have one daughter, Kaylee and three step-children, Jason, Autumn and Nikki. I also have eight grandchildren.