Weekly Matchup Preview: Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Josh Scobee kicked the miracle 59 yard field goal to seal the game against the Colts last season. This is the tenth of 16 articles that I will post throughout the season, previewing the Colts’ upcoming matchup.  I’ll attempt to analyze some strengths and weaknesses of both teams, a few areas to focus on, and a couple of key individual matchups.  -Kyle is sick this week, so I'll be doing the Weekly Matchup Preview for this week. ~Danny Overview: The Colts and the Jaguars may not have the most intense rivalry in the league, but it is one of the more interesting ones. Although the Colts have always been the superior team, the Jaguars have often been able to pull out last second wins. Now that their places are reversed, and can the Colts pull out a lucky win or will they continue this losing streak?

Jacksonville Jaguars:

Strengths:

  • Maurice Jones Drew.  The Jaguars may not be having a great year running the football (13 overall in total yardage, 27th overall in ypc), but Jones has done a great job, racking up 740 yards with 4.5 yards a carry. MJD typically plays well against the Colts, but whether he can consistently move the sticks will decide this game.
  • Stopping the Run. The Jaguars are having a great year stopping the run (11th overall), and this is because of the many off-season acquisitions added to their front 7. Some of these players include Paul Pozluzny and former Colt, Clint Session. If the Colts want to stay competitive, they will need to be able to run the ball effectively.
  • Stopping the Pass. The Jaguars are 8th in the league in pass defense. Curtis Painter will most likely struggle this game (as he does every game), as the Jaguars are a great defensive team this year.

Weaknesses:

  • Total Offense. The Jaguars are currently dead last in the league at points scored, scoring about 12.2 points a game. The Colts are currently 30th in the league, scoring 14.2 points per game, so don't expect this to be a high scoring game.
  • Passing. The Jaguars jettisoned quarterback David Gerrard early this season, and started Luke McCown and Blaine Gabbert. Neither of these quarterbacks have a QB Rating of over 65 and the Jaguars are currently dead last in the league for total passing yardage.
  • 3rd Down Conversions. The Jaguars are 29th in the league at 3rd down conversions, converting a terrible 30% of their 3rd downs. Most of this has to do with their poor quarterback play however, and the Colts should try to force the Jaguars into many 3rd and long situations if they want to get off the field.

Indianapolis Colts:

Strengths:

  • Running The Football. The Colts have a great 3-headed monster in Addai, Brown, and Carter. They are currently averaging 4.5 yards a carry and are averaging about 100 yards per game. The Colts will need to consistently win up front against the Jaguars' elite front-7 in order to win this game. Hopefully, the loss of Brody Elridge to injury will not negatively affect us.
  • Receivers. The Colts have many great players at the skill position, even with Dallas Clark out. Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and even Jacob Tamme (although he hasn't done much this year) have all proved that they are reliable threats that can spread a defense, and the Jaguars may not be able to contain all of these players.
  • Volume Tackling. The Colts currently have 3 of the top 10 tacklers in the league (Pat Angerer, Kavell Conner, Antoine Bethea). They will need to play a crucial role in stopping Maurice Jones Drew.

Weaknesses:

  • Stopping the Pass. Honestly, why was Kelvin Hayden and Justin Tryon let go? The Colts are currently 24th in the league in pass defense, and are allowing a whopping 71% of passes to be completed. This with the fact that we're tied for 29th in the league with 13 total sacks, may even give the bad options the Jaguars have at quarterback, a chance to win this game.
  • 3rd Down Defense. The Colts are dead last in the league on getting off the field on 3rd down. In order to win this game, the Colts will need to force many 3rd and long situations and allow Freeney and Mathis to terrorize Blaine Gabbert.

What To Watch For:

  • The Jaguars' Offense. The Jaguars don't have many good options at Wide Receiver and their Quarterback has suffered due to it. Expect them to focus heavily on running the football and staying away from third and long situations.
  • Pass Protection. Freeney and Mathis will need to beat Monroe and Britten consistently and terrorize Blaine Gabbert during 3rd and long situations to get the offense off the field.
  • Curtis Painter. We all know Curtis Painter is inconsistent, and he plays poorly whenever he has bad confidence. He will have to snap out of the poor play that got him benched last week, and successfully run the offense.
  • 3rd Down. Both teams are horrible at getting off the field on third down, and on converting third downs. Both teams will look to stay away from third and long, but the Jaguars may have the advantage here, because their defense is superior to the Colts'.

Final Thoughts:

Both teams have been playing poorly this season and its time for both teams to step it up. The Colts playing against one of their long-time division rivals will need to get our players motivated and start playing football the way they have the past 10 years. This will be a close, yet low scoring game, that will be decided by whichever horrible head coach misuses their timeouts the most.

Go Colts.

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.

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