Following their bye week, the Jaguars travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. In a game that has serious playoff implications, the Jaguars are desperate for a win. The Colts are 5-4, while the Jaguars are just 4-5. A win would put the teams in a tie, but the Jags would own the tiebreaker thanks to their head-to-head record. These two squads will meet again later — in the final week of the season — but that doesn't diminish the importance of this contest for both sides.
As always, individual matchups will be critical. Let's take a look at some of the more intriguing ones.
Quenton Nelson vs Taven Bryan
These two won't be matched against each other for the entire game, but there's a good chance we will see them go mano a mano on more than a handful of plays. Both were 2018 first-round picks. At left guard, Nelson has established himself as one of the best mauling offensive linemen in all of football. Bryan is still working towards becoming a full-time starter on the interior of the defensive line but is progressing nicely. Over the last three weeks, he's picked up seven total tackles and eight pressures to go along with it. If Taven Bryan can hold his own when matched up against one of the best guards in the game, it'll be another feather in his cap.
DJ Chark vs Rock Ya-Sin
A battle of recent second-round picks: DJ Chark was the Jaguars' selection in the second-round in 2018, while Rock Ya-Sin went to the Colts in the second-round of the 2019 draft. We have two talented players, but one is clearly further along in his development. Due to injuries and inconsistent play from others, Rock Ya-Sin has been forced into the starting lineup early on in his young career. He plays on the outside, so he'll likely see a healthy dose of DJ Chark. Chark should be able to beat Ya-Sin deep with his route running savvy and speed. But Ya-Sin can play with a physicality that may tough for Chark to match. This will be a fun one to watch.
Darius Leonard vs Leonard Fournette
For the Jaguars' offense to fire on all cylinders, they need to be able to use their running backs effectively, whether that be via the run or hitting them on short passes out of the backfield. In the Jaguars' matchup with the Colts, there's one big problem: Darius Leonard. Leonard burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2018. He's an excellent tackler with very good range. He could make Leonard Fournette's day increasingly difficult. But Fournette is just as talented as his counterpart. With two equally matched players, this could be a battle of wills on Sunday.
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