Just when you think it is impossible for another defensive unit to have played worse than the star-studded Jaguars D' has this season, you realize how poorly the Colts have been on defense. Without Donte Moncrief out and an aging Frank Gore in the backfield, the trip across the pond is an ideal time for the Jaguars defense to finally build some rhythm and steam heading into the rest of the season. If Ivory & Yeldon can get the ground game going, that should alleviate some of the pressure on Bortles and help him have a better day. The match-up that will play the biggest part on this outcome is Andrew Luck against the Jaguars' Secondary, if they can come up with a few big plays and the offense can capitalize on those, the Jaguars should be able to pull off the desperately needed victory in what I'm expecting to be a shootout.
Final Score: IND 28, JAX 38
Here we are at the beginning of Week four of the 2016 regular season and the Jacksonville Jaguars have lost three straight. The Colts are coming off of a 26-22 win over the San Diego Chargers, who absolutely dismantled the Jaguars in week 2. The Jaguars are in a free fall early in the season and need to grab a win to have a chance at regaining control over their season. The Jaguars may be without Julius Thomas and Dante Fowler Jr. for this weekends game in London. Luckily for the Jaguars, London practically serves as a home-away-from-home game because the Jaguars have the advantage of playing in London every year.
There are three significant factors in deciding which AFC South team will come out victorious across the pond this Sunday. First, and this shouldn’t shock anyone, is turnovers. The Colts have issues with turnovers just like the Jags and the winner likely will be the team that protects the ball better. Second, is the run-game. Both teams have poor offensive line play, which reveals itself through low stats on the ground. Third is getting to the quarterback. The Jaguars defensive line is matched up with one of the worst offensive lines in the league. The Colts go for big plays often and the Jaguars will definitely have the opportunity to get to Andrew Luck and if they don’t I fear we will start the season 0-4 for the third consecutive year.
Unfortunately I haven’t seen many promising signs from the Jaguars this year. Until they prove they’re worth backing, I don’t see the Jaguars beating a team with an elite quarterback.
Final Score: IND 31, JAX 24
This week, the Jags travel to London after 3 disappointing losses that have fans wondering whether we can ever be competent this season. Bortles has given us 3 terrible games in a row, we haven’t run the ball well at all, and the team lacks discipline. On the other side, the Colts come off their first victory of the season after defeating the San Diego Chargers (who crushed the Jags the week prior) on a go-ahead touchdown by T.Y. Hilton with under 2 minutes remaining.
On paper, like most matchups for the Jags, this game seems favorable. The Colts boast an incredibly weak offensive line that the Jaguars’ defense should be able to abuse. They also have one of the worst total defenses in the NFL, although another full game from CB Vontae Davis should be able to help that unit. Sure, they have a great QB and a really talented WR core, but you can’t win games with just that against a complete team like the Jags, right?
Unfortunately for us, we’ve shown that paper talent doesn’t matter when you have a bad coach and (quite frankly) a QB who is revealing more and more that he is not a good player. Pair those two factors with a shuffled and injured offensive line, a running game that has shown us nothing and a defense that can make plays but is really inconsistent and you have a losing formula, no matter the opponent. However, there’s a theoretical formula for us to win the game. Offensively, stop asking Bortles to do everything and get the running game going. If the offensive line and RBs play adequately, we can keep the ball away from Bortles and make it easier for him to avoid the stupid plays he makes almost every week. He’ll still need to throw a bit, but having a good running game could take the weight off of his shoulders and let him take it easy. Defensively, we need to play safe on the back end but aggressive on the line. The best offensive weapons they have are TY Hilton and Phillip Dorsett, who are primarily deep threats. We can pressure Luck up front and play safeties far back to avoid big plays and make Luck force plays to his lesser targets.
However, I will not be picking the Jags to win again until they can show that they want to play like an actual NFL team and we can fix the disgustingly sloppy play throughout the team.
Final Score: IND 27, JAX 17
The Jaguars are a bit of a conundrum. Third year QB Blake Bortles has seemingly taken a step backward, while the running game can't get anything going. An offense that was supposed to be on the cusp of greatness can't find any consistency, while a defense that is loaded with young talent seems to be heading in the right direction. All of this has led to an 0-3 start to 2016 for the Jags.
For the Colts, they too have some major issues. A depleted offensive line and a porous defense had the Colts reeling when they hosted the Chargers in week 3. But the Colts and their elite QB Andrew Luck found a way to get things done at the end. The Colts earned their fist victory of the season.
Now the two teams showdown in London in what should be an exciting divisional matchup. The Jaguars offense is simply not as bad as it has shown itself to be in two of the three games this season. Olson and Bortles will get on the same page (somewhat), while the run game will find moderate success against a banged up Colts defensive line. Bortles and the Jaguars will earn their second straight win against the Colts and get the first notch in the W column of the 2016 season.
Final Score: IND 21, JAX 31
With the Jaguars in must win territory and the losses pilling up, the time to win is now. Jacksonville will head to London this week still searching for answers after starting 0-3. Bringing four consecutive seasons of experience playing in London albeit only resulting in a 1-3 record, will hopefully push the Jags into the win column this week as the Indianapolis Colts will get there first taste in the NFL International Series.
The Jaguars need to find some sort of rhythm offensively. After the lack-luster performance last week against the Baltimore Ravens, putting up just 48 rushing yards on 21 attempts on the ground and Blake Bortles only throwing for 194 yards 2 touchdowns and 3 costly interceptions, the Jaguars offense looked awful. With almost no help from the running game, Chris Ivory needs to be an impact player. Plain and simple the Jags need to be more aggressive in the running game and Bortles needs to stop turning the ball over. With Julius Thomas being the only offensive starter that is questionable to play, getting back Left Tackle Kelvin Beachum and Center Brandon Linder on the offensive line will help both the running game and pass protection. Lastly, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns need to wake up and take over this game. With the pieced together secondary of Indy, and second string corner back Darius Butler questionable, the Allen brothers need to have a good game if the Jaguars are to have any shot at winning.
Defensively, the Jaguars are getting corner back Prince Amukamara back but with Defensive Ends Dante Fowler Jr. and Jared Odrick not practicing to go along with OTTO Linebacker Dan Skuta, the Jags could be in some trouble. Fowler and Odrick are listed as questionable and are not likely to play so rookie Yannick Ngakoue along with Malik Jackson will need to continue to play solid up front. LInebacker Dan Skuta not practicing brings up some intrigue as rookie Linebacker Myles Jack took first team reps at OTTO this week, and would be a major upgrade to this defense. With that being said I don't think there's any question having Jack in coverage against Tight End Dwayne Allen is a mutch better matchup than Skuta or even Paul Posluszny for that matter. Andrew Luck was limited in practice earlier in the week with a shoulder injury but it's not going to keep him out Sunday so the defensive line will need to get constant pressure and keep him from extending plays. Corners Davon House and rookie Jalen Ramsey will likely line up on TY Hilton, the Colts only deep threat, and also need to play well. Bottom line, if the defense can pressure Andrew Luck and contain both Dwayne Allen and TY Hilton, the Jags will have a good chance of getting their first win of the season.
Final Score: IND 23, JAX 27
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