Colts Seek Redemption Against Jags

Jags Colts TBF

We are two games into the 2014 season yet things seem to be running its course:  unexpected injuries, a patchwork offensive line, and an under-performing defense that has been unable to stop anybody.  However, all is not lost.  The Colts have suffered two heartbreaking defeats to a pair of Super Bowl contenders.  Luckily, the Colts now will face a familiar team in the AFC South – the Jacksonville Jaguars.  This should be a dose of medicine the Colts needs, but they can’t look past an improving roster that is building a solid foundation for the future.

Offensively, the Colts should have no problem moving the ball against the Jaguars due to the excessive number of  weapons Luck has at his disposal.  Their defensive is improving, but opponents have had little difficulty in putting up points on the Jags.  Through two games here are the offensive numbers:

Total Yards Per Game

Colts: 374.5 (+147.5)

Jaguars: 227.0

Passing Yards Per Game

Colts: 263.0 (+80.5)

Jaguars: 182.5

Rushing Yards Per Game

Colts: 111.5 (+67)

Jaguars: 44.5

Points Per Game

Colts: 25.5 (+12)

Jaguars: 13.5

On the defensive side of the ball, however, the teams are much closer than one might think.  Up to this point, the Colts defense has been underwhelming and the Jaguars have over-achieved.

Total Yards Per Game Allowed

Colts: 409.5 (-25)

Jaguars: 434.5

Passing Yards Per Game Allowed

Colts: 295.0

Jaguars: 266.5 (-28,5)

Rushing Yards Per Game Allowed

Colts: 114.5 (-53.5)

Jaguars: 168.0

Points Per Game Allowed

Colts: 30.5 (-7)

Jaguars: 37.5

Defensively, the Colts are better except for giving up more passing yards.  The Glitter Kitties, as stated previously, are just about even and it seems that the edge in this game should come to the offensive advantage the Colts clearly hold over the Jags.  Even though the loss against the Eagles on Monday Night was discouraging, there were many positives that came out of the game.  One of the biggest takeaways was the improved rushing performance of the both Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw.  They rushed for 79 and 70 yards respectively behind the power running scheme the team has desired since Pagano took over the helm.  One negative was T-Rich’s two fumbles (1 lost) against the Eagles.   If he can minimize turnovers and in addition to Bradshaw’s output, the Colts should be able to capitalize in this area.  The Jaguars also gave up ten sacks last week against Washington and the team is still adjusting the offensive line and shuffling players which should benefit the struggling pass rush of the Colts.  If they can’t get to Henne this week, then it may be a long season in terms of a productive pass rush.

Injuries

The Jaguars star TE Marcedes Lewis is the biggest name missing time (6-8 weeks).   Aside from some minor injuries the team is relatively healthy entering Sunday’s game.  Not including the players lost during training camp the Colts have remained relatively healthy through two games.  They did however lose Arthur Jones (high ankle sprain) against the Eagles and will miss several weeks.   Joe Reitz is still recovering and Jerrell Freeman will not play this weekend as well.  However, center Khaled Holmes is one step closer to returning to the active line-up by participating in practice this week and took first string reps.  Coach Pagano named A.Q. Shipley the starting center for the week against the Jaguars, unless something happens between now and then.

Point Spread

The wise guys from Vegas have the Colts -7 over the Jags.

Prediction

Looking at all the factors and the health of both teams coming in I have the Colts winning by the following score:

Colts 35

Jaguars 17

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