So I haven’t talked about the debacle that happened in Pittsburgh this past Sunday night. Not because I’m a fan in denial or that I’m naive, but because it was a thrashing and no amount of typing or Tweeting is going to change that. The Colts were outclassed last weekend and showed that this team cannot hang with the big dogs this season yet again. This Sunday the Colts are going to be facing an AFC South opponent that they have owned for the majority of Jacksonville’s existence. The Colts are 21-8 against the Jaguars and have outscored them overall by almost 200 points. This has been a series that the Colts almost always can say will be a walk in the park. That isn’t the case this Sunday. This Sunday the much improved Jacksonville Jaguars will be looking to end the six game losing streak against Indy.
Normally I would say the Colts aren’t going to have a problem, but I honestly can’t this time around. The Colts defense is an utter mess. Particularly the lumbering secondary. The Colts corners were kicked around by the Steelers wide receiving corps this past weekend and really have been most of the season. Now the Colts are looking down the barrel at not having D’Qwell Jackson, Jerrell Freeman, or Erik Walden this weekend. Nate Irving was placed on the IR this past week and the only real replacement for Walden is Jonathan Newsome who hasn’t followed up his good rookie season from last year. Sio Moore would be the starter in the middle with Amarlo Herrera looking like the logical starter next to him. That doesn’t sit well with me and shouldn’t with you either. Herrera was good in the preseason, but he isn’t proven at all during the regular season. Moore hasn’t done much since the Colts traded for him earlier this year. Not only could the Jaguars be facing a battered secondary they could be facing an unproven linebacking corps as well. That doesn’t bode well for the Colts.
The Jags have two young and very talented receivers who have been burning up cornerbacks for the majority of the season. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns have taken the league by storm. I knew these two were talented, yet I hadn’t expected them to be game changers like they have been this season. T.J. Yeldon has been a big help for this Jags offense and has put his best foot forward to show that he isn’t going to be another washout Alabama product like his predecessors. The Jags gave the Colts fits in week four and if it wasn’t for a terrible kicker they would have left Lucas Oil Stadium that day with a win. This offense has only improved and that goes double for Blake Bortles. He has continued to grow as a NFL quarterback and isn’t seen as the laughable leader of the Jaguars any longer. He is a real threat to take a game over with his arm and his legs. He isn’t fast, but he is very smart and will run for first downs without hesitation. The Jaguars are building a monster on offense and I feel that they are only missing a few key pieces. If the Colts defense takes a relaxed approach to this game we will see the same ending as week four. Only this time I don’t think it will be a battle of the kickers that determines the outcome.
Now the Colts defense isn’t the only group that has to step up their game. The Colts offense sputtered at best this past weekend and couldn’t do anything with the ball. Hasselbeck was knocked around for majority of the game and the offensive line didn’t seem as tight as they have been this year. Now the offensive line has been moved around because of injuries, but hopefully Hugh Thornton will be back and can bring some sort of continuity to the middle of the line. The Jaguars defense should be without their star middle linebacker in Paul Posluszny after he had surgery on his wrist yet that doesn’t mean the Colts will be able to walk through this defense. The Colts offensive line has to get back to the protection and opening of running lanes that we all have seen in the past. Gore will have to get going early this week. He was a key to the win last time these teams faced off, but when the Colts got down by so much they almost completely abandoned the running game. The running game is always a key and this week it’s huge. The Jags are ranked 13th against the run in yards allowed so there is a good chance Gore and company can get it going and keep it going. The Colts wide receivers have to start winning their one on one battles. Also the Colts tight ends have to show a little more toughness than we saw last week. When you see Coby Fleener go down to an arm tackle a couple yards away from a first down you have to wonder if he was even in the game mentally. I saw Allen fighting for yards when he got the ball, but both men along with Jack Doyle have to fight for every yard and own the middle of the field. That hasn’t happened consistently all season and this week is as good as any.
So many people are flocking back to the idea of firing Chuck right now and trash the rest of this season. I’m not on that train and never will be on that train. There are also arguments that this team has no talent or a lack of talented depth and I won’t believe that as well. This team has been hit by injury in major parts of its make-up yet the team and it’s players continue to win. Yes, they got their asses kicked by the Steelers though that is just one game. The Colts haven’t been blown out all season long and after one blowout this team is being deemed not good enough. If you’re one of those people that’s fine. Just be ready to say you’re sorry when you’re shown that isn’t the case. This team can win their next four games and get to 10-6. That is a damn good record if you ask me with all the crap this team has had to wade through most of this season. That is one game worse than they have been the last three seasons. 10-6 puts them in the playoffs with a round one home playoff game. These next two games are very important. It is going to be a lot better to hand this team back to Luck in a good spot instead of having to fight to get in the playoffs altogether.
Continue to believe ColtsNation and don’t give up on these guys. It’s been the biggest up and down season that I can remember in a long time. Also remember the last time the Colts lost their franchise quarterback they went 2-14. This team has been without their franchise quarterback for most of the season and have found ways to continue to win games and remain in the hunt for a playoff spot and the AFC South Title. What more does anyone need to believe in this team?