The last time these two teams met, the Jacksonville Jaguars embarrassed the Colts to the tune of 27-0 shutout in Lucas Oil Stadium. The last time the Jaguars and the Colts met in Jacksonville, it was a 51-16 beat down of the boys in blue. What has to change this time around for the Colts to stand a chance vs the NFL’s top defense, and the team that has been rightfully nicknamed “sacksonville”, we’ll break that down and lay out the 3 things that the Indianapolis Colts must do to knock off the Jags.
The 1st Meeting
In the previous meeting back in October, the Colts were not only shut out, they were flat out embarrassed. Outscored 27-0, the first shutout in over 20 seasons. They were also out gained 517 yards to 232. Jacoby Brissett was sacked 10 times and didn’t throw a touchdown. The Colts leading rusher was Frank Gore, with only 34 yards, and T.Y. Hilton was locked down to the tune of 2 catches for 27 yards.
Blake Bortles was made to look like a Pro Bowl Quarterback, completing 18 passes for 330 yards with a rating of 127. He had all day to throw the ball, and the Colts were carved up like a Thanksgiving Turkey in the secondary. The rush defense wasn’t any better, 32 carries for 188 yards, 5.1 per carry. Oh, did I mention the Jags were without their top two weapons in Leonard Fournette and Allen Robinson?
What Must Change:
- 1st things first, the Jacksonville defense is legit. They are the best in the NFL, and can really get after a quarterback. Therefore the Colts must swallow their pride, or stupidity, whichever it is, and max protect on every passing play. Keep 2 tight ends in, chip, slide protections, roll Brissett out, whatever you have to do to keep him on his feet. 10 sacks cannot happen again if the team wants to stand a chance. The feast on quarterbacks, and turn that feast into turnover parties. If the Colts can somehow manage only giving up 2-3 sacks, I like their chances at moving the ball. Because of how good Jacksonville is at doing what they do, it leads to them being overly excited. I think the Colts can get a couple big plays out of a screens and play action passes. The coaches must get creative, something they have not shown the ability to be in the last 3 or 4 years. If the Colts try to stick to their guns and “chop wood”, the tree is going to fall right on top of them.
- Donte Moncrief must win his matchup. Moncrief might as well be on a milk carton at this point, and that’s a major reason as to why the Colts offense has struggled so much this season. To say this season has been a disappointment would be an understatement. He has 21 catches for 353 and touchdowns so far this year. In wins, T.Y. Hilton balls out, in losses, nobody does. Moncrief must be that guy for Brissett to be able to go to and take pressure off of T.Y. Hilton who will have his hands full with Jalen Ramsey following him around all day long.
- Get a lead and get some pressure on Blake Bortles? The Colts have not forced a Blake Bortles turnover since 2014, his 2nd meeting vs. the Colts. The key to beating the Jags is to force them to come from behind so that you can get after Blake Bortles. The Colts have not been able to do this. Bortles has a career rating of 92.2 against the Colts, much higher than his career rating of 79. In order for the Colts to win, they must get ahead early, and they must force turnovers from Blake Bortles.
I for one, will not root for a Colts loss this Sunday as many others are. I stand by the team that I love, and do not believe in the higher the draft pick the better, especially in the NFL, it doesn’t work like that. Go ahead and ask teams like the Jets, Browns, Bills, 49ers, and other teams who are perennially picking in the top 10 of a draft. Yes it helps in garnering talent in a system, but there is much more to building a team than simply drafting high and hoping for the best. Therefore, I will not root for a top pick as I have much more fun at games and watching games on Sundays when the Colts are at there best, and will not apologize for that. Go Colts.