JACKSONVILLE – Each Saturday during the 2017 season, eight Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton and J.P. Shadrick – will break down the following day's Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
The Jaguars will win if:They pressure Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Tennessee blitzed Brissett all Monday night. Will Jacksonville do the same or stay with the four-man rush? This seems like the right opportunity for Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash to take some chances.
The Colts will win if:They make the Jaguars one-dimensional. If Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is limited because of his ankle injury and Jacksonville is trailing, the Colts will put all the pressure on the Jaguars' passing offense.
As Ballou sees it:I like Jacksonville, 24-21. The Colts are a bad second-half team and have given up the most points in the NFL in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville will find a way in an ugly win.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
The Jaguars will win if:If they hit some passes down the field, particularly early. If not, they will see stacked box after stacked box again, all designed to slow Fournette. It is the most important thing that must change for the Jaguars; they must show that if opponents disrespect the vertical passing game, it can cost them. Opponents don't seem to believe that yet.
The Colts will win if:If they protect Brissett, keep it close early by holding the ball, limit plays from Fournette and get it to a fourth-quarter game. If it is close late, the Colts have the better kicker and will have gained confidence they might not have had when the game began.
As Frangie sees it:The Jaguars should win. They have the better team and their defense will make life very difficult for the Colts. This should get them to 4-3 at the bye.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
The Jaguars will win if: They get good special teams play and protect the football. With an offense that is not exactly a points-scoring machine on its own, the margin for error is small. The defense is good enough to limit a young quarterback's success.
The Colts will win if:If running back Frank Gore is able to control the early downs on the ground and take the pressure off Brissett. That would allow the Colts' offensive line to provide time for wide receiver T.Y. Hilton to get deep.
As Lageman sees it:The Jaguars can control their own destiny with a victory heading into the bye. A second-year quarterback who has been with a new team for six weeks cannot beat you … at home or on the road.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
The Jaguars will win if:They can open up the run with the downfield passing game. The blueprint has been set for the Jaguars, and the Colts are not bad up front. The Jaguars won't be able to run at will despite leading the league in rushing, so they have to win on the outside and create a big-play threat.
The Colts will win if:If they protect Brissett and don't get into third-and-long situations. If the young quarterback is put in third-and-long, look out against the Jaguars' pass defense. This is a tall task Sunday for the Colts' offense.
As Martineau sees it:The Jaguars in my opinion are better than the Colts in a lot of areas. The Jaguars have the better roster/team and should win this game. I feel like I've said that in the past.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
The Jaguars will win if:They stop the run and play efficiently enough offensively to get a two-score lead. The Jaguars haven't given up anything more than a seven-point lead this season and they're built to protect leads by rushing the passer. Can they score enough to get those leads? Good question.
The Colts will win if:They protect the ball and make a big, game-changing play. The Jaguars need turnovers to win, and the Colts have struggled in the second half of many of their losses. If the Colts win the turnover battle or get an early shock-the-system play they can be in it in the second half. If not, the Jaguars' defense should let Jacksonville pull away.
As Oehser sees it:This is a game the Jaguars should win. Their defensive line should be able to control the line early in the game, which should give the offense a chance to push the Jaguars into the lead. The Jaguars' defensive front should then get into avalanche mode and create scoring opportunities.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
The Jaguars will win if:They don't beat themselves with turnovers and special teams touchdowns. This isn't a good Colts team; they've beaten the winless Browns and winless 49ers. But this isn't a great Jaguars team either, which means they have to execute their formula, overwhelming the Colts with a dominant defense and setting up the offense with takeaways and short fields.
The Colts will win if:They score a touchdown on the opening kickoff and block a punt and return it for a touchdown. I might throw in a 16-yard punt they turn into a field goal also, but you get the point. If they take advantage of the Jaguars mistakes, they can certainly pull the upset.
As Sexton sees it:This is both a should-win and a must-win game for the Jaguars. They have a better roster and they're playing good – if not consistent – football in 2017. The Colts don't have their quarterback and they're not playing good football this season. The Jags should and must win or they'll go into their bye week having fallen from first place in the AFC South to last place with consecutive losses after a dominant performance in Pittsburgh. Would anyone even remember that game if they lost in Indianapolis?
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
The Jaguars will win if:They continue to run the ball against zero coverage, or find another alternative to back the defense off. The Jaguars are going to run. They're going to run against favorable boxes, and they're going to run against unfavorable boxes. If they mix in some type of threat otherwise, maybe they can open it up a little more for Fournette and Co. If not, they'll probably run it anyway.
The Colts will win if:They outgain the Jaguars on the ground. Gore has been at it for a long time, and Marlon Mack is getting some playing time at running back. There have been moments where the Jaguars' defense has been susceptible to the run. If Gore/Mack get rhythm to move the Colts' offense, it will be frustrating.
As Shadrick sees it:Road games in Indy always seem to be tight; this one seems no different. The Colts are waiting on the return of quarterback Andrew Luck; Brissett actually has been a decent stop-gap and could have a future as a starter in the NFL. This will be a close game, and probably not pretty on offense for either side. Could it come down to new Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo??? Better make the kick …