JACKSONVILLE – Each Saturday during the 2019 season, nine Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – will break down the following day's Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
The Jaguars will win if: They stop the Colts' rushing attack. Indianapolis ran it for 264 yards when the two teams met a few weeks ago.
The Colts will win if: They grab an early lead. Jacksonville has been outscored 108-22 in the first half of the last seven games. The Colts will try once again to make the Jaguars one dimensional.
As Ballou sees it: The Jaguars will fight hard for Head Coach Doug Marrone, but it won't be enough against the Colts.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
The Jaguars will win if: They can score in the first half. The last time the Jaguars' offense scored a touchdown in the first half was the first meeting against the Colts in Indianapolis. Only 22 points have been scored in the first halves of the last seven games. The entire offense must play better as something of this nature is not one area of inadequacy.
The Colts will win if: They run similar to the first meeting against the Jaguars, when they ran for 264 yards and had two running backs surpass 100 yards rushing. The Colts' offensive line has played every game together this season, which is rare at any level of football. The highly respected guard Quenton Nelson could miss this game after sustaining a concussion last week against Carolina, which would be a significant loss.
As Lageman sees it: This is a tough game to call. Neither team has played well lately, and neither team has anything tangible to play for other than pride and the will to compete. The Colts have some certainty when it comes to their future and the Jaguars have some unknowns. Unknowns can lead to distracted performances on many levels. The Colts will win.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
The Jaguars will win if: If they have the lead at all in the second quarter. This has been a huge problem. The Jaguars can't score in the first half and have trailed by double digits by halftime in most of the games during the last two months. If the Jaguars can lead, they can get after Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett and keep handing the football to running back Leonard Fournette.
The Colts will win if: They run for over 100 yards. The formula has been that simple. The Jaguars can't win games and give up the century mark rushing. Remember, the season started going downhill in the second half at Indianapolis when the Colts ran for over 200 yards against the Jaguars.
As Martineau sees it: I haven't picked the Jaguars to win in six weeks, I don't think. I'm going to do it this week. I like how this team is battling. The Jaguars are not very good, but Indy isn't anything special, either. I think the Jags will start fast, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II will play well and this defense will do enough to win at home. There's been no evidence for me to do this, but I think the Jags are going to win big: 30-13.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
The Jaguars will win if: They stop the run and get a touchdown or two in the first half. The Jaguars have scored one offensive touchdown in the last seven games, and they have struggled in a big way to stop the run during that same span.
The Colts will win if: They avoid turnovers. With the way the Jaguars are playing offensively, it's not realistic to think they will score enough points on extended drives to beat the Colts. If the Colts don't give the Jaguars points, they probably will win.
As Oehser sees it: With six double-digit losses in the last seven games, it's difficult to predict a Jaguars victory. If they can get some turnovers or some breaks early – and get a lead – perhaps they can end the season with a better feeling than they have had for much of the last two months. It seems unlikely.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
The Jaguars will win if: They can stop the run. The Colts ran for more than 200 yards when these teams met a little more than a month ago, and it was the beginning of the end for the Jaguars' playoff hopes. The Jaguars' only chance to win is to create turnovers and short fields, and that has no chance of happening if the Colts don't have to throw the ball.
The Colts will win if: They can control the line of scrimmage. That has become their formula for success under Head Coach Frank Reich – and with one of the most talented offensive lines in the league. They haven't been able to do it much since mid-November, but against a beleaguered Jaguars defense they have a chance to play the way they're built to play.
As Sexton sees it: The Jaguars' offense isn't effective enough to get the job done. They've scored 22 first-half points in their last seven games; in Minshew's last five starts, they have four field goals in the first 30 minutes. The defense isn't strong enough to hold up for very long against a power running attack, and this feels like the exclamation point on a lost season. The Colts will win this one and the Jaguars will finish 5-11 for a second consecutive season.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
The Jaguars will win if: They score early and often on offense. The Jaguars have scored 22 total first-half points over the last seven games. They're usually so far behind that they cannot catch up. Drive the field, score and do it again.
The Colts will win if: They can run the ball like they did in Week 11 against the Jaguars. That was the fourth-worst day against the run in Jaguars history. If they control the run game, then it's another comfortable win over the Jaguars.
As Shadrick sees it: There is plenty of noise around the Jaguars these days. What is the direction of the franchise after Sunday? Who will be on the team in 2020? Can players get through the regular season healthy? There's a lot going on, and there will be people counting down that fourth-quarter clock for different reasons.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
The Jaguars will win if: They score early. Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has talked about opening up the offense more this week. If the Jaguars can get an early lead and Minshew airs it out, they have a chance. They cannot dig themselves into a hole and expect to bounce back at halftime; that has been a failed plan for too many weeks.
The Colts will win if: They want it more. Both teams are out of the playoffs and cannot reach a winning season; they're playing for pride and their teammates at this point. This game is going to come down to who wants to end the season on a high note more than the other team.
As Sullivan sees it: After watching the Jaguars lose in Indianapolis earlier this season, I cannot pick them to win this game. But I believe this team will give all they have for their teammate and coaches. This is the closest I have ever seen the locker room; it's their last opportunity to play as the 2019 Jaguars. It's up to the players to make it a memory worth remembering.