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Final analysis: The experts on Colts-Jaguars


JACKSONVILLE – Each week during the 2022 season, Jaguars "experts" – Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – will analyze the following day's Jaguars matchup.

Up this week:

The Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.

Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars

  • The Jaguars will win if: They protect the passer a bit better than last week and if Lawrence — as expected — hits a few of the throws he missed a week ago. I think he will. The Jags also must continue to involve both Robinson and Etienne in the run game. Defensively, they need better pressure on the quarterback than they got in Washington.
  • The Colts will win if: They somehow get the whole "in-Jacksonville Jinx" out of their head. The fact that Indy hasn't won in Jacksonville since 2014 has turned into a mental stumbling block for the Colts, whether they want to admit it or not. As soon as things start going the Jags way, the mental part creeps in. The Colts must pressure Lawrence, who has much better weapons than he had last year. And as always, they have to get Taylor going. He is a huge part of their offense.
  • As Frangie sees it: This is another tough matchup for the Jaguars, but a winnable one. Lawrence will be making his 19th career start; Ryan will be making his 224th. That's a big difference. But harass him enough, and protect Lawrence, and the Jaguars have a good chance.

Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end

  • The Jaguars will win if: Lawrence has a game against the Colts like he did in the 2021 regular-season finale. In that last meeting, Lawrence was outstanding and led the Jaguars' offense to victory showing accuracy and great decision-making. For Lawrence to have a chance at accomplishing this, the offensive line must play better than last week at Washington.
  • The Colts will win if: Taylor gets on a roll. Taylor is by far the NFL's best running back and possesses a rare blend of size, speed, and quickness. He also has great vision and rarely will one defender bring him down. If Taylor is on a roll, life will be easy for Ryan and allow him to find his big wide receivers.
  • As Lageman sees it: The Colts will be coming to Duval ready to impress after faltering down the stretch in 2021, which led them to make some significant changes. The Jaguars must fix last week's self-inflicted problems to take a step forward on both sides of the ball. This should be an excellent divisional battle and hopefully the Jaguars can get off to a fast start to gain some home momentum. Nothing better than seeing and hearing the 'Bank rocking.

Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director

  • The Jaguars will win if: They establish the run early in the game. I didn't mind Pederson's Week 1 play-calling because most of it worked. I think the Jags need to get the ball in the hands of running backs James Robinson and Travis Etienne Jr. more because they are really good. I also believe establishing the run will take some pressure off the offensive line in pass protection. The Jaguars should steal the Colts' game plan – run, run, run, play-action pass all day.
  • The Colts will win if: Taylor has 150 or more all-purpose yards. It's Taylor and wide receiver Michael Pittman that scare you the most on the Colts. I don't think they will score a bunch if those two players are not productive, but we all know Taylor will get a lot of touches regardless. Sure, a 140-yard day would still be really good for Taylor, but it will take over 150 for the Colts to win.
  • As Martineau sees it: It's unrealistic to lump the Jaguars' failures of the past into Game 1 of the Doug Pederson Era. We saw some really good signs of this team being better and having playmakers in Week 1. We also know the Jags must make the winning plays to change how they are perceived. I'm sticking with the Colts-can't-win-in-Jacksonville trend. The Jaguars will clean things up and win, 27-23.

John Oehser, senior writer

  • The Jaguars will win if: They reduce mistakes in key situations and convert in the red zone. While fans and observers questioned the team's run-pass balance in Week 1, the Jaguars moved effectively and had players in good situations. If the Jaguars take advantage of opportunities and make "make-able" plays offensively, they can score enough to win.
  • The Colts will win if: The Jaguars can't handle Taylor and the running game. The Colts are among the few NFL teams that will continue to run when trailing by double digits. That's because they know Taylor is the strength of the team and always their best option offensively. The Jaguars must be prepared to stop Taylor throughout the entire game no matter the score.
  • As Oehser sees it: The Jaguars are improved; Week 1 and the eye test shows that much. But quarterback Trevor Lawrence must be more accurate in big situations – and must be better overall. The Jaguars should be motivated Sunday, but the Colts are the AFC South's best team and contending teams don't usually go the first two weeks of a season without a victory. This is a tough, tough test for the home team.

Brian Sexton, senior correspondent

  • The Jaguars will win if: They can keep Colts running back Jonathan Taylor in check early. Last November in Indianapolis, the NFL's leading rusher exploded for 34 yards on the first play and dominated the first half with 107 yards and a 7.6-yards-per-carry average in the Colts' 23-17 win. Last January in Jacksonville, he touched the ball eight times in the first half for 18 yards and a 2.3-yards-per-carry average in the Colts' 26-11 loss. If the Jaguars can take away the Colts' running game and make them one-dimensional, it will allow Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell to get creative and get after a 37-year-old quarterback – Matt Ryan – still adjusting to his new surroundings.
  • The Colts will win if: The Jaguars can't stop hurting themselves. They did it over and over in Washington in Week 1. The Colts can lean on Taylor and one of the NFL's best run-blocking lines if they build an early lead as the Commanders did. The Jaguars are a young team but that doesn't preclude them from being a smart team. The Colts are talented and will win if the Jaguars make the same kinds of mistakes they did in Week 1.
  • As Sexton sees it: Pederson has a good feel for what the Jaguars need and when they need it. He has challenged them in the meeting rooms this week, on the practice field, and even in his conversations with the media. He expects this team to abandon any excuses – young team, new coach, new system, etc. – and start playing to win. If they start making plays instead of missing them, they will win on Sunday.

J.P. Shadrick, senior reporter

  • The Jaguars will win if: They cash in their early red-zone opportunities, continue to move the ball between the 20s and get an early lead. If the Jaguars get an early two-score advantage, that might force the Colts to come off their running game a little, not a lot, but a little.
  • The Colts will win if: They establish the running game of Taylor. If the Colts are in a place where they can comfortably run the ball with a lead, they will have the advantage. They punch at footballs on defense and make it a point to take the ball away, so ball security is paramount for running backs and for receivers after the catch. The play isn't over until the whistle blows.
  • As Shadrick sees it: The Jaguars won the turnover battle last week but lost the game. That's a rarity. Keep forcing takeaways and setting up the offense in favorable situations and good things will happen. It's still a new offense, and there will be some growing pains – just like in the red zone early last week. This new team needs to learn how to defend the 'Bank and continue the home winning streak in the series against the Colts.

Ashlyn Sullivan, Jaguars team reporter

  • The Jaguars will win if: They get momentum early. The Colts are coming in hungry – one, because they tied an inferior Texans team last week; two, we all remember how the Jags kicked them out of the playoffs last season. I am worried if the Jaguars cannot score early and get some crucial stops, the Colts will pull away. Last week, the Jaguars only scored one field goal in their first six offensive possessions with no touchdowns. You must score more and earlier to beat the Colts.
  • The Colts will win if: Pittman goes off. I have nightmares of standing on Indy's field last season and hearing Pittman's name over the loudspeaker what felt like thirty times. He was targeted thirteen times last week, and Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell will have a challenge floating this receiver. I have watched Pittman dominate games against the Jaguars before. If we are hearing his name over the loudspeaker numerous times on Sunday, that means the Colts have taken control of the game.
  • As Sullivan sees it: The streak of seven straight home victories over the Colts means nothing this week. Both teams really need a win. That's crazy to say Week 2, but that's how it feels. The Jaguars must start fast and get ahead; if they fall behind, I don't see them catching up. I have no idea what this Ryan offense with the Colts can do, but when Taylor is in the mix all eyes are on the Jaguars defense to keep Jacksonville in this game.

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