Jacksonville (0-3) heads to London for a fourth straight season, “hosting” division rival Indianapolis (1-2) at Wembley Stadium Sunday. Three games are in the books aand it is still tough to tell how this Jaguars team is going to play week to week. No reason to lay an egg against the Colts though, since neither of these teams are very good and the Jaguars have the decided advantage of having made this trip many times before.
2013 and 2014 were not good to the Jaguars in London. Last season went much better against the Bills. Winning Sunday will help keep the Jaguars fanbase interested and not calling for Gus Bradley’s firing. We would enjoy seeing the Jags offense get back to the kind of rhythm it displayed in the 34-31 win over Buffalo last year.
Ugh, the Colts own this series something fierce. In 30 previous matchups, Indy is 21-9 against Jacksonville. The Jags are coming off the series’ most points and largest margin of victory in last December’s win.
The 51-16 victory from 2015’s Week 14 snapped the Colts’ 16 consecutive wins against AFC South opponents. That streak started in 2012. Nuts! It is practically the only full game we care to remember from last season.
Humble-brag to Colts fans:
51-16 is all we need. Last year’s win on Dec. 13 was the last the Jaguars landed in the regular season. Since that Sunday, it has been six straight losses for the Jags. Wait, is this bragging? Yeah, 50-burger is plenty.
Rookie Jalen Ramsey will get in a Colts receiver’s head. He has become the unquestioned emotional leader of the defense.
Connections to River City:
Jaguars general manager David Caldwell was with Indianapolis for 10 years (1997-2007) before moving to the Atlanta Falcons.
Indy has RB Frank Gore, CB Antonio Cromartie and Patrick Robinson – one Miami Hurricane and two Seminoles. College football fans in Florida remember at least two of the three well.
While on Florida football, Indianapolis drafted former Gators outside linebacker Antonio Morrison in the spring. He was one of the Colts’ two 4th-round selections.
Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino was the defensive line coach in Jacksonville from 2006 to 2009.
What to Watch:
It looks like center Brandon Linder (knee) and left tackle Kelvin Beachum (concussion) will be back for the Week Four matchup. We anticipate those two helping Bortles’ protection and potentially a rushing attack.
Tight end Julius Thomas and defensive ends Dante Fowler and Jared Odrick did not practice Wednesday and Thursday, and Odrick did not make the trip to London (triceps). Fortunately, the Colts offensive line is not the best.
Are the Jaguars hungover from the Green Bay loss three weeks ago? They could not close out the Ravens last week at EverBank Field.
Do we feel certain Gus Bradley gets the axe if the Jaguars lose in London? Richard Miller thinks it’s more likely after a loss to the Bears in Chicago two weeks away. Even though Dennis Allen and Joe Philbin have been hurt by the London head-coaching curse.
Trying to Figure Out:
JJ Watt’s back injury and his being placed on IR should give the Titans, Colts and Jaguars more incentive to pick up their play. The Jaguars can use any spark or bulletin-board material they can find.
Will folks come up with more words than “regress” if Bortles struggles in London? Type “regress” and “antonyms” into Google.
With Dan Skuta missing practice Wednesday and Thursday, does that give rookie Myles Jack a better chance of seeing the field instead of just special teams?
About the Opponent:
The Indianapolis Colts have dealt with defensive struggles and a poor offensive line. After beginning the season 0-2 for a third straight year, the Colts were able to down the Chargers last week 26-22. TY Hilton had a spectacular – easily could be one of the best plays of 2016 when the season concludes – 63-yard catch-and-run to win the game.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, who has also been mentioned as a hot-seat NFL coach, said earlier this week it is a business trip for his team. And Andrew Luck has won five straight against the Jaguars. Both teams are fairly even. It will, most likely, come down to which side wants this one more.
Jaguars Malik Jackson going against the interior of the Colts offensive line. Jacksonville’s big free agent needs another good game. He has been able to clog up the middle so the young pass rushers have finished plays. Indy could go with all rookies along the right side for Sunday. The Jaguars could take advantage of all that shuffling.
This Equals a Win:
Run a hurry-up offense that helps out Bortles. And target both Allens – Hurns and Robinson – frequently even if they are blanketed in coverage.
Start fast! The coaching staff needs to watch the Jags-Jets preseason game every week to prepare.
How can the Jaguars get another drive like they had in the third quarter last week? It went for 11 plays, 78 yards and ate up 5:22 off the clock.
How to Listen:
Frank Frangie, Tony Boselli and Jeff Lageman will provide the call on 1010XL and 92.5 FM with Rick Ballou working the sidelines. The Publix Tailgate show begins three hours before kickoff. The simulcast will be on WGNE 99.9 FM.
1010XL and 92.5 FM has an additional two hours of local Jaguars pregame coverage that begins five hours prior to every Jaguars kickoff. Tony Smith, Lauren Brooks and Blythe Brumleve are the hosts. So if you need Jags talk at 4:30 a.m., they will be there for you.
Remember, kickoff is at 9:30 a.m. this week.
Where to Watch:
It will be broadcast regionally on CBS and locally on WJAX 47. The Jaguars do not have Tom McCarthy this week. Instead it is the crew of Greg Gumble, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl.
Sorry, it’s one of our favorite Family Guy jokes.