Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts: Keep Your Enemies Close – 5 Questions with Naptown’s Finest
The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a pretty horrific start to the 2014 season after such a promising first half in week 1, and they’ll try to bounce back in their home opener against division rival Indianapolis Colts.
To get some inside info on this year’s iteration of the Colts, we went to our friends over at Naptown’s Finest. Here’s what editor Evan Reller had to say:
1. You can’t fault the Colts for starting 0-2 given their first two opponents, but it certainly isn’t an encouraging start. Who’s the biggest culprit in the Colts’ slow start?
"It has honestly been a collective failing effort the first two weeks. Andrew Luck hasn’t played well, the defense is a mess, the wide receivers can’t get separation, and the coaching has been awful. With this roster, Luck has to play at an MVP level to keep the Colts in games and he hasn’t done that through two games.There are some encouraging signs, however, as I expected the Colts to give up over 80 points to two high powered offenses and the 61 that the Broncos and Eagles scored could have been much worse. Honestly, that might say more about those two teams than the Colts though."
2. This year is huge for Trent Richardson and his future in the NFL. How has he looked so far?
"Richardson has 27 carries for 99 yards which is a 3.7 yard per attempt average, up from his 2.9 from last season. At times, he looks better but he fumbled twice (losing one) against the Eagles and was taken out of the game mentally. He is essentially a power back without a lot of power who doesn’t have the speed to run behind this offensive line.If he starts this week I would be shocked as Ahmad Bradshaw has proven to clearly be the better player. But that would also assume that the coaches are willing to make a smart decision and that hasn’t happened yet."
3. With Robert Mathis out for the year, who are the Colts turning to on defense to step up and provide a pass rush?
"It was supposed to be second year player Bjoern Werner but through two games he hasn’t even sniffed an opposing quarterback. It doesn’t help that the Colts second best rusher, Jerrell Freeman, was out last week with a hamstring injury and his status for this week is unknown. The Colts will have to rely on a group effort and creativity from the scheme to put pressure on the opposing quarterbacks.I expect it to be a problem all season long as there isn’t really anyone in free agency who can help and trade won’t produce a quality player. It was an issue even before Mathis went out for the season and the front office didn’t address the issue."
4. Is there a Colts rookie who was or is expected to play a big role this year?
"Rookie guard Jack Mewhort has started the past two games and played very well against Philadelphia. He had to step up in camp after Donald Thomas re-tore his quad. Receiver Donte Moncrief is a bit buried on the depth chart right now and has been in on just seven snaps, but its clear he can make an impact with more opportunities.OLB Jonathan Newsome is going to get more of a chance with Mathis out as the Colts desperately search for a rush linebacker.There isn’t just one person who needs to step up. With all the injuries and questionable play on defense, a lot younger players are going to get opportunities."
5. What’s your prediction for the game?
"The Colts have to win this game and unless the Jags coaches wake up and start Blake Bortles, I don’t see Jacksonville winning. The Colts need to put in a complete performance and the Jags are usually the feel the brunt of that in the NFL."