Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts: Key matchup, X-factor, and Prediction

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 22: Jacoby Brissett
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 22: Jacoby Brissett /

The Jacksonville Jaguars look to rebound against the Indianapolis Colts at home in Week 13.

For the first time in well over a month, the Jacksonville Jaguars have to bounce back from a loss. The Jaguars dropped a heart-breaker to Blaine Gabbert and the Arizona Cardinals last week, to snap a four game winning streak.

It was a game Jacksonville should not have lost, and a game they would love to have back, but with everything still to play for, the Jaguars have to move on and stay focused.

Up next on Sunday is the second head-to-head with the Indianapolis Colts. The Jaguars would love a carbon copy of the performance the team had in the first matchup against the Colts. Jacksonville played one of their most complete games of the season in a 27-0 shutout win.

The Jaguars are favored over Indianapolis this week, which is no surprise. Jacksonville is well in the playoff race, while the Colts are in a transitional year in 2017. But expecting a similar game to the one in week seven is likely asking way too much this go around. Still, the Jaguars absolutely cannot afford to lose back-to-back games, especially to teams under .500 on the season.

A preview of the week thirteen game in Jacksonville:

Key Matchup

Jaguars offensive line vs. Colts defensive line

This is not a key matchup in the sense that the Colts have a particularly menacing defensive line. Indianapolis has just 19 sacks on the season. The reason this is a key matchup is that the Jaguars big men up front really need to get back on track and make a statement.

The offensive line has struggled mightily in recent weeks. Obviously injuries have been an issue, and have affected the starting rotation. But even so, the injuries can’t be used as a crutch, and the Jaguars have failed in providing running lanes as well as adequate protection for Blake Bortles in the last three games.

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On Sunday against Colts, the offensive line needs to regain some of the dominance we saw earlier in the season. It is imperative to get the running game going again after an abysmal showing last game, and that will not happen without the line paving the way.

As, or even more important for the Jaguars, the offensive line has to keep Bortles clean and poised to limit the shaky play that he has been showing again.


QB Blake Bortles

Speaking of Blake Bortles, this is another ‘needs a confidence boost’ selection.

Blake Bortles is struggling. There is no need to sugar coat it when it was clear who Bortles was before the season began. Certainly the offensive line hasn’t made things easier recently, but Bortles even with time is making critical mistakes again.

Bortles isn’t asked to be a gunslinger by any means. He really just has to be a quintessential game manager. The bar is low, and has been low since the start of the year. But Bortles still continues to trip over it.

Against the Colts, and the rest of the season for that matter, Bortles has to find someway to limit his bad decision making, and just make the throws asked of him. He repeatedly makes that a daunting task, but Bortles must stabilize his play for the team to be any kind of threat.

Even with a dominating defense in place, the Jaguars are only truly going to go as far as Blake Bortles takes them.


This week’s game is not going to be as easy and effortless as the first matchup appeared. The Colts, despite a disappointing season, are continuing to fight, and will put one up against the Jaguars. But with so much on the line, Jacksonville will be focused and ready to get the bitter taste out of their mouth left from last week.

The offense won’t break the scoreboard, but they know improvement is critical, and will execute cleaner on Sunday. The defense will continue to shine, and are even more hungry after giving up a few big plays against the Cardinals. Jacksonville gets back in the win column, setting up a huge game against the Seattle Seahawks next week.

Jaguars-20 Colts-13