5 Storylines to Watch: Jaguars vs. Colts

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at AT&T Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at AT&T Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

With both teams coming off their bye week, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts will face off at Lucas Oil Stadium in an AFC South rivalry.

Currently, at 3-5, the Jaguars are on the outside looking into the AFC playoff picture. With the Houston Texans (6-3) and Tennessee Titans (4-4) ahead of the team, the Jaguars are in a must-win situation. Fans of the Black and Teal should watch for these storylines.

Leonard Fournette Returns – Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette will make his first appearance since week four against the Jets. The workhorse back for the Jaguars missed the last five weeks after reaggravating a hamstring injury sustained in week one.

The Jaguars struggled to get the ground game going without Fournette, as the team hasn’t had a 100-yard rusher this season. This will look to change against a Colts team that has the 19th worst rushing defense in the league, giving up 109.9 rushing yards per game.

More from Jacksonville Jaguars News

The Jaguars will be hesitant with Fournette, especially with Carlos Hyde and T.J. Yeldon behind him, but expect for Fournette to be a difference maker on Sunday.

Defensive Woes to End? – The absence of Fournette ignited a ripple effect for the entire Jaguars team, including the defense. While mainstream sports media has torn down the Jaguars’ once vaulted status as on one of the best defenses in the NFL, this proves to be false as the team still currently has a top-rated defense.

Ranked first in passing yards per game with 190, and second, in total yards per game with 313.3, the Jaguars’ defense will be on the field a lot less now with Fournette’s return. A well-rested defense results in a more energized one, expect Sacksonville to return.

The Jaguars sacked quarterback Jacoby Brissett 10 times last season in Indianapolis, the defensive line’s production on Sunday could turn the table.

Can a Sinking BOAT be Salvaged? – Blake Bortles hasn’t been very good, to say the least. While Bortles played better against the Philadelphia Eagles in London, the QB didn’t make anything happen outside of simple game management.

Bortles has shown a fear of throwing the deep ball. Whether this is a move by the offensive coaching staff or Bortles himself, Bortles needs to get back on track. The Colts have the 23rd worst passing defense in the league, giving up 261.5 yards per game.

Bortles has played well against the Colts in the past, going for 639 yards and three touchdowns combined in the last two games against them.

Can These Guys Catch? – Most of Bortles’ criticism has been warranted, but the Jaguars’ wide receivers haven’t given the struggling quarterback any help. With the most drops in the NFL at 23, Jaguars wide receivers have proven to be wildly inconsistent, Keelan Cole most of all.

The young WR has shown promise, but a rough three weeks that have included two fumbles and no game above 50 receiving yards have cast doubts on the undrafted product of Kentucky Wesleyan. Dede Westbrook and Donte Moncrief haven’t been great either.

These receivers must show Bortles they can be trusted.

Just Win – The balance of the Jaguars’ season rests in this crucial week 10 game. Win and the season remains alive.

Next. The Jaguars must win the turnover battle on Sunday. dark

Lose and the season is over. It doesn’t matter how the team does it, anything will help a team that just needs to see a checkmark in the win column.