The Jacksonville Jaguars were a 1.5-underdog heading into their Week 6 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts but they’re up 14-13 at halftime. Nobody will turn up their nose to a lead but you could make the case the Jags should be winning by a wider margin.
The Jaguars’ offensive line has struggled to protect Trevor Lawrence. While the quarterback should have seen defensive tackle DeForest Buckner coming when he was brought down for the first time, he hasn’t gotten optimal protection and has already been sacked four times… in the first half. That’s simply too much. The former Clemson Tiger was 7-of-8 for 45 yards with no passing touchdowns and no interceptions.
On the other hand, Jacksonville’s running game is at full steam. They’ve already logged 151 yards in just 10 carries. Travis Etienne, James Robinson, Jamal Agnew, and JaMycal Hasty all have had big runs against the Colts. In fact, Hasty broke off for a 61-yard touchdown run. Trevor Lawrence scored the Jags’ first touchdown of the game.
The defense was off to a great start, forcing two punts on the Colts’ first two drives. They have also forced two fumbles. However, they had a bit of trouble slowing down Matt Ryan and Indy afterward.
Speaking of Ryan, he’s showing he’s still got an arm, going 26-of-37 for 232 yards with one touchdown. Sure, he’s averaging a subpar 6.3 yards per attempt but without Jonathan Taylor (ankle) and Nyheim Hines (concussion), the Colts’ top two running backs, they might not have another choice and will need to rely on the veteran quarterback to win this game.
The Jaguars must rely on their running backs in the 2nd half of Week 6
The Jags have had success running the ball against the Colts, so they shouldn’t deviate from the formula and keep feeding the ball to Robinson and Etienne. If Indy stacks up the box, Lawrence will then have more favorable matchups against the secondary. Also, the defense must generate a few big plays and keep rattling Ryan.
Indy’s defense is without defensive end Kwity Paye and linebacker Shaquille Leonard. The Jags cannot miss out on the opportunity to beat a weakened Colts team and must finish the job in the second half.