INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will reach the quarter pole of the 2013 regular season on Sunday afternoon in playing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Sunday’s road contest marks the opening of the 2013 AFC South slate for the Colts and will be the team’s only divisional game until the month of November.
Under new head coach Gus Bradley, the Jaguars have struggled offensively early in 2013 while dealing with some injuries at the quarterback position.
Blaine Gabbert has been announced as the starting quarterback for Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. EST kickoff and Colts fans distinctly remember what Gabbert did in Indianapolis last season.
Gabbert’s 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cecil Shorts with under a minute to play gave the Jaguars a Week Three 22-17 win over the Colts and would be the lone home loss of the season for Indianapolis.
This will be Gabbert’s second start of the 2013 season as a hand injury allowed for veteran Chad Henne to start the previous two weeks.
Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew is once again the main focal point for stopping the Jaguars offense.
MJD has struggled early on in 2013 with just 115 yards on 44 carries after three weeks.
While the Jaguars will have the services of Shorts (19 receptions for 276 yards) in the receiving department, 2012 first-round pick Justin Blackmon will miss his final game of a four-game NFL suspension on Sunday.
On the other side of the football, Bradley brings with him four years of experience as the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator.
Bradley’s unit in Seattle progressed from one of the league’s worst to the best in the NFL in 2012.
Jacksonville’s defense has struggled stopping the run in 2013 but ranks in the top 10 of the NFL in passing defense and getting off the field on third downs.
2013 Record: 0-3, 4th in the AFC South.
Head Coach: Gus Bradley, 1st season as Jaguars head coach and 1st NFL season as head coach (0-3 overall regular season).
2013 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 32nd (230.3); Rushing, 30th (52.0); Passing, 29th (178.3) Defense – Overall, 19th (370.3); Rushing, 32nd (167.7); Passing, 9th (202.7).
2013 Leading Passer: Chad Henne (46-of-82 comp., 512 yards, 56.1 pct., 1 TD, 2 INT).
2013 Leading Rusher: Maurice Jones-Drew (44 carries, 115 yards, 1 TD).
2013 Leading Receiver: Cecil Shorts (19 receptions, 276 yards, 0 TD).
2013 Leading Sacker: Jason Babin (2.0).
2013 Turnover Breakdown: -2 (tied for 22nd).
2013 NFL Draft Results: Under new general manager David Caldwell, the Jaguars embarked on their eight-man draft, which was the most players the team selected since 2009. Offensive tackle Luke Joeckel was chosen with the second overall pick. Jacksonville stayed in the state of Florida with the No. 33 overall pick and selected safety Johnathan Cyprien. In the fourth and fifth rounds, the Jaguars chose a pair of offensive game breakers in speedy receiver Ace Sanders and offensive weapon Denard Robinson out of Michigan.
2012 Review: It was a very difficult first season for Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan. The Jaguars struggled to a 2-14 regular season and first-year head coach Mike Mularkey was fired. Second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert and running back Maurice Jones-Drew ended the season on the team’s injured reserve list. Rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon was chosen with the fifth pick in the 2012 draft but he battled off the field issues that extended into missing the first four games of 2013.
Last time in Playoffs: 2007 season.
Last time in Super Bowl: Never.
Super Bowl Championships: None.
2013 Pro Bowl Selections: None.