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2018 Colts Preview: Colts/Jaguars, Week 13

2018_1111_JAX_2790

INDIANAPOLIS — For the second time in four weeks, the Indianapolis Colts (6-5) take on the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8), this time at TIAA Bank Stadium in Florida. Their matchup is just as important this time around, as the Colts need to continue doing their part to claim an AFC wildcard spot.

The Colts are currently the No. 7 seed and are tied with the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens (6-5) — who own the tie-breaker due to conference win percentage — but are two games back from both the No. 5 seed Los Angeles Chargers (8-3) and AFC South leader Houston Texans (8-3).

BROADCAST INFORMATION

  • Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. ET
  • Jacksonville, Fla.; TIAA Bank Field
  • TV: CBS — Tom McCarthy (play-by-play) and Steve Beuerlein (color)
  • To find out what games will be on in your area, check here
  • Radio: WFNI “1070 The Fan” and WLHK “HANK FM” — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Jim Sorgi (color) and Caroline Cann (sideline)

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Colts lead, 23-12, and are 10-6 against the Jaguars at TIAA Bank Stadium.
  • Last game — Week 10 of 2018. The Colts won, 29-26.

COACHING STAFF

Colts:

  • HC Frank Reich
  • OC Nick Sirianni
  • DC Matt Eberflus
  • STC Bubba Ventrone

Jaguars:

  • HC Doug Marrone
  • OC Scott Milanovich (interim)
  • DC Todd Wash
  • STC Joe DeCamillis

LAST WEEK

Colts:

  • Won vs. Miami Dolphins (5-6), 27-24

Jaguars:

  • Lost vs. Buffalo Bills (4-7), 24-21

INJURY UPDATE

Colts:

  • TE Mo Alie-Cox (calf): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • C Ryan Kelly (knee): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • LB Darius Leonard (shoulder/knee): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday, limited participant Thursday, full participant Friday
  • RB Marlon Mack (concussion): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday, full participant Thursday and Friday
  • S Mike Mitchell (calf): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday, did not practice Thursday and Friday
  • WR Chester Rogers (groin): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Friday
  • TE Erik Swoope (knee): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday, did not practice Thursday, limited participant Friday
  • DE Kemoko Turay (hip): QUESTIONABLE — Full participant Friday

Jaguars:

  • WR D.J. Chark (quadricep): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • S Cody Davis (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • S Tashaun Gipson (ankle): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday and Thursday, limited participant Friday
  • CB Tre Herndon (ankle): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • LB Lerentee McCray (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • CB Quenton Meeks (knee): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • CB Jalen Ramsey (knee): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday and Thursday, limited participant Friday
  • OL Josh Walker (foot/ankle): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH

  • OC Nathaniel Hackett Out, Scott Milanovich In — This week, the Jaguars fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator, with quarterbacks coach (and friend of Colts head coach Frank Reich) Scott Milanovich filling in as the interim in that role. The Jaguars currently rank 20th or worse in both scoring (28th, 17.9 PPG) and total offense (22nd, 346.5 YPG).
  • Since Last Time, Colts Won’t See Blake Bortles, Leonard Fournette, Andrew Norwell and Brandon Linder — Quarterback Blake Bortles, running back Leonard Fournette, center Brandon Linder and offensive guard Andrew Norwell were all starting back in Week 10, but now the Colts will see none of the four this time around. It will be interesting to see what head coach Doug Marrone and Milanovich's gameplan will be without two of their best linemen and their top running back. Benching Bortles for Cody Kessler was a strategic move, but it would still make sense for this to be a rather basic offensive gameplan dependent on execution.
  • Colts Tight End Jack Doyle Placed On Injured Reserve — The Colts were forced to place starting tight end Jack Doyle on injured reserve this week with a kidney injury. The Colts were without Doyle due to a hip injury for five games earlier in the season, and it created an expanded role for Eric Ebron, who has been one of the NFL's most dominating forces at the tight end position this year. Outside of Doyle, all the other Colts tight ends, Ebron, Mo Alie-Cox, Erik Swoope and Ryan Hewitt were on the injury report this week. The Colts did, however, sign veteran free agent tight end Clive Walford this week to take Doyle's roster spot.
  • Can The Colts Establish The Run This Time Around? — The Colts were unable to get anything going on the ground in Week 10 — totaling 81 yards on 23 attempts — after averaging 189.7 rushing yards in the three games prior. The differences this time around are that Colts starting center Ryan Kelly has been out with a knee injury since Week 11 and hasn't practiced yet this week, and starting running back Marlon Mack's availability is up in the air with a concussion. Will the Colts be able to establish the run this time around?
  • Andrew Luck On Fire — The Jaguars are unquestionably a solid defense, especially against the pass, but Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been unbelievable this season. He has thrown for at least three touchdowns in eight consecutive games, and has had a passer rating better than 100 in five straight games. He was recently named the FedEx Air Player of the Week for his performance last week, as well as the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for his performance in November.

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey/A.J. Bouye — If Ramsey can't give it a go on Sunday then it makes sense for Bouye to draw the assignment of guarding Hilton. Ramsey typically shadows an opposing receiver if they're a true No. 1 like Hilton, so we'll see (if he doesn't play) if Bouye takes that spot. Regardless, Hilton has had great battles with both players, whether Bouye was with the Jaguars or when he was with the Houston Texans.
  • Colts LT Anthony Castonzo vs. Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue — Ngakoue is one of the better pass rush specialists in the league, currently leading in quarterback hits (17) to go with six sacks and 24 hurries. He's given the Colts fits before, but luckily the Colts have just the man for the job in Castonzo, who has yet to allow a sack this season (knock on wood). Luck was left un-sacked during the Week 10 matchup.
  • Colts RG Mark Glowinski/RT Braden Smith vs. Jaguars DL Calais Campbell — Smith had his hands full with Miami Dolphins veteran edge rusher Cameron Wake last week, and he'll have another test this week in Campbell. Glowinski will likely also see matchups with Campbell, as the defender often kicks inside situationally. Overall, the young right-side duo has done a great job this season.
  • Colts LB Darius Leonard/Anthony Walker vs. Jaguars RB Carlos Hyde/T.J. Yeldon — Even though Jacksonville will be without Fournette, having a new quarterback and playcaller means that it makes sense for them to rely on their other talented running backs in Hyde and Yeldon. Expect to see the Colts' top linebacker duo of Leonard and Walker all over the place as they attempt to keep run plays and short passes in front of them.

REFEREE ASSIGNMENT

BETTING LINE

LEADERS

Colts:

  • Passing — QB Andrew Luck (3,112 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (556 yards)
  • Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (710 yards)
  • Touchdowns — TE Eric Ebron (12)
  • Tackles — LB Darius Leonard (114)
  • Sacks — LB Darius Leonard (6.0)
  • Interceptions — CB Kenny Moore II (2)

Jaguars:

  • Passing — QB Blake Bortles (2,572 yards)
  • Rushing — RB T.J. Yeldon (385 yards)
  • Receiving — WR Dede Westbrook (528 yards)
  • Touchdowns — RB Leonard Fournette, RB T.J. Yeldon (5)
  • Tackles — LB Telvin Smith (89)
  • Sacks — DE Calais Campbell, DE Yannick Ngakoue (6.0)
  • Interceptions — CB Jalen Ramsey (3)

COMPARING 2018 STATS

Colts:

  • Total offense — 8th (388.2 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 4th (29.5 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 8th (275.3 YPG)
  • Running offense — 18th (112.9 YPG)
  • Third down offense — 1st (51%)
  • Red zone offense — 5th (68.9%)
  • Total defense — 17th (360.3 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 18th (24.8 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 20th (253.9 YPG)
  • Sacks — 20th (27)
  • Running defense — 12th (106.4 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 27th (43%)
  • Red zone defense — 9th (53.1%)
  • Time of possession — 26th (29:19)
  • Turnover differential — 14th (+3)

Jaguars:

  • Total offense — 22nd (346.5 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 28th (17.9 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 22nd (232.3 YPG)
  • Running offense — 16th (114.2 YPG)
  • Third down offense — 9th (43%)
  • Red zone offense — 23rd (52.0%)
  • Total defense — 6th (320.2 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 8th (22.1 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 3rd (205.6 YPG)
  • Sacks — 27th (21)
  • Running defense — 16th (114.5 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 9th (37%)
  • Red zone defense — 13th (58.1%)
  • Time of possession — 16th (30:37)
  • Turnover differential — 30th (-11)

NOTES AND QUOTES

  • This week, the Colts made the following moves: Signed free agent tight end Clive Walford, placed Doyle on injured reserve, signed defensive end Anthony Winbush to the practice squad and released quarterback Phillip Walker from the practice squad.
  • The NFL announced that Luck has earned the NFL FedEx Air Player of the Week award for his Week 12 performance against the Dolphins, his first win of the award this season. Luck was also awarded the AFC Offensive Player of the Month award for November, his second time winning the award in his career.
  • With three passing touchdowns, Luck will tie Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (167) for the sixth-most passing touchdowns in a player's first seven seasons. Three passing touchdowns would also break a tie with former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (8) for the second-longest streak of games with three-plus touchdown passes in NFL history, and the longest in franchise history. Luck needs one rushing touchdown to pass Bert Jones (14) for the second-most in franchise history among quarterbacks.
  • Hilton needs one 150-yard receiving game to pass Marvin Harrison (11) for the most such games in franchise history. Hilton also needs one receiving touchdown to pass Jim Mutscheller (40) for the seventh-most receiving touchdowns in franchise history.
  • Ebron needs one touchdown reception to pass Dallas Clark (11) for the most in a single season in franchise history.
  • Kicker Adam Vinatieri needs two made field goals from 40-49 yards to pass Gary Anderson (161) for the most from that distance in NFL history. With one made field goal from 50-plus yards, Vinatieri will tie Phil Dawson and John Kasay (42) for the fourth-most from that distance in NFL history.
  • Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus on how they approach facing a team who they just played, but who has had several changes in that short amount of time: “I mean for me, the runners depending on what happens there – they have two great runners, or three depending on what happens. That’s not really going to affect what goes on. They are all capable runners and talented players. Relative to the quarterback, he has played in this league. He has started what, six (eight) games? In 2016, I know he started some games there. He has played half the game in Houston this week. So he’s more than a capable quarterback. We know in the NFL, every week is a challenge and every week you’ve got to be ready to play. This is a division game down there in Jacksonville. It’s going to be a great challenge for our defense and for our football team.”
  • Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni on how they gameplan for this game considering they recently played: “We go back and we kind of go through the same routine as what we did a couple weeks ago because we have had two weeks of playing two good football teams in the Titans and the Dolphins. It goes back to, ‘Hey, what worked and what didn’t work?’ So we do start right at the beginning again. It really is just right from the top again. Watch their last couple of games, watch their last game against us. It is a quick turnaround, but I think the more you can stay in a routine the better. We know they are going to be looking at our tape and saying, ‘Hey, they hit this, so let’s take this away.’ So we get that. It is a little bit of a challenge for that quick turnaround, but we know they are in the same boat as well. Like if it’s going to be raining out, we are both going to be playing in the rain. So we are both preparing under the same circumstances, but it is a little different.”

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) (@ Oakland Raiders [2-9])
  2. New England Patriots (8-3) (Minnesota Vikings [6-4-1])
  3. Houston Texans (8-3) (Cleveland Browns [4-6-1])
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1) (Los Angeles Chargers [8-3])
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (8-3) (@ Pittsburgh Steelers [7-3-1])
  6. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) (@ Atlanta Falcons [4-7])
  7. Indianapolis Colts (6-5) (@ Jacksonville Jaguars [3-8])
  8. Miami Dolphins (5-6) (Buffalo Bills [4-7])
  9. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) (Denver Broncos [5-6])
  10. Denver Broncos (5-6) (@ Cincinnati Bengals [5-6])
  11. Tennessee Titans (5-6) (New York Jets [3-8])

NEXT WEEK

Colts:

  • Houston Texans (8-3) (away)

Jaguars:

  • Tennessee Titans (5-6) (away)

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