INDIANAPOLIS — This is it; the Indianapolis Colts' last effort to make the most out of their 2019 regular season.
They travel to northern Florida to take on the AFC Division rival Jacksonville Jaguars in a place that has been a house of horrors for them recently, as they've gone without a win in Jacksonville since 2014. However, if the Colts are going to get off the schneid then this may be the year it happens.
For starters, there could be a ton for the Colts to play for in this, their final game of the regular season. As we saw last year, Week 17 was a win and you're in the playoffs, or lose and your season is done, scenario. They rose to the occasion and extinguished the Tennessee Titans, on the road, to make it into the playoffs.
What might this year's final game mean?
- Sunday, Dec. 29, at 1 p.m. ET
- Jacksonville, Fla.; TIAA Bank Field
- TV: CBS
- Colts lead, 23-13. The Jaguars have won three of the last four games dating back to 2017.
- Last game — Week 13 of 2018. Jaguars won, 6-0.
*The two teams will also play in Week 11 of the 2019 regular season.
- HC Frank Reich
- OC Nick Sirianni
- DC Matt Eberflus
- STC Bubba Ventrone
- HC Doug Marrone
- OC John DeFilippo
- DC Todd Wash
- STC Joe DeCamillis
OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
- Overall, this was a pretty quiet offseason for the Colts for a change. It was about building onto and shaping the current roster rather than shaking things up or making sweeping changes. Former starting receivers Ryan Grant and Dontrelle Inman both departed in free agency, and veterans Mike Mitchell and Al Woods also were not re-signed by the team. Offensive lineman Matt Slauson retired following a 10-year career.
- Starting with the coaching staff, the Jaguars welcome a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo, who takes over for Nathaniel Hackett.
- There are several new, significant faces in town including quarterback Nick Foles. The Jaguars were able to pull off selecting offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor, who slipped to the second round of the 2019 Draft but was considered the top tackle in the draft by many. Edge defender Josh Allen is also another huge addition. After several running backs formerly behind Leonard Fournette on the depth chart departed this offseason, former Houston Texans rival Alfred Blue as well as former Seattle Seahawk Thomas Rawls have been signed to complement Fournette.
- Some very recognizable characters are no longer with the Jaguars, as former first-round pick, quarterback Blake Bortles, running backs T.J. Yeldon, Carlos Hyde and Corey Grant, former Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief, defensive tackle Malik Jackson and safety Tashaun Gipson are all no longer in Jacksonville.
- Pro Bowl linebacker Telvin Smith has stepped away from football for the 2019 season, taking away one of the team's best defensive players.
EARLY STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH
- Breaking The Cycle In Jacksonville — Simply put, do the Colts end their losing streak in away games against the Jaguars? This team has responded well to pressure, so it is more than capable.
- Each Team's Last Effort — The Colts are a more popular pick nationally to make a postseason run, but there are believers out there in the Jaguars as well. Week 17 will be each team's last chance to help their postseason chances.
- Starters Resting? — Who knows? Maybe either of these teams are already comfortably in the playoff hunt; maybe even to the point where this game does nothing for them in the standings. In that instance, will we see starters resting, or will their head coach want them to have momentum?
- Milestone Watch — With one game left on the season, there are likely to be plenty of personal and team milestones left to be achieved by either team. Thousand-yard seasons, double-digit touchdowns, NFL and Colts franchise records and other various single-season personal bests can be on the line in this one.
- Colts WR Devin Funchess vs. Jaguars CB A.J. Bouye — Jalen Ramsey gets a lot of attention as the Jaguars' stud cover corner, but Bouye is also one of the best in the league. Will he be able to completely shut down the Colts' big-bodied, contested catch artist?
- Colts TE Eric Ebron* vs. Jaguars LB Myles Jack/S Ronnie Harrison —* Ebron went off for 71 yards of offense and three scores in the teams' first meeting last year, and although he had 11 touches for 72 yards in the second game, he didn't get the opportunity to score, and he lost a fumble on a fourth down play. He was productive in both matchups, but with how competitive he is, he'll want to atone for the fumble late last year.
- Colts OT Braden Smith* vs. Jaguars ED/LB Josh Allen —* It'd be wise for the Jaguars to move Allen around the formation to capitalize on different matchups, but it'll be tough for him to get past the highly athletic Smith, who will be another year wiser as a right tackle and in the same offensive system.
- Colts DE Justin Houston vs. Jaguars OT Cam Robinson — These are two strong, tough guys who will likely have an exhausting battle throughout the day, but the veteran Houston might have some tricks up his sleeve to slip past the third-year tackle.
*In the Week 11 preview, we also highlighted the matchups between Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hiltonagainst Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Colts offensive tackle Anthony Castonzoagainst Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, Colts defensive tackle Denico Autryagainst Jaguars center Brandon Linder and guard Andrew Norwell, and Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II_ against Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook._
- Favorite: N/A
- Over/Under: N/A
*With so many unknown variables around the league in the final week of the regular season, betting lines are not out yet.
- Passing — QB Andrew Luck (4,593 yards)
- Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (908 yards)
- Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (1,270 yards)
- Touchdowns — TE Eric Ebron (14)
- Tackles — LB Darius Leonard (163)
- Sacks — DL Denico Autry (9.0)
- Interceptions — CB Kenny Moore II (3)
- Passing — P Logan Cooke (4 yards)
- Rushing — RB Leonard Fournette (439 yards)
- Receiving — WR Dede Westbrook (717 yards)
- Touchdowns — RB Leonard Fournette (6)
- Tackles — LB Myles Jack (107)
- Sacks — DE Calais Campbell (10.5)
- Interceptions — CB Jalen Ramsey (3)
COMPARING 2018 STATS
- Total offense — 7th (386.2 YPG)
- Scoring offense — 5th (27.1 PPG)
- Passing offense — 6th (278.8 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — 1st (18)
- Running offense — 20th (107.4 YPG)
- Third down offense — 1st (48.6%)
- Red zone offense — 5th (67.1%)
- Total defense — 11th (339.4 YPG)
- Scoring defense — 10th (21.5 PPG)
- Passing defense — 16th (237.8 YPG)
- Sacks — Tied-19th (38)
- Running defense — 8th (101.6 YPG)
- Third down defense — 23rd (41%)
- Red zone defense — 11th (55.1%)
- Time of possession — 18th (30:05)
- Turnover differential — Tied-13th (2)
- Total offense — 27th (302.0 YPG)
- Scoring offense — 31st (15.3 PPG)
- Passing offense — 26th (194.3 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — Tied-29th (53)
- Running offense — 19th (107.7 YPG)
- Third down offense — 14th (40%)
- Red zone offense — 31st (44.1%)
- Total defense — 5th (311.4 YPG)
- Scoring defense — Tied-4th (19.8 PPG)
- Passing defense — 2nd (194.6 YPG)
- Sacks — Tied-22nd (37)
- Running defense — 19th (116.9 YPG)
- Third down defense — 14th (38%)
- Red zone defense — 5th (51.1%)
- Time of possession — 17th (30:14)
- Turnover differential — 29th (-12)