INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts finish off their 2019 season this Sunday with a trip south to take on their AFC South Division rival Jacksonville Jaguars.
The two teams played back in Week 11 at Lucas Oil Stadium, a lopsided, 33-13 victory for the Colts. However, both teams have undergone a little change since then. For the Jaguars, they went back to rookie Gardner Minshew II at quarterback, and the Colts are coming off of their first win last week since that Week 11 contest.
Let's take a look at this week's matchup.
The Jaguars are coming off of a 24-12 loss last week on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. It was their sixth loss in the last seven games, putting them at 5-10 with one game left on the season.
Falcons' Passing Game
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan went 32-of-45 passing (77.8 percent) for 384 yards (8.5 YPA), one touchdown and two interceptions (Tre Herndon, Jarrod Wilson), and he was sacked once (Dawuane Smoot) for a final passer rating of 85.8.
Receiver Julio Jones had a dominant outing, catching 10-of-15 targets for 166 yards (16.6 avg.). Tight end Austin Hooper and running back Devonta Freeman chipped in a combined 16 receptions for 156 yards (9.8 avg.) and a touchdown.
Falcons' Run Game
The Falcons had a solid day on the ground, with Freeman putting up 53 yards on 13 carries (4.1 avg.) and a touchdown and Brian Hill running it seven times for team-high 66 yards (9.4 avg.). As a team, they totaled 135 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries (5.0 avg.).
Jaguars' Passing Game
Minshew II struggled mightily, going 13-of-31 passing (41.9 percent) for 181 yards (5.8 YPA), with one touchdown, and he was sacked three times for a passer rating of 72.1. Punter Logan Cooke also got an opportunity to make a play, completing one pass for seven yards.
Wide receiver Chris Conley and tight end Seth DeValve led the way with a combined 101 yards on five catches (20.2 avg.). Running back Leonard Fournette and Keelan Cole accounted for 57 yards on four catches (14.3 avg.).
Jaguars' Run Game
Jacksonville also had a somewhat productive day on the ground, led by Fournette's 71 yards on 15 carries (4.7 avg.). As a team, they compiled 115 yards on 24 carries (4.8 avg.).
Jaguars' Passing Game
The Colts played against quarterback Nick Foles the last time the two teams met, but it'll be the rookie Minshew II this time around. The pass-catchers largely remain the same, with receivers D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook and Conley leading the way.
The Colts' pass defense bounced back in a big way last week against rookie quarterback Will Grier and the Carolina Panthers after a rough prior few weeks. Last week, they held Carolina to 199 net passing yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. This week's matchup should resemble closer to what the Colts faced last week rather than Jameis Winston and Drew Brees in weeks prior.
In the Week 11 matchup, the Foles had 279 net passing yards with two touchdowns, one interception (Rock Ya-Sin) and was sacked twice (Justin Houston, Kenny Moore II).
- QB Gardner Minshew II — 59.9 percent completions, 2,976 yards, 6.9 YPA, 18 TD, 5 INT, 30 sacks
- WR D.J. Chark Jr. — 69 catches (113 targets), 974 yards (14.1 avg.), 8 TD
- RB Leonard Fournette — 76 catches (100 targets), 522 yards (6.9 avg.)
- WR Dede Westbrook — 59 catches (93 targets), 588 yards (10.0 avg.), 2 TD
- WR Chris Conley — 44 catches (84 targets), 737 yards (16.8 avg.), 5 TD
Jaguars' Run Game
Fournette is in the midst of arguably his best season, but the Jaguars can be held in check on the ground. For example, the Colts held Jacksonville to just 29 rushing yards on nine carries in Week 11 (3.2 avg.).
The Colts have been largely outstanding against the run, allowing just four opponents to reach 100 rushing yards as a team in the last 11 games.
- RB Leonard Fournette — 265 carries, 1,152 yards (4.3 avg.), 3 TD
- QB Gardner Minshew II — 62 carries, 337 yards (5.4 avg.)
- RB Ryquell Armstead — 25 carries, 75 yards (3.0 avg.)
- WR Dede Westbrook — 5 carries, 27 yards (5.4 avg.)
Colts' Passing Game
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett and the Colts' passing game has not been a gaudy unit, but they often rely on the run game to get them going. That is mostly likely going to be the same recipe that they followed against Jacksonville earlier this season, but more on that later. The Colts have wide receiver T.Y. Hilton back for the third week in a row, and he'll be looking to close the season out on a high note, not having scored a touchdown since Week 7.
Jacksonville's pass defense has its moments, but the strength of that unit is its pass rush, which ranks tied for seventh in the league in sacks. In Week 11, the Jaguars held the Colts to 125 net passing yards and sacked Brissett three times (Josh Allen, D.J. Hayden, Yannick Ngakoue) and picked him off once (Wilson).
- QB Jacoby Brissett — 61.6 percent completions, 2,780 yards, 6.6 YPA, 18 TD, 6 INT, 24 sacks
- WR Zach Pascal — 40 catches (69 targets), 597 yards (14.9 avg.), 5 TD
- TE Jack Doyle — 42 catches (68 targets), 442 yards (10.5 avg.), 4 TD
- WR T.Y. Hilton — 42 catches (65 targets), 429 yards (10.2 avg.), 5 TD
- RB Nyheim Hines — 41 catches (53 targets), 298 yards (7.3 avg.)
Colts' Run Game
It seems pretty likely that the Colts attempt to play smashmouth football on Sunday and force the run on Jacksonville's front, even if the Jaguars will expect it. The Colts are coming off of a 218-yard rushing performance last week against the Panthers, but they had their season high against Jacksonville in Week 11 with 264 yards. Both Marlon Mack (14 carries, 109 yards, one touchdown) and Jonathan Williams (13 carries, 116 yards) ran for more than 100 yards, and the Colts smothered the Jaguars as a result. Recently, Jordan Wilkins has resumed the backup role to Mack, carrying the ball 24 times for 142 yards (5.9 avg.) and two touchdowns over the last four games.
The Jaguars' run defense has been a mess, ranking near the bottom of the league in rushing, yards per carry allowed, rushing touchdowns allowed and run plays of 20 and 40-plus yards allowed. It allowed at least 100 yards rushing to its opponent in six of the last seven games, and has allowed four (nearly five) 200-yard rushing performances.
- RB Marlon Mack — 232 carries, 1,014 yards (4.4 avg.), 6 TD
- QB Jacoby Brissett — 52 carries, 211 yards (4.1 avg.), 4 TD
- RB Jordan Wilkins — 51 carries, 307 yards (6.0 avg.), 2 TD
- RB Jonathan Williams — 49 carries, 235 yards (4.8 avg.), 1 TD
- RB Nyheim Hines — 45 carries, 165 yards (3.7 avg.), 2 TD
JAGUARS' 2019 KEY STATS
- Tied-3rd in run plays of 40-plus yards (4)
- Tied-6th in interceptions thrown (6)
- 20th in overall offense (341.0 YPG)
- 28th in third-down conversions (32 percent)
- 29th in scoring (17.5 PPG)
- 31st in red-zone scoring (38.1 percent)
- 32nd in rushing touchdowns (3)
- Tied-7th in sacks (44)
- 20th in passing (242.3 YPG)
- Tied-20th in interceptions (10)
- Tied-22nd in scoring (25.1 PPG)
- 24th in third-down conversions (42 percent)
- 26th in pass plays of 20-plus yards allowed (58) and tied-26th in pass plays of 40-plus yards (12)
- 27th in overall defense (382.1 YPG)
- Tied-27th in passing yards per attempt (8.0)
- 28th in rushing (139.8 YPG)
- Tied-29th in run plays of 20-plus yards allowed (14) and 32nd in run plays of 40-plus yards (6)
- 31st in opponent rushing yards per attempt (5.1)
- 31st in rushing touchdowns allowed (21)