LONDON – The Colts are in a week of so much unknown with a contest in London coming on Sunday.
For a fourth straight year, the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) will host a game at Wembley Stadium. This one comes against the Indianapolis Colts (1-2) at 2:30 p.m. in London (9:30 a.m. ET).
What are the key ingredients to victory, presented by Papa Johns, when the Colts take on the Jags?
1. Taxing Travel
-This is *the *storyline of the week for the Colts. How will they handle something that is so foreign to the franchise? The Colts have done extensive research in how to handle a game five time zones away. "Time will tell," was Chuck Pagano's answer when asked if he feels the Colts are properly equipped to deal with playing in London.
2. Whose Division?
-News broke on Tuesday night that Houston's J.J. Watt is heading for injured reserve. This is a loss as significant as a team losing their starting quarterback. Without Watt, this seriously complicates the Texans' chances of pulling away in the AFC South. The Colts sit just a game back from Houston and could find themselves tied atop the division by Sunday night, something that seemed far fetched just a week ago.
3. Doing It Away From Home
-Starting Sunday, the Colts will have six games in a row before their bye week. Four of those come away from home (three divisional contests and a Nov. 6 trip to Green Bay). It's a bit unusual to play your first three divisional games all away from home, but that's what is facing the Colts here in 2016.
4. Improving Defense
-It's no surprise that as this unit gets some frontline guys back in the lineup, the group is beginning to play better. With Henry Anderson and Vontae Davis returning last week, the defense was stifling against the run and didn't allow a passing touchdown for a second straight week. New starting cornerback Patrick Robinson will join the guys this week, therefore giving the Colts their entire starting defense together for the first time in 2016.
5. Luck's Familiarity
-No player knows London and the continent of Europe quite like Andrew Luck. The star quarterback grew up in London and lived in Europe for nine years of his childhood. Will Luck's brand over in the United Kingdom put a few extra Colts' fans inside of Wembley Stadium on Sunday?
6. Shuffling Offensive Line
-It's been a little bit of good, and a little of bad, on the injury front for the offensive line this week. The good: starting right guard Denzelle Good and right tackle Joe Reitz have returned to practice, in limited roles. The bad: Their statuses are still up in the air for Sunday. Look for rookie fifth-round pick Joe Haeg to be a starter at one of those spots on Sunday, if Reitz and/or Good can't play. If they both can't go, the Colts will be starting three rookies on the offensive line in Week Four.
7. Post London Affect
-Sunday marks the 15th NFL game in London, since the International Series began in 2007. The Colts are the first team to not have their bye week immediately following the game in London. The Colts did not want to have their bye week so early in the season, so they will have five straight games following London, before a bye on Nov. 13.