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Seven Things To Watch For: Colts/Jaguars Edition

Intro: For the second straight week the Colts (6-4) are playing in front of the home faithful at Lucas Oil Stadium with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) in town. Here are seven things to watch for in the Colts and Jaguars meeting for the second time this season.


INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time this season, the Colts will have a rematch with an earlier opponent.

The Colts (6-4) will be looking for their 11th straight AFC South win on Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) come to Lucas Oil Stadium.

What should fans be looking for when the Colts take on the Jaguars?

1. Improved Run Defense

-The Patriots loss was barely 15 minutes old before Chuck Pagano announced the need for improved trench play. From a run defense standpoint, the Colts will get the services of Arthur Jones back this week. Jones, who was a major offseason addition, has played just one full game in 2014. His beef up front will certainly factor into how the Colts run defense transforms over the rest of the season.

2. Red Zone Efficiency

-Moving the football isn't an issue for the Colts offense. The Colts have already tied a franchise record with eight games of at least 400 yards of offense this season. Turning that type of production into consistent results on the scoreboard remains a focus. Adam Vinatieri has been such a weapon this season but the Colts wouldn't mind seeing the league's top kicker settle for a day of extra points, instead of field goals.

3. Playmakers Emerge

-Without Ahmad Bradshaw and Dwayne Allen on Sunday, the Colts offense will be missing two of their most explosive playmakers. The offense has been extremely healthy all year long at the skill group so now the unit has to adapt with some different faces playing larger roles. At the tight end position, Coby Fleener and Jack Doyle should see more playing time. At running back…

4. Incorporating Boom Herron

-…it's the star of Training Camp and preseason, Boom Herron, getting the call of "Next Man Up." In the preseason, it was Herron getting ample first team work. He's been effective in mop up duty but now his workload will come on a much more important stage. What the Colts do on third down with Herron and Trent Richardson will be interesting to watch.

5. Secondary Makeup

-As Greg Toler deals with a concussion, the Colts cornerback rotation will have to adjust this weekend. Darius Butler, who has recorded a turnover in four straight games versus the Jaguars, moves to the outside in the Colts base defense. At the safety position, LaRon Landry will be playing his second game back from suspension. Chuck Pagano said earlier this week that Landry's role would expand from his eight defensive snaps last week.

*6. Resilient Colts  *

-In the Chuck Pagano era, the Colts are 12-1 in "bounce back" games. The number dwarfs that of any other team and has been a staple of the Colts playing into the month of January. The Colts only stretch of back-to-back losses in the last three seasons came earlier this year (Denver-Philadelphia).

7. Keeping Division Lead

-While much of the talk last week was focused on the home field implications of a Colts win, that attention has shifted to the AFC South. The Colts have a one-game lead over the Texans. Of course, the Colts have the early tiebreaker against Houston and will see them in Week 15 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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