Week Four Preview: Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Intro: The Colts (1-2) will begin their 2016 AFC South schedule on Sunday morning in a 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff against the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) in London. Here’s the Week Four preview of the Colts and Jaguars matching up at Wembley Stadium.


LONDON – Let's put London aside for a second.

This week has been all about the challenges facing the Colts from a logistical standpoint of playing some 4,000 miles away from home.

But what about the 60 minutes of football on Sunday?

Between the lines on Sunday, the Colts will begin their 2016 AFC South schedule.

Divisional games are about to start coming at the Colts rapid fire, with three such contests in the next four weeks.

The Colts will return from London next week to face the Bears at home. Then it's back-to-back road divisional games against the Texans and Titans.

In the next four weeks, the picture of the AFC South should get a bit clearer for the Colts.

That's why Sunday's game means a little more than your average contest between teams with combined records of 1-5.

"This game counts double," T.Y. Hilton says of facing the Jaguars this week.

"For us, we know what's at stake."

It was Jacksonville last year beating the Colts in Week 13 for Indy's first divisional loss since December 2012.

The Colts lost two AFC South games in the final month of the season, keeping them out of the playoffs for the first time under Chuck Pagano.

This offseason, the Colts watched the rest of the AFC South draw the headlines after a variety of moves in free agency and the draft.

It begged the question: Would we see a changing of the guard in a division that has been dominated for so long by the Colts?

The Colts hope that answer is "no."

They can take the first small step towards achieving that on Sunday.

Whether it's London, Jacksonville, Australia or Indianapolis, this one will have a serious impact in how the AFC South will begin to shake out.

"We could go to London anytime for a vacation," Jim Irsay says. "My mantra to our football team and our players and coaches is this is a road division game. A game that we got our butts kicked last year, badly, in a game against a divisional team that's on the rise that's used to playing there.

"It's exciting to go to London, play the game, get the Horseshoe brand over in Europe. It's something that's good and where the league is headed, so we're excited about going there.

"But we want to win the game, obviously."**


Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles versus the Colts defense:Surprisingly, Bortles has really struggled to start 2016. Bortles has six interceptions in three games. The Colts defense has excelled in defending the pass the last two weeks and could have an entirely healthy starting unit for Sunday's game in London.

Colts running back Frank Gore versus the Jaguars front seven: The first half on Sunday was what the Colts have longed for out of the running game. Gore's 70 rushing yards in the first two quarters kept San Diego's defense uneasy the rest of the game. For the next month or so of Donte Moncrief on the sideline, consistent production from Gore would go a long way to this offense keeping up its production.**

Quick Facts**

  • Andrew Luck has won his past five starts against the Jaguars. In those games, Luck has thrown for 1,389 yards, 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
  • With 88 rushing yards on Sunday, Frank Gore will pass four people to move into ninth place on the NFL's all-time rushing list.
  • The Colts have six players who have played in London before: CB-Darius Butler, CB-Antonio Cromartie, RB-Frank Gore, DE-Kendall Langford, CB-Darryl Morris and RB-Jordan Todman.
  • This marks the fourth straight year the Jaguars have hosted a game at Wembley Stadium.
  • Jaguars' running backs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory each had 100-yard rushing days in their respective games at Wembley Stadium. Yeldon (115 rushing yards) did it with the Jags. Ivory (166 rushing yards) did it with the Jets.
  • Jaguars' Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson has 14 touchdown catches in his last 15 games.

NOTABLE QUOTESColts Head Coach Chuck Pagano(on playing in London this week):

"We are very excited about this opportunity to go to London and play. The guys are excited, the coaches are excited, all that stuff. The theme is to keep the main thing the main thing and that's preparation, prepare, do everything, try to keep things as normal as possible from a preparation standpoint and practice standpoint. You have to make a few adjustments here and there, but at the end of theday it's focus and mindset on one thing and one thing only and that is getting win number two."

Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano(on if he's surprised by the play of tight end Jack Doyle this season):

"Not really. I'm not going to say, he came here on a workout, however many years ago it was, and then we signed him and said, 'Yeah that guy is going to be what he is today.' I would be lying if I told you that. Based on the kid and his work ethic and his drive, he's one of the best pros we have on this football team as far as coming to work every single day and working to get better at his craft. He is a really smart guy and a better athlete. You will see him walking down the hall and walking into the lunch line and things like that and you would never picture him doing what he does on the football field. He has done a great job and it's all the hard work and preparation that he puts in, it's paying off and it's helping us win football games."

Colts Running Back Frank Gore(on if there are any advantages to him having playing London twice):

"When I went, we were there for a whole week. We kind of got used to the time and everything. This is really going to be my first time going on a Thursday for a short period of time. We're going over there for a reason, to play ball. Hopefully, we can get this win and make it two."

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley(on if the Jaguars' changed their travel schedule at all in going over to London for a fourth straight season):

"Since we knew we were going to go over there every year for some time, our first year we went over on Sunday, our second year we went over on a Monday and then last year we went over on a Thursday just to experience the different times and see how our players adapted to it and what we felt like was best. We had those three years of trying to gather a lot of information."

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley(on what needs to be done to get out of an 0-3 hole):

"It is a great question. We look at it and like everybody you look back at things you could've changed and done differently. We had two games that we felt like were there for the taking and we didn't accomplish it. The San Diego game we just didn't play very well. We are learning that part of it, what it takes to get over the hump. That is what it is like going through that right now with our team. Their spirit and energy is great but they are frustrated on that aspect. When you do look back like on a Monday and you see some opportunities that we missed, it hits you. But, sometimes those things will lead you to better places. I think as we are able to take advantage of that and point those things out to our players and team, what areas do we need to correct to get over this hump."

Jaguars Wide Receiver Allen Robinson(on the differences of watching Ted Monachino's defense):

"It's been tough to say, they have had a lot of guys back there, especially in the secondary. Watching the last game with them being able to get healthy, you see a group come together. There is a lot of experience back there with having (Antonio) Cromartie, Vontae Davis and Mike Adams back there. There is a lot of experience."

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