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Indianapolis Colts

Week Three Preview: Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Intro: The Colts will open up their 2014 AFC South slate on Sunday afternoon with a trip to Jacksonville. Here’s a preview of the Colts and Jaguars Week Three kickoff at 1:00 p.m. EST on Sunday.


INDIANAPOLIS – In re-taking reign of the AFC South last season, the Colts did not hold back against their fellow division mates.

For the third time since division realignment in 2002, the Colts went undefeated in all six AFC South games.

The Colts journey to defending AFC South champs will come on Sunday in a trip to Jacksonville to start a stretch of three division games in the next four weeks.

Veteran Matt Hasselbeck has made four stops around the NFL and there's been one constant in his 16 seasons.

"Of all the changes, I just remember the head coach in Green Bay coming in and saying, 'Hey, we need to win our division.' And, I'm like, 'What about the Super Bowl?' 'No, we need to win our division.'

"That was the first goal. That was the recipe. That was the game plan, win your division, give yourself a chance to get into the tournament. That has never changed, no matter who is the head coach."

The path to the 2014 AFC South Championship begins a bit behind the eight ball for the Colts.

Houston currently holds a two-game lead over the Colts.

Those standings aren't of immediate focus inside of the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

It's all about Jacksonville and the Colts trying to get their first win of 2014.

The Colts are coming off their first stretch of back-to-back losses since the 2011 season.

"Everybody understands what the record is, but we can't sit there and dwell on it," Chuck Pagano said earlier this week. "We've got to move on. There's no pity parties in football and nobody feels sorry for the Colts. Certainly we're not going to sit there and dwell on the past and what could've been.

"We've got to worry about this week. We've got to worry about practicing sharp. We've got to do the little things. We've got to execute. We've got to go put a complete 60-minute game together, try to get on the board."

The Colts head to Jacksonville after two losses, where late fourth-quarter possessions could have easily had Pagano's team at 2-0 after two weeks.

Andrew Luck himself hasn't lost back-to-back contests since his sophomore season at Stanford.

"There is a sense of urgency," Luck says of traveling to Jacksonville.

"We won't take any moral victories away from a loss. A loss is a loss and that's it. The belief to win is always here. I think it's a winning organization. It's sort of bred in the Colts DNA to win football games. That's what we're going to go out and try to do."

This is new territory for Pagano, preparing a team that hasn't had to deal with back-to-back losses since the start of 2012.

Pagano's notion of *stick to the process *hasn't changed this week and the head coach knows 7/8th of the season remains to right the ship.

"Handling success is no different than defeat," Pagano says. "Again, our guys, we've got enough veteran leadership and a group of guys in that locker room that understand that what's done is done, and now you've got to move on. Our only concern right now again is Jacksonville."INTERESTING MATCHUPSThe Jaguars offensive line versus the Colts front seven:More reshuffling has occurred across the Jaguars offensive line this week. The reason is the unit having allowed 13 sacks after two weeks. On the other side of the formation, the Colts have just one sack. Will playing a more conventional offense allow for the Colts to pin their ears back on Sunday?Colts quarterback Andrew Luck versus the Jaguars defense: From a fantasy standpoint, Luck has been a prolific quarterback but ball security is on his mind after two weeks. The Colts run game was extremely effective on Monday night. If the Jaguars pack the box to eliminate that ground attack, Luck should have some favorable matchups to exploit through the air.Quick Facts

-The Colts have won their last seven AFC South games.

-In his career against the Jaguars, Reggie Wayne has 138 catches for 1,956 yards. Those totals are the most for any active player in the NFL against one team.

-In the last meeting between the Colts and Jaguars, T.Y. Hilton set a career-high with 11 catches for 155 receiving yards.

-Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart played with Andrew Luck at Stanford.

-The Jaguars are the only team in the NFL with three rookie receivers with at least 70 yards receiving (Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee).

-In three games against the Colts, Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts III has 14 catches for 246 receiving yards and two touchdowns.NOTABLE QUOTESColts Head Coach Chuck Pagano(on the Jaguars strengths):

-"They've got an athletic and fast defense. They've got a formidable front seven. Got a lot of speed, got guys that can rush the passer. They've got eight sacks right now which is, I don't know if it's leading the league but it's up there. Got guys in the back end that can cover. Offensively, they're trying to establish, just like we are, trying to establish a run game. They've got threats on the outside. They've got a wide receiver group that can beat you, we saw just playing Philly, watching the Philly tape how they got ahead of Philly and how they made big plays and obviously a quarterback that's more than capable of making those throws."

Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano(on if Ahmad Bradshaw has exceeded expectations coming off neck surgery):

-"Probably exceeded it, but we all know how Ahmad's wired and his mindset. He's a football player and he's a tough guy, and I think we all envisioned him coming back. You always wonder when you have a neck injury and surgery and those kind of things how a guy's going to play, but his game really hasn't changed, hasn't tapered off a bit."

Colts Running Back Trent Richardson(on looking forward to the 1-2 punch of him and Ahmad Bradshaw):

-"I can't wait. It's going to be a big season for us. Ahmad trying to prove that what a lot of people want to see that he can still be him, which he has showed that he's still him. A lot of people want to see that I'm still me. That's going to help our offensive line, our quarterback, the right play calling. There was a lot of good play calling last week and there was a lot of great blocks. We had a lot of help last week. We don't do this on our own, and staying with that I've got to thank these guys for accepting me the way I came in, accepting Ahmad when he came in. Especially when you go to camp, you've already got your guys, you already know where you guys sit. It's kind of different coming in and trying to earn a spot, trying to take a spot, trying to earn respect, just trying to man up and take that. These guys have welcomed me with open arms. Especially with Andrew (Luck) and Reggie (Wayne), they have been a big influence on my football life and my regular life. I've just been blessed. I can't wait to see this one-one punch. Even with Boom (Daniel Herron), when that guy gets in, a lot of people are going to see a lot of marvelous things especially on special teams with him. AB, he's just a guy that certain things you can't coach. Stuff that he does, him taking the ball from Andy in the first game and running for a touchdown. With him bouncing the ball outside, you know he's supposed to be going up the middle. His instincts see something else, he went 44 yards with it. You just can't coach stuff like that."

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley(on what he thinks the Colts identity is):

-"Well, I think any team in the NFL, you find out that you've got to be able to run the ball. If you can run the ball, it changes the whole way a defense plays you. They drop an extra guy in the box, the linebackers, it can have an impact on them. All of a sudden, your play pass game opens up. So I truly do see an identity. I see a team that does want to try to establish the run so that they can operate their play passes and get it out to their weapons on the outside. I think that they're very efficient. You don't see many mistakes. You see guys doing things right, Andrew knows right where they're going to be and they are at that spot at the same time. So to me, it looks like it's put together with the distinct philosophy they want to run the ball to open up their play pass game and then they have shots included."Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley(on the play so far of quarterback Chad Henne):

-"You know what, he's brought really good strength to our team. I know the guys really rely on him, his leadership. I felt like during OTAs and training camp and the season, he's done some things that we've asked him. We've challenged him to raise his level of game and I think he's really responded. He had a great offseason and when we got into the season, I think the first half against Philadelphia he played really well. The second half and this past game that we've played, when he wasn't under pressure, he performed very well. He's just been a great leader for us and I think a great strength for our guys."Jaguars Quarterback Chad Henne(on if he's seen a common thread in the first two games):

-"In the Eagles game, we came out firing away, went up quick and did some really good things. Should have been up 23-0 except for a blocked field goal and a missed field goal. Then Washington, I felt we really didn't get anything established. We ran the ball eight times with our running back, got seven yards. We really just need to concentrate on establishing positive runs and getting the run game going because that's only going to benefit us in the pass game."

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