Thursday Night Football- Colts vs Jaguars Preview
Week 10 kicks off tonight with a divisional clash from the AFC South as the 5-3 Indianapolis Colts take on the 1-7 Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field.
The game is live on NFL Network for American viewers and will also be shown on Sky Sports 1 in Ireland.
Now without further ado, here is my preview of the game.
Indianpolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium– EverBank Field
Kick Off- 8:20 p.m. in San Diego/1:20 a.m. in Ireland
What to Watch
Jaguars Quarterback Situation
- The Jags quarterback situation isn’t looking the best going into this game with starter Blaine Gabbert is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. Gabbert is coming off a poor performance in Week 9 where a late interception against the Detroit Lions proved costly for the Jags.
- The Colts pass defense has been steady this season giving up just a little over 220 yards per game. Look for Robert Mathis and co. to put on another good show getting after Gabbert tonight.
Jaguars Running Game vs Colts Front Seven
- As if the Jaguars 32nd ranked passing game wasn’t bad enough, their running game isn’t much better and rank as the fifth worst in the NFL with just 84 yards per game. Maurice Jones-Drew and the rest of the Jaguars run game needs to step up as they look to ease the pressure of Gabbert and the passing game.
- The Colts defense isn’t as solid against the run and are allowing over 130 yards on the ground per game. MJD could be in for a big performance vs the Colts front seven tonight.
Andrew Luck and the Colts Passing Game
- As it turns out, the hype surrounding Andrew Luck as the best college quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning is turning out to be correct. Luck has done a fine job leading his team to a 5-3 record through their first eight games and is on pace for a rookie record 4,800 yard passing season as well.
- A big part Luck’s success has been the play of veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne. The rookie has leaned heavily on Wayne through the air and will do so again tonight.
Who to Watch
Andrew Luck- Quarterback- Colts
- Just in case anyone needs reminding, Andrew Luck is for real. The 23-year-old rookie out of Stanford has been near perfect since arriving in Indianapolis and replacing Colts legend Peyton Manning back in April.
- A strong candidate for rookie of the year, Luck hasn’t looked anything like a rookie with his grasp of the Colts offense and command in the huddle. Going up against a Jaguars defense giving up over 250 yards per game, Luck should be in for a big game tonight.
Reggie Wayne- Wide Receiver- Colts
- Reggie Wayne has stepped up his production this season and bounced back from a disappointing 2011 campaign. Wayne already has 835 receiving yards through eight games and is on pace to post a career-high 122 catches.
- He’s been Luck’s number one target through the air and his veteran leadership and route running ability has been a big help for the rookie. #87 will be a factor again tonight against a struggling Jags’ secondary.
Blaine Gabbert- Quarterback- Jags
- Blaine Gabbert is looking less and less like a first round quarterback with every game he plays. Now in his sophomore season with the Jags since they took a risk and selected the talented Missouri star with the tenth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Gabbert has continued his rookie struggles.
- Now at the half-way stage of the season, he has averaged just 1,429 passing yards and is also completing only 58% of his passes. Unless things change soon, Gabbert could be replaced by veteran Chad Henne.
This game should provide a clear example of the difference between a young quarterback whose career is on the rise, and a young quarterback whose career path is going straight downhill.
Andrew Luck will lead his team to their fourth successive victory on the road over Blaine Gabbert and his struggling Jaguars.
Colts 31 Jags 9
So that’s your preview and prediction, hope everyone enjoys tonight’s game.