The Colts will be without Andrew Luck for the first matchup of 2017.
This Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts will square off for the first of two meetings in 2017. The AFC South Rivals are meeting for the 33rd time since Jacksonville’s inaugural season in 1995, and this is now the 16th season the two have played in the same division.
Indianapolis enters this contest with a 2-4 record, no Andrew Luck and possibly the least talented roster in the AFC South. The Jaguars are coming in at 3-3, but lost last week to the Los Angeles Rams.
You guys all know the drill by now. There’s no need to waste time. Let’s get right into breaking down the series history between the Colts and Jaguars.
All-time regular season series record: Colts lead 22-10
Last Jaguars win: Oct. 2, 2016 (30-27 in London)
Last Colts win: Jan. 1 2017 (24-20)
Current Streak: Colts with a one-game winning streak
Biggest Jaguars win: 51-16 (Dec. 13, 2015)
Biggest Colts win: 43-14 (Sept. 25, 2000)
Interesting takeaway: The Colts won the first five games in the series, and 11 of the first 15 contests.
Quick thoughts: The Jags and Colts only met twice prior to the conference realignment in 2002. Indianapolis (AFC East), beat Jacksonville (AFC Central), in both of those contests. Then the Colts won the next three games while both teams began competition in the AFC South. Jacksonville finally got its first win against Indy in 2003, and another one the next season in 2004. Though the Jaguars have only beaten the Colts 10 times total, the teams have split each of the past two years and seven of Jacksonville’s wins have come since 2008. The Colts rattled off six straight wins from 2012 through 2015, though.
Date: Jan. 1, 2017
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium
Team Stats: Jaguars — 301 passing yards, 182 rushing yards, 23 first downs
Rams — 321 passing yards, 94 rushing yards, 24 first downs
Quick recap: Fresh off of a blowout win against the Tennessee Titans, with Doug Marrone calling the shots as interim head coach, the Jaguars got off to a fast start in this one. But then proceeded to blow a 17-0 lead. It didn’t really matter because it was the last game of the season, so maybe the Jaguars imploded on purpose to get a better draft pick or something, but it was indicative of Jacksonville’s whole 2016 season. It was actually one of Blake Bortles’ more efficient outings of the season in terms of throwing the ball (301 yards, no interceptions, 96.2 rating), but he found other ways to lose the game by coughing up two fumbles, which both led to scores. Colts took advantage and won in come-back fashion.
Date: Oct. 2, 2016
Location: Wembley Stadium, London
Team Stats: Jaguars — 207 passing yards, 136 rushing yards, 23 first downs
Rams — 234 passing yards, 94 rushing yards, 23 first downs
Quick recap: There’s something about Jacksonville playing in London that just brings out the best in the team. The Jags almost let this one slip out of their grasp as well, earning a 23-6 advantage late in the third quarter, but then allowing the Colts to close the gap. Bortles hit Allen Hurns with a 42-yard touchdown pass and then Andrew Luck connected with Phillip Dorsett for a 64-yard score with a little more than three minutes to go. However, that would be the last score the Jaguars gave up and they left the UK with a three-point victory. Bortles played even better in this game. He did not turn the ball over at all and neither did the team. See good things happen when you don’t give the rock away.
Through the Decades
1990s: Colts 1-0 (1995)
2000-2010: Colts lead 14-5
Quick thoughts: The Colts dominated early, winning the only matchup of the 1990s, the first four in the early 2000s and eight of the first 10 overall. Indianapolis also had its way throughout most of the first decade in the 2000s, including three separate winning streaks of three games or more from 2000 to 2010. The Jaguars have made this series competitive as of late, getting 60 percent of their total wins in the series within the last five seasons. Both games last season were won by four points or less and Jacksonville had big leads in each. Jacksonville has won two of the last three meetings, while the Colts won the previous six. Jacksonville’s longest winning streak was three games in 2011-2012.
Looking ahead to Sunday, I think this is the first year in a while where you can clearly see that Jacksonville’s roster is much more talented than the Colts. I expect the defensive line to feast on Indianapolis’ offensive line and I also expect the Jaguars to be able to pound the rock on offense, so long as Leonard Fournette is able to play. If Fournette can’t go, Chris Ivory will need to step up. It’s an even week and the Jaguars are the better team. I expect a win.
Who do you have?