Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Thursday, December 17th
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Kickoff temperature: 63 degrees, 80% chance of rain
Line: Colts by 3
Trends: Indianapolis has won an NFL record 22 consecutive regular season games; Jacksonville has dropped two of its last three games.
Three most important things for the Jaguars on defense:
1. Familiarize yourself with Peyton Manning. Manning is untouchable when he has time to throw and he will pick the best defenses apart with virtually anyone at wide receiver. If the Jaguars can hit Manning early, the Colts may decide to take him out of the game.
2. Keep everything in front of you. It’s better to die a slow death than a fast one, especially with some inexperience at the corner positions. If the Jaguars can bend but not break, they will have a chance to contain the Colts.
3. Tackle well. To beat the Colts, you must play near perfect football. Indianapolis is going to make plays, but the Jaguars need to limit those 12-yard slants and not let them turn into 35-yard gains.
Three most important things for the Jaguars on offense:
1. Win first down. The Jaguars aren’t the type of offense that plays well from behind the sticks so it’s vitally important for them to gain positive yardage on first down.
2. Be aggressive. The Colts have played much of the season with a pair of rookie corners starting. Pick on these rookies early and often.
3. 7’s, not 3’s. You don’t beat the Colts by getting into a field goal kicking contest. The Jags must cash in when they get in the red zone.
What to look for:
1. An MJD TD. Maurice Jones-Drew has scored eight touchdowns in his seven career games against the Colts. It’s a good bet that he’ll score again on Thursday.
2. Pierre Garcon to score. The young Colts receiver has been much more than just a compliment to Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, he’s becoming an actual playmaker.
3. David Garrard throws no picks. Garrard knows the magnitude of this game not only for the team, but for his own career. He will be careful with the football.
4. Peyton Manning to have a clean jersey. Manning is one of the toughest quarterbacks to sack or get any kind of pressure on being that he’s so quick to get rid of the football.
5. Look for the upset. The Jaguars have been good at home and the Colts have nothing to play for. If the Colts put in Curtis Painter, they will see their winning streak go bye bye.