September 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) celebrates after a defensive stop against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville, FL – The Indianapolis Colts are preparing for an AFC South match-up with their rival Jacksonville Jaguars. The two teams split the season series last year, but the Colts are highly favored heading into Sunday afternoon. This game should be a Colts win, but don’t count out the scrappy Jaguars.
Reports coming out of Jacksonville are that Blaine Gabbert will return to be the Jaguars’ starting quarterback this week. Whether that is a good thing or not remains to be seen. Gabbert was the 10th overall pick by the Jaguars in the 2011 NFL Draft, and has done nothing to this point in his career to live up to that selection. Jacksonville is hoping that Gabbert gives them some kind of sign that he has the potential to become the franchise quarterback that they were expecting. Don’t expect those signs to come this week against a Colts defense that seemed to figure things out last week against the 49ers.
Andrew Luck should have a very big game against a very young Jacksonville secondary. His wide receivers should be able to pick apart the Jaguars’ defense, and you can expect both Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson to carve out yards on the ground. Many reports are stating that Trent Richardson will receive the bulk of the carries this week, but with Bradshaw’s strong performance last week, it will be interesting to see what the Colts do with the two starting caliber running backs.
One question mark for the Colts all year has been the play of T.Y. Hilton. This is a game where he could be utilized in a big way. His speed down the field will come in handy, and you can expect to see the Colts’ coaching staff look to get him the football early and often. Coby Fleener is another guy that the Colts will look to utilize both down the field and across the middle. If the Indianapolis wide receivers step up and play to their potential, you can expect to see Andrew Luck come away with big numbers.
The Colts defense showed strongly in their Week 3 match-up with the 49ers, and should do the same things this coming Sunday. The Indianapolis pass-rush was much improved, and put repeated duress on quarter Colin Kaepernick. If they’re able to put that same kind of pressure on Gabbert, you can expect to see the Colts force a few turnovers. Both Vontae Davis and Greg Toler are expected to have good games, and safety LaRon Landry is expected back as well.
Indianapolis is looking to improve their record to 3-1 heading into what will be a very grueling month of October. They will face the Seahawks, Chargers, and last but certainly not least the Denver Broncos. Obviously with the Broncos coming into Indianapolis, we will see one of the biggest, most watched games this season. Peyton Manning making his return to Indianapolis will be fun to watch, there’s no question about taht.
All that being said, this week should be yet another victory for the Indianapolis Colts. We’re not counting out the Jaguars, but the Colts showed a lot of great things in their 27-7 victory over the 49ers. If that team shows up on Sunday, you can expect the Colts to be 3-1 by the end of Sunday afternoon.