The Indianapolis Colts are looking to claw their war back into the postseason picture in what has become a completely wide-open AFC, and the road back to respectability will feature the first of two tussles with rookie stud Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While the Jaguars have put together a team that is by no means threatening outside of Lawrence, they have won two of their last three games, including a stunning upset of Josh Allen and the Bills. If the Colts want to pick up the win, they would be foolish to overlook the Jags.
The key to this game may be found at the line of scrimmage. If the Colts can win in the trenches and pressure Lawrence, that could be what ends up handing the victory to Indianapolis. Based on some quotes by Colts defensive lineman Grover Stewart, it sounds like this defense is confident in their ability to execute that game plan.
Stewart thinks that his group is going to feast against a suspect Jacksonville offensive line, paving the way for a hellacious afternoon for Lawrence. Stewart believes that pressure will throw Lawrence off of his game and force mistakes.
“With every NFL quarterback, I believe we can get back there at him and scare him a little bit and have him throw some picks,” Stewart said. “We’re going to shake him up a little bit.”
Will the Colts pressure Trevor Lawrence?
The Jaguars are not a good offensive team right now. The backfield is so that they had to pick up Jordan Wilkins and the line has regressed. The receiving corps is so thin after the DJ Chark injury that Jamal Agnew, a converted cornerback still wearing No. 39, is one of Lawrence’s most targeted receivers.
It’s nice that the Colts are feeling confident ahead of this matchup, but this is a team that gave up 30 points to a third-string quarterback in Josh Johnson during their Thursday win against the Jets, so they shouldn’t necessarily take a win for granted against a plucky Jags team.
The pass rush has been viewed as one of the main areas of weakness for Indianapolis this season. Not only has rookie Kwity Paye yet to record a sack, but losing players like Justin Houston and Denico Autry has had a tangible negative impact on the strength of this defense.
Still, if there was ever a get-right game for a defensive line, it’s against a Jaguars team that might have the worst fully healthy offensive line in the AFC. Lawrence can make every throw in the book, but it’ll be harder to do so with DeForest Buckner bearing down on him.