Home / Jacksonville Jaguars / NFL Preview: AFC South Battle between Jags and Colts
Jan 1, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Robert Turbin (33) gains yards as he's tackled by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith (50) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Preview: AFC South Battle between Jags and Colts

The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the road this week to play the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC South matchup. In arguably the tightest division so far this season, the Jags are looking to overcome their form in Indianapolis where they have not won since 2012.

Defensive Necessities and Offensive Capabilities

Both defenses have their issues, but both teams will have to play to their strengths if they want to come out with a win. The pass rush defense of the Jags is the fourth-best in the league by only allowing 996 yards so far this season. On the other hand, the Colts rush defense has only allowed 685 yards versus the Jags 874 yards. The Jaguars have been efficient in winning in one-sided games, which is supported by only allowing 18.3 points per game. The Colts have the worst defense in the NFL in terms of points by allowing 32.5 a game.

If the Jags can get to Colts backup Jacoby Brissett by sacking him and forcing him into mistakes that lead to turnovers, they can score points they cannot get on offense. Three turnovers a game this season has resulted in three wins for Jacksonville. However, the Colts rush defense can help stop rookie running back Leonard Fournette from picking up heavy yardage and scoring. Forcing Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to throw more can cause him to make mistakes more frequently and benefit the Colts. The Colts will benefit with an experienced kicker in Adam Vinatieri compared to kicker Josh Lambo making his first start. Despite this, the Colts will be without Robert Turbin, so Frank Gore and Marlon Mack need to step up their rushing yard production this season.

 

What’s Next for the AFC South? 

The AFC South is an interesting division because each team is in a rebuilding or transitional phase. The Colts are just a game back at 2-4, with the Jags, Tennessee Titans, and the Houston Texans all at 3-3. The  Titans are considered a sleeper team to make the playoffs but have looked mediocre (especially when Mariota is out). The Texans are relying on rookie Deshaun Watson to lead them back to the playoffs with their leader J.J. Watt out once again. Yet, the Jaguars young talent has been able to thrive at times and the Colts are still in the mix without Andrew Luck. This week may go particularly well if the Titans capitalize against the winless Cleveland Browns. The Texans are on a bye week, so this game is colossal for the Jags or Colts to win.

About Homar Hernandez

Sports Journalist @ESPNGainesville, @VAVEL, @VAVEL_USA, @WUFTNews. Telecom at @UF. Miami Aficionado. Views are my own. RT's ≠ endorsements.

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