Both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts have experienced rocky, inconsistent seasons.
The Jags’ season started with a disaster scenario after an injury to their newly signed $88 million dollar quarterback Nick Foles forced him out since Week 1. They saw a sudden resurgence with rookie Gardner Minshew’s takeover. They were then embarrassed across the pond in London, falling to the Texans 26-3 in a game where nothing was working in their favor to fall to 4-5 on the season. Meanwhile, the Colts began the season with a shocker: their long-time franchise ‘Messiah’ under center Andrew Luck was retiring. After being slated as Super Bowl sleepers by many outlets across the media landscape, it seemed Indianapolis was back to square one without a quarterback.
Enter Jacoby Brissett.
The third-year quarterback led the Colts to a 5-2 record after seven games. Indianapolis sat in first place in the AFC South and things looked good. Then the injury bug hit in typical Indianapolis-fashion. Brissett missed two weeks, and the Colts fell to the struggling Steelers and the ‘tanking’ Dolphins to fall to 5-4.
The Colts and Jags have already had roller-coaster seasons in just nine games, and the two tracks are set to collide this Sunday when the Jaguars travel to Indianapolis to battle the Colts in an AFC South battle.
Both the Colts and Jaguars are getting their Day-1 starters back.
Foles is finally returning after injuring his collarbone Week 1 against the Chiefs. Brissett will return after injuring his knee. With the return of both incumbent starters under center, both offenses should return to a higher level of play. The Jaguars failed to eclipse more than 20 points in their last four games, unable to find the pay dirt against the Texans. The Colts offense struggled against the Dolphins defense, running for just 109 yards as a team and turning it over three times as a whole.
Indianapolis still isn’t fully healthy, however. Receivers T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell have already been ruled out for this Sunday, limiting the number of players Brissett will have available to go to. In last week’s loss to the Dolphins, Brian Hoyer found tight end’s Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle eight times. Those targets accounted for almost half of the Colts total receptions that game.
Attack on the Ground
Though the quarterbacks will be returning, the winner of the ground game will most likely decide who leaves victorious in this one. Leonard Fournette leads the Jaguars’ ninth-ranked rushing attack. The former-LSU back has accumulated 831 yards so far this season but has only punched it into the end zone just once. Meanwhile, Colts running back Marlon Mack is expected to have a heavy workload against Jacksonville’s 22nd ranked run defense. Mack serves as the Colts’ most versatile offensive weapon. He leads the team with 753 rushing yards and three touchdowns, adding another 76 receiving yards through the air.