Colts, Anthony Richardson Set to Host Jaguars in Week 1

The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to face Anthony Richardson and the Indianapolis Colts Sunday.

Both teams have wildly different expectations, but both fanbases have something to look forward to. The Jags come into the season as the AFC South favorites and as some people’s AFC champion. The Colts have lost 10 of their last 11 games and two of their best defensive players – either through free agency or from breaking the NFL’s gambling rules.

Despite this, Colts fans are excited to see what this season has to offer. And it all begins with Anthony Richardson.

New Faces in Indy

From being named team captain to being compared to rookie Cam Newton, Anthony Richardson’s hype, which was already very high, has skyrocketed in just one offseason.

The rookie quarterback from Florida has amazed fans in training camp videos alone.

Some critics argued that Richardson should have begun the season as a backup to Gardner Minshew and worked his way into the starting offense, but new Colts head coach Shane Steichen thought differently.

Mike Dirocco believes that realistic expectations for the Florida quarterback include some flashes but also some growing pains. Dirocco has spent over a decade covering the Gators for the Times New Union and is now the Jaguars Reporter for ESPN.

As for Indy’s new head coach, Steichen is coming from Philadelphia, who was the second highest scoring offense last season. Steichen is notorious for improving young quarterbacks.

The “QB whisperer” helped improve Justin Herbert in his rookie season while also working up Jalen Hurts into being 2nd in MVP voting last year. If anyone can help build Anthony Richardson into a superstar, it would be Shane Steichen.

Party Like it’s 1999

The Jaguars added a new face of their own.

In the afternoon of the 2022 trade deadline, GM Trent Baalke shocked many by trading a midround pick for former Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley. Ridley was serving a yearlong suspension for breaking the NFL’s gambling policy.

Critics of the trade argued that the Jaguars traded for an unknown product and a year away from football could be too long to get back into elite shape. Dirocco has seen a different story in training camp.

The city of Jacksonville has not been this excited for Jaguar football since 1999, the year they went 14-2 and went to the AFC championship. Quarterback Trevor Lawerence and head coach Doug Pederson look to improve upon last season’s Cinderella season. The addition of Ridley as long with the not-so-promising AFC South could be the makings of the AFC’s number one seed.

All things are on the table for Trevor Lawerence this year. Dirocco believes that a 5,000-yard season could be in the works.

What to Expect

The Jaguars are currently five-point favorites on the road in Indianapolis.

Expect Jacksonville to spread the ball around on offense and test the Colt’s pass defense without Stephon Gilmore and Isaiah Rodgers.

About Nick VanZandt

Nick VanZandt is a senior journalism student at the University of Florida and this is his third semester working for WRUF.

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