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Colts, Jaguars Week 2 Preview: Matt Ryan Leads Offense Into Already-Crucial Matchup

It's only the second game of the season but the Colts already need a win in a significant way on the road this Sunday against the Jaguars.
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It's a big one for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

After tying in a very winnable matchup last week, the Colts (0-0-1) head south to a locale that has been unkind to them in the past; the Jacksonville Jaguars' (0-1) TIAA Bank Field.

The Colts haven't won there since a 44-17 blowout in Week 3 of 2014. In their seven attempts since (2016's game was in London), they've been outscored 208-104.

Here is everything you need to know about this matchup.

BROADCAST INFO

  • Date/Time: Sunday, Sept. 18, at 1:00pm ET
  • Where: Jacksonville, Fla.; TIAA Bank Field
  • Television: CBS — Tom McCarthy (play-by-play), Tiki Barber (color)
  • Stream: FuboTV
  • To find out what games will be on in your area on Sunday, check here
  • Radio: WFNI 1070-AM The Fan, WLHK 97.1 HANK FM — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Rick Venturi (color), Larra Overton (sideline)
  • On-Demand: NFL+ (after the fact)

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Colts lead, 26-16. The two teams have split their annual matchups each season back through 2018.
  • Last game: Week 18 of 2021; Jaguars won, 26-11.

COACHES

  • Colts: head coach Frank Reich; offensive coordinator Marcus Brady; defensive coordinator Gus Bradley; special teams Bubba Ventrone.
  • Jaguars: head coach Doug Pederson; offensive coordinator Press Taylor; defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell; special teams Heath Farwell

INJURY REPORT

Colts

  • OUT — LB Shaquille Leonard (back), WR Alec Pierce (concussion), WR Michael Pittman Jr. (quad)
  • QUESTIONABLE — DT DeForest Buckner (hip), Kenny Moore II (hip)

Jaguars

  • No injuries

STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH

  • Kill the streak: Simply put, the Colts need to beat the Jaguars for two big reasons. First, falling to 0-1-1 with matchups against the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, and Denver Broncos upcoming has the potential to put them in a big hole. Second, losing in Jacksonville has officially become a thing. Winning on Sunday removes the stigma from this matchup each year. 
  • End the mistakes: The Colts looked like the better team last week against the Houston Texans but ultimately tied, 20-20. The difference between winning and losing (or a draw) was all the self-inflicted wounds. The Colts fumbled five times, with two turnovers, and had some untimely penalties. They also had some breakdowns in coverage that resulted in two scores, and dropped two potential touchdowns. The Colts could have easily won last week by double digits but shot themselves in the foot too many times.
  • Important injuries: The Colts already ruled out Pierce and Leonard, and three more starters are questionable in Pittman, Buckner, and Moore. The Colts could be down two of their top three receivers, which puts Parris Campbell, Ashton Dulin, and Mike Strachan in the spotlight. Look out for a favorable matchup for Campbell. If Buckner misses the game, the Colts may continue to lack a rotation on the defensive line. Moore performing injured against an effective Jaguars receiving corps, or missing the game altogether, could be troublesome. UPDATE: The Colts downgraded wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. to out on Saturday.
  • Running backs have bigger impact as pass-catchers?: The Jaguars will no doubt be prepared to attempt to stop Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. If they did, it wouldn't be the end of the world because Taylor and Nyheim Hines both are dangerous as pass-catchers. The pair caught 10 balls last week, and the Jaguars allowed Washington Commanders running backs Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic to catch 10 as well in Week 1. The Colts can take advantage of Jacksonville's bigger linebackers by using their running backs' speed on the outside.

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts RT Braden Smith vs. Jaguars ED Josh Allen: Smith had a rough go of it last week against Texans edge defender Jerry Hughes, posting the NFL's worst pass-blocking grade among starting offensive tackles (46.0), per Pro Football Focus. He's got another tough matchup this week against the athletic, explosive Allen. The Colts need Smith to rebound in a big way.
  • Colts DE Yannick Ngakoue vs. Jaguars LT Cam Robinson: Ngakoue is one of the NFL's most consistent pass rushers over the last several years but he put up one of the worst pass-rushing grades last week (52.9) against Laremy Tunsil. Robinson isn't as effective of a pass protector so it's a big opportunity for Ngakoue to have a productive day against the team that drafted him.

PROJECTED WEATHER

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REFEREE ASSIGNMENT

BETTING LINE

SEASON LEADERS

Colts

  • Passing: QB Matt Ryan (352 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Jonathan Taylor (161 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Michael Pittman Jr. (121 yards)
  • Touchdowns: WR Michael Pittman Jr., RB Jonathan Taylor (1)
  • Tackles: LB Zaire Franklin (8)
  • Sacks: DE Kwity Paye (2.0)
  • Interceptions: N/A

Jaguars

  • Passing: QB Trevor Lawrence (275 yards)
  • Rushing: RB James Robinson (66 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Christian Kirk (117 yards)
  • Touchdowns: RB James Robinson (2)
  • Tackles: LB Devin Lloyd (11)
  • Sacks: ED Travon Walker (1.0)
  • Interceptions: CB Tyson Campbell, ED Travon Walker (1)

TEAM STATS

Colts

  • Total offense: 1st (517.0 YPG)
  • Scoring: Tied-17th (20.0 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 1st (340.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-10th (2)
  • Rushing offense: 6th (177.0 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 15th (40.0%)
  • Red zone offense: Tied-21st (40.0%)
  • Total defense: 9th (299.0 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: Tied-11th (20.0 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 15th (222.0 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-10th (3)
  • Rushing defense: 9th (77.0 YPG)
  • Third down defense: Tied-11th (33.3%)
  • Red zone defense: Tied-24th (100.0%)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-19th (-1)

Jaguars

  • Total offense: 13th (383.0 YPG)
  • Scoring: 14th (22.0 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 11th (260.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-10th (2)
  • Rushing offense: 12th (123.0 YPG)
  • Third down offense: Tied-27th (25.0%)
  • Red zone offense: Tied-21st (40.0%
  • Total defense: 23rd (390.0 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: 28th (28.0 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 29th (305.0 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-23rd (1)
  • Rushing defense: 13th (85.0 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 31st (70.0%)
  • Red zone defense: Tied-24th (100.0%
  • Turnover differential: Tied-3rd (+2)

NOTES

  • Quarterback Matt Ryan needs four pass completions to pass Philip Rivers (5,277) for the sixth-most completions in NFL history. Ryan needs one game-winning drive to pass Matthew Stafford (42) and tie Brett Favre (43) for the sixth-most in NFL history.
  • Taylor needs one point to pass Marshall Faulk (198) for the sixth-most points by a Colts player in their first three seasons. Taylor needs seven points to pass Lenny Moore (204) for the fifth-most points by a Colts player in their first three seasons. Taylor needs two total touchdowns to pass Moore (34) for the second-most total touchdowns by a Colts player in their first three seasons. Taylor needs one 100-yard rushing game to pass Faulk (14) for the fourth-most such games in franchise history. Taylor needs one game with 100-plus rushing yards and at least one rushing touchdown to pass Eric Dickerson (13) for the second-most such games franchise history.
  • Hines needs four receptions to pass Raymond Berry (219) for the ninth-most receptions by a Colts player in their first five seasons. Hines needs 35 receiving yards to pass Joe Washington (1,621) for the eighth-most receiving yards by a running back in franchise history. Hines needs one receiving touchdown to tie Albert Bentley and Curtis Dickey (eight) for the 10th-most receiving touchdowns by a running back in franchise history.
  • The Colts made the following roster moves this week: promoted cornerback Tony Brown, wide receiver Keke Coutee, and kicker Chase McLaughlin to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. Waived kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. Signed cornerback Darrell Baker Jr., safety Henry Black, and kickers Chase McLaughlin and Lucas Havrisik to the practice squad. Released guard Arlington Hambright, defensive back Will Redmond, and cornerback Chris Wilcox from the practice squad.
  • Before the game, check out this awesome new, limited edition Marvin Harrison bobblehead from FOCO! With Marvin Harrison Jr. lighting it up for the Ohio State Buckeyes, there's no better time than now to scoop this up. There are only 322 available so be sure to grab yours today!
Marvin Harrison Colts Pro Gate Bobblehead

CATCH BEFORE THE GAME


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