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Jacksonville Jaguars

Gameday – Jaguars host Colts

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Mark Alberti/ Icon Sportswire

What: Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4) vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-8)

Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville

When: 1 p.m.

Latest line/Over-under: Jaguars -9.5/41

 

 Why you should watch

The battle for the AFC South title has become one of the most hotly contested in the league, with Tennessee holding a slight edge right now based on tiebreakers. That makes this game a big one for the Jaguars, who are looking to bounce back from one they let get away from them at the end last week. Some questionable coaching decisions in the final minute created a situation in which the Cardinals claimed a 27-24 victory that snapped a four-game Jaguars winning streak. What the Jaguars have to do now is make sure that loss wasn’t the beginning of a losing streak that knocks them out of playoff contention. The Jaguars have been one of the best stories in the NFL this year and they have one of the best teams but they now have to prove they have the resiliency to keep their dream season alive.

 

Key on: The Jaguars running game

The Jaguars continue to lead the league in rushing but their 154.3-yards-per-game average is starting to look like a statistical anomaly. The Jaguars have run for an average of 128.5 yards per game their last four games and while that’s still pretty good, you have to keep in mind that a lot of their yards (62 last week alone) have come as a result of scrambles by quarterback Blake Bortles. The biggest problem with the run game appears to be with lead back Leonard Fournette, who has been held to 2 yards per carry in two of his last three games. The Jaguars are built to run the ball and they need to be able to run the ball effectively to win games consistently. The last thing the Jaguars want to have to do today is lean on Bortles’ arm to win the game for them. They don’t mind leaning on his legs but leaning his arm is not necessarily a recipe for success.

 

 Statistically speaking

The Jaguars pass rushers could be in for a big day today. They lead the league in sacks with 41 and they’re going up against an offensive line that has allowed a league-high 47 quarterback takedowns. As those numbers suggest, the Colts have really struggled to create a clean pocket for quarterback Jacoby Brissett. A week ago, for example, Brissett was pressure on 57.9-percent of all his drop backs, according to Pro Football Focus, the most in the league. With edge rusher Calais Campbell, who ranks third in the league in sacks with 11.5 and leads the league in quarterback hits with 24, leading the way, the Jaguars should have little trouble getting to Brissett with their front four. That should make life easy for the Jaguars corners, whose ability to lock onto receivers should create plenty of opportunities for the pass rushers to get home.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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