Coming off of their bye, the Colts are getting revved up for their second divisional matchup of the season. Standing in front of them is the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team moving in the opposite direction of the rising Indianapolis Colts. Yes, this Jaguars team is 3-5 and has looked poor all season. However, their roster is nearly identical to the one who came to Lucas Oil and shut out the Colts last season. The Colts will have Andrew Luck this time but this Jacksonville team is nothing to scoff at.
T/G Denzelle Good (Illness)
CB Nate Hairston (Ankle)
TE Ryan Hewitt (Ankle)
S Mike Mitchell (Calf)
TE Erik Swoope (Shoulder)
DE Kemoko Turay (Neck)
WR Ryan Grant (Ankle)
S Clayton Geathers (Knee)
S Malik Hooker (Hip)
DT/DE Tyquan Lewis (Foot)
RB Marlon Mack (Foot)
DT Hassan Ridgeway (Illness)
G Braden Smith (Hand)
CB A.J. Bouye (Calf)
CB Quenton Meeks (Knee)
DT Eli Ankou (Calf)
TE David Grinnage (Knee)
DE Lerentee McCray (Hamstring)
TE James O’Shaughnessy (Hip)
LB Telvin Smith (Shoulder)
QB Blake Bortles (Left Shoulder)
RB Leonard Fournette (Hamstring)
CB D.J. Hayden (Toe)
Leonard Fournette vs Colts’ Defensive Line
Leonard Fournette is slated to suit up for the first time since week four for the Jaguars. In Fournette’s absence, the Jaguars have struggled to make an impact on the ground behind T.J. Yeldon and the newly acquired Carlos Hyde. Fournette, however, is a sledgehammer up the middle. He dominates opposing defenses and makes Blake Bortles’ life easier. Fournette was excellent in 2017, rushing for 1,040 yards and 90 carries in 13 games.
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The Colts’ defensive line has been solid this season and has been able to limit the run game against most of the teams they have played. Fournette is the toughest running back that the Colts have played this season. The interior defensive line will have to hold strong to keep Fournette’s yardage to a minimum. Second round rookie Tyquan Lewis will make his debut on Sunday; hopefully, his presence on the interior helps stymie Jacksonville’s rushing attack.
Marlon Mack vs Jaguars’ Linebackers
On the other side of the ball, the Colts have found great success running Marlon Mack recently. Over the last three games, he has been dominant, rushing for 347 yards, accruing four total touchdowns. He has provided a new dynamic for this Colts’ offense and has taken a massive weight off of Andrew Luck’s shoulders.
The Jaguars’ defense is a completely different animal from that of Buffalo or Oakland. The Jaguars are stacked at the linebacker position. Marlon Mack will have to be diligent in his attack in order to defeat Myles Jack’s physical dominance and Telvin’s Smith speed and range.
This game will be incredibly tough for the Colts. Despite the woes of Blake Bortles, Jacksonville’s defense and Leonard Fournette will be a trouble for the Colts. Still, Andrew Luck and all of his glory will find a way to pull this one out.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_, @FPC_NBA and @FPC_Colts.