Week 13. The season has flown by, hasn’t it? The days when Andrew Luck had a noodle arm and the days where the Colts were 1-5 feel like a distant memory. Entering the Autumn of the NFL season, the Colts are clawing their way into the playoffs. Sitting at 6-5, they’re tied with the Ravens for the sixth seed in the AFC. Standing in their way of six straight wins is the reeling Jacksonville Jaguars. This is the first division rematch of the season; the Colts beat the Jags 29-26. Despite being on the road, this game should be easier in theory. Bortles is on the bench, Leonard Fournette is suspended, and Jalen Ramsey might not play. Still, the Jags are tough at home and the Colts need to be focused to extend their win streak.

Injury Report

Colts

Out

TE Mo Alie-Cox (Calf)

C Ryan Kelly (Knee)

Questionable

LB Darius Leonard (Shoulder/Knee)

RB Marlon Mack (Concussion)

S Mike Mitchell (Calf)

WR Chester Rogers (Groin)

TE Erik Swoope (Knee)

DE Kemoko Turay (Hip)

Also Listed

TE Eric Ebron (Back)

S Clayton Geathers (Knee)

TE Ryan Hewitt (Ankle)

WR T.Y. Hilton (Groin)

S Malik Hooker (Hip)

DE Jabaal Sheard (Ankle)

LB Anthony Walker (Shoulder)

Jaguars

Out

WR D.J. Chark (Quad)

Questionable

S Cody Davis (Hamstring)

S Tashaun Gipson (Ankle)

CB Tre Herndon (Ankle)

DE Lerentee McCray (Hamstring)

CB Quenton Meeks (Knee)

CB Jalen Ramsey (Knee)

OL Josh Walker (Foot/Ankle)

Also listed

QB Blake Bortles (Right Wrist)

DL Calais Campbell (Ankle)

DT Marcell Dareus (Back)

OL Jeremy Parnell (Knee)

Key Matchups

Colts’ Running Backs vs Jaguars’ Defensive Line

In the last matchup between the Colts and the Jaguars, the Colts stormed out to a big lead in the first half. In the second half, the Colt offense could not sustain a drive and did not score. Part of their inability to sustain a drive stemmed from a lack of a running game. The Colts only managed 81 yards on 23 carries, 53 of which came on a long Jordan Wilkins run.

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Despite their struggles this season, the Jaguars’ defensive line is talented. The Colts need to stay committed to running the football in order to close out the Jaguars if they can manage a lead. If Marlon Mack does not play, running the football will be even more difficult. Nyheim Hines has been good in spurts but isn’t a bell cow by any standard. The Colts may have to replace the run game with the short pass and screen games to keep the offense moving.

Cody Kessler vs Colts’ Defense

For whatever random reason, Blake Bortles always seemed to play at his best against the Colts. Cody Kessler’s replacing of Bortles, then, may be a blessing and a curse. Kessler played against Houston in week seven, passing for 156 yards, one touchdown, and one pick. He also has starting experience for the Browns. The Jaguars’ offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, has also been fired, who happened to coach a great game against the Colts. The young Colt defense needs to be prepared for anything because this shorthanded Jaguar offense has nothing to lose.

Prediction

Jacksonville is a difficult place to play and their defense is still good. Yet, with no quarterback, no running back, no offensive coordinator, and maybe no superstar corner, the Colts have no business losing this game.

35-18 Colts

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.

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