|After a forgettable game against the Texans last week, Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert will hope to rebound against the Colts on Sunday. (US Presswiere)|
Jaguars at Colts -- Week 3
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis (turf, indoors)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Spread: Colts by 3
Records: Jaguars (Overall: 0-2, AFC South: 0-1); Colts (Overall: 1-1, AFC South: 0-0)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Jan. 1, 2012: Jaguars 19, Colts 13; Nov. 13, 2011: Jaguars 17, Colts 3. Series record: Colts lead 15-7.
What matters: The Jaguars set an all-time low in total offensive yards last week with just 117 in a 27-7 loss to the Texans. There’s plenty of blame to go around. The O-line is banged up and isn’t giving QB Blaine Gabbert enough time to throw and the WRs aren’t getting open. RB Maurice Jones-Drew had 12 carries for 60 yards to go along with a touchdown reception last week, but he’s not much help if the Jaguars are playing from behind. That means the defense will also need to improve its No. 23 ranking in the NFL in total yardage given up (400 yds/gm).
Who matters: The Jaguars must get more out of Gabbert. Heard that before? He showed tangible improvement in the season-opening 26-23 loss to the Vikings when he threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns. That improvement was nowhere to be seen last week against the Texans. He only completed 7 of 19 passes for 53 yards and one touchdown in the loss. He needs help from his line and WRs, but the Jaguars will fall to 0-3 if he has another game against the Colts like he did against Houston.
Key matchup: The Jaguars LBs and DBs need to do a better job stopping the opposing TEs. Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph had five receptions for 67 yards in Week 1, while Houston’s Owen Daniels had six receptions for 47 yards last week. They’ll see one of the emerging stars at that position Sunday in Colts TE Coby Fleener. Fleener has eight receptions for 98 yards on the season. Rookie QB Andrew Luck has targeted him 14 times through two games, so expect Fleener to get a lot of looks when the Jaguars show one-on-one coverage with a linebacker.
Injuries of note: G Eben Britton (ankle), LB Daryl Smith (groin) and DE George Selvie (knee) have been ruled out. DE Austen Lane (foot) and T Cameron Bradfield (ankle) are questionable. RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is doubtful and CB Derek Cox (hamstring) is probable.
Inside stuff: The Jaguars only have two sacks this season. Part of the problem has been a lack of depth at DE, forcing starting DEs Andre Branch and Jeremy Mincey to play extra snaps. If Lane is able to play this week, that could give the unit a better chance at getting a few more sacks against a rookie QB.
Connections: Jaguars WR Laurent Robinson and Colts WR Donnie Avery will be on the same field after being part of the same unit for the St. Louis Rams in 2009 and 2010.
Stats you should know: While the offense and defense have each had their troubles in 2012, the kicking game has been spectacular for the Jaguars. K Josh Scobee has hit all three of his field-goal attempts and rookie P Bryan Anger is second in the NFL with a 52.6 yards-per-punt average. Punting might not seem that important, but with an offense struggling the way Jaguars has at times, every yard helps.
Record watch: Jones-Drew needs one more rushing touchdown to be the franchise’s all-time leader in that category. He is currently tied with former RB Fred Taylor at 62.
Looking ahead: The Jaguars return home to host the Bengals and the Bears before their bye comes in Week 6. It could be a long, long season if the Jaguars don’t have any wins heading into the bye.
Prediction: Colts 21, Jaguars 13
For more news and analysis of the Jaguars, follow Daniel Lewis @CBSJags