The Jacksonville Jaguars are looking to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. With a record of 7-4, they are on their way to snapping the decade drought. David Garrard, remember him? Was the last Jaguars’ quarterback to get them to the playoffs. Back then they had a stingy defense to assist them in their success. This season, the Jags have found the trick to having a successful defensive unit again. Garrard just had to play well enough to allow the defense to go and win games.
It’s a similar situation for Blake Bortles. It’s been a polarizing career for Bortles thus far, and he got a bit lucky with a good defense on his side in 2017. If he had to go win games on his own this season, like a lot of other quarterbacks must do in the NFL, I suspect his job would be in question. He’s thrown 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, with a QB rating of 79.5. After all of the criticism and ups and downs, Bortles is nearing a postseason appearance. The Colts hope to play spoiler on Sunday in Jacksonville.
Jacoby Brissett continues to start for the Colts in a lost year for Andrew Luck. Luck may suffer from a lost career if he doesn’t find some magic pills for his shoulder. Brissett isn’t the long-time answer for the Colts at quarterback, but he’s done a serviceable enough job to keep them in games. Even if Luck was starting this season, he wouldn’t be able to cover up some of the holes the Colts suffer from. Their terrible offensive line would still be there. Andrew Luck knows best, the offensive line is awful whether he’s starting or anyone else. Luck had to deal playing behind that offensive line, which is partly to blame for the issues with his shoulder. Perhaps if he didn’t get banged around so much, his arm would still be in one piece.
Luck took a monster contract, so on the flip side, maybe if he didn’t take so much cap space, the Colts would have been able to build a better offensive line. In any event, it’s hard to believe that the Colts were favorites to reach the Super Bowl a few summers ago. The loss of Luck is just one in a series of issues that has plagued the Colts. This current team is competing, though, despite their record of 3-8. It’s a big game for the Jags. They’ve already blown out the Colts once this year, a 27-0 drubbing in Indianapolis. We’ll see if the Colts can put forth a better effort, or if the Jaguars roll them again in Week 13. Head below for our free Colts vs. Jaguars pick.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Odds:
vs. Jaguars -10(-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Colts vs. Jaguars Pick:
It was an absolute shellacking the last time these two met. Jacoby Brissett is familiar with how that one went. Brissett was sacked a whopping ten times. That is no typo. The Colts offensive line was abused, like it’s been pretty well every game for the last few years. It tied for second in most sacked allowed in a game. It isn’t a one-off by a long shot. That’s just life as quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. Against the Titans, Brissett was banged up again, as he was sacked eight times in a 20-16 loss. The Colts are dead last in sacks allowed in 2017. They are allowing way too many with 47 on the year, seven more than the 31st ranked Green Bay Packers. The Colts are 31st with 92 QB hits allowed. Brissett is taking a beating just like Andrew Luck was.
If it weren’t for Brissett, I feel like those numbers could be worse. Put a statue in their offense like Brock Osweiler and there would probably be an uptick in sacks allowed. Brissett does have some escapability to his game. With a firing squad taking shots on him, Brissett does like to use his legs an awfully lot. A gain for a yard or 2 is often seen as a win in those spots. The Colts are averaging just 13.8 points per game. They are last with 248 yards per game.
For as bad as the offense is playing, the defense has done a fine job keeping them in ball games. They’ve allowed 19.5 points per game since the Jags scored 27 on them. Statistically, they are giving up a lot of yards, but overall are giving up only 17.2 points per game which is in the top-10. My problem in this game isn’t with their defense, they can keep them around in this game. The Jags may be down a couple of starting linemen again, as Jermey Parnell and Patrick Omaneh are questionable to start. However, it’s tough to have confidence in the offense.
Brissett threw for 200 yards in the last meeting, and without much of a running game, the Colts were shutout. The offensive line hasn’t gotten any better since then, and the Jaguars’ defense is still here. The Jaguars just gave up 27 points to Blaine Gabbert last week. They are going to be fired up to play a much better game. I see the Jaguars taking an early lead and playing the keep away game. They are well aware that they can dominate the Indianapolis offensive line, and will be happy to chew up clock with Leonard Fournette instead of watching Bortles make mistakes. It should be an ugly one in Jacksonville with a low-scoring final score.
PICK: UNDER 40.5 (-110)