The Jacksonville Jaguars head for the road as they meet with the Colts in Indianapolis. These are two teams who are in similar positions, they want to get over the hump to the next level. However, they’re still not to the peak of that hill, but would it to change in 2017. As far as jobs are concerned, it’s especially important for Blake Bortles.
Bortles is trying to hang on to his starting job, all the while rumors are swirling that the Jags are looking at Eli Manning. Like I said last week, it seems farfetched, but just a rumor of being replaced can play with a quarterback’s head. The Jaguars may overreach and give up too much for an aging Manning. If that’s the case, the Giants may want to jump on the offer.
For the Jaguars, they believe it’s just a quarterback problem in Jacksonville. Get a quality quarterback and they are instant playoff contenders, or so they think. It goes beyond that, and I don’t think Eli Manning is going to be a savior of sorts. Would he be an upgrade over Bortles?
At this point in Eli’s career, it’d be an upgrade, but not the kind of level people would think. Manning has thrown 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, to Bortles’ 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Their quarterback ratings are nearly identical. Mind you, Eli hasn’t had much help from his receivers, and Bortles has Leonard Fournette.
Speaking of Fournette, he continued to chew up defenses last week, gashing the Rams for 130 yards and a touchdown. He got started quickly, busting off a 75-yard touchdown. It wasn’t enough, though, as the Jags fell at home, 27-17. Perhaps a letdown from their big win over the Steelers the week prior. What the Jaguars can’t do is allow it to be a letdown the rest of their schedule. A loss against the Colts here would only solidify that position. Head below for our free Jaguars vs. Colts pick.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts Betting Odds:
vs. Colts +3.5(-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Jaguars vs. Colts Pick:
The Colts came close against the Titans on the road last week, despite what the score indicated. It took a 72-yard Derrick Henry touchdown to make it a 36-22 with seconds remaining. If you had the Colts, that’s a painful reminder of what transpired to lose the cover. We had the OVER there, which already hit before that play. The Colts went for it on 4th-and-1 on a Jacoby Brissett bootleg before that, but he came up an inch short. It looked like Brissett had the corner at first. He ran like he had more time, though, and didn’t make it there.
The Indianapolis defense did a decent job, before Marcus Mariota exploited a busted coverage to Taywan Taylor, and then Henry putting the game on ice. The game kept the Colts last in the NFL, allowing 32.5 points per game. They’re also 31st in yardage allowed on average per game. Their young defense has been showing signs of improvement, though. They did a good job boggling a good Titans’ offense up for the majority of the game. The Jaguars are 3rd defending the pass, so there’s a huge difference between these defensive units.
The Jaguars may be without the engine of their offense in Indianapolis. Fournette enters the game as questionable with a gimpy ankle. If he does play, he won’t be playing at 100 percent. The home team has won the last five games between the Jags and Colts. The last time Jacksonville has won in Indianapolis was back on September 23rd of 2012, ten meetings ago. I have a feeling this is one of those games where Bortles should have an opportunity to torch a bad defense, but he comes up short on the road. Fire up the Eli Manning rumors once more. The Colts keep it close at home, in a game decided by a field goal.
PICK: COLTS +3.5 (-115)