Week Fourteen: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Location: Alltel Stadium Jacksonville, FL
Kick-off time: 1:00 pm EST
After enduring a week of just about every media outlet writing off the Colts, fans freaking out on message boards, and the folks at Burnt Orange Nation coming over here to proclaim Vince Young is kryptonite for Manning, we finally get to talk about the friggin' game this Sunday.
The opponent: the spotted-kitties of Jacksonville.
The Colts took the game back in September. That's when Byron Leftwich (or as I like to call him, Fatty McButterpants) was still throwing interceptions for the Jags. Now, Byron's season is over, and likely his career in Jackonsville. Leftwich career thus far is a complete bust, and why Jackonsville drafted this waste of roster space I don't know.
Enter David Garrard, the guy who should have been Jackonsville's QB after Mark Brunell left. Garrard is a superior thrower and scrambler to Leftwich. The offense runs smoother with him under center, and he knows how to distribute the football. To compliment Garrard, the Jags sport the 3rd ranked rushing attack in football, averaging 4.4 a rush and 143 yards a game.
Because of what happened at Tennessee (and what has pretty much happened the last few weeks), I have only two keys to the game:
- Shut down Jacksonville's running game
- Don't turn the ball over
That's it. If the Colts do those two things, they have a strong chance to win. The Jags smell blood because the Colts suffered their first division loss in 2 years last Sunday. They are 7-5 and need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Right now, the Colts' confidence is shaken. They are questioning themselves.
This is one of those watershed games. This is a game where we, as fans, can really see what our team is made of. If the Colts go out there and dominate Jacksonville, then we might have something. If the perform like they did against Tennessee and lose again, then something is rotten in Denmark.
I'm watching the defense close. Bob Sanders hasn't practiced all week, and probably won't play. At this point, they should IR him. If he can't play every week, he's wasting a roster spot. Brandon Stokley practiced and will play. Dallas Clark is out, and I'll be surprised if we see him the rest of the season. Antoine Bethea might play after sitting out last week.
Despite all these injuries, I want to see something from the Colts. Do they weather this storm, or fold?
As always, please check out Stampede Blue alumni River City Rage and his Jaguars blog: Big Cat Country.