Indianapolis has won three of their last four games and is now currently 4-5 on the season after dominating the New York Jets in Week 9.
The Jacksonville Jaguars come to Lucas Oil on Sunday, where the Colts will look to get to .500 with key matchups against the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the oncoming weeks.
Here are my bold predictions for the Colts’ key matchup against the Jaguars.
- Jonathan Taylor will rush for over 150 yards
Given the way second-year running back Jonathan Taylor has performed over the last month, some might not even consider this a bold prediction. Taylor is coming off his best rushing performance of the 2021 season so far, gashing the Jets for 172 total rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The star backs’ major productivity over the last month has helped the Colts’ offense put up 30 or more points in each of the last four games. Taylor is averaging nearly six yards per carry (5.9) and has six rushing touchdowns during that same four-game stretch.
Last season, Taylor had both a career and historical day against the Jaguars, rushing for franchise-record 253 yards on an average of 8.4 yards per carry. Jacksonville has been decent at holding opposing running backs to under four yards per carry, but that likely won’t deter Indianapolis from going to its best offensive player early and often on Sunday.
- Michael Pittman Jr. will have 100 receiving yards and a touchdown
Pittman Jr. had yet another strong game in Week 9, hauling in five receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown. The second-year wideout is also Top 10 in total receiving yards with 658 and has five touchdowns on the season.
Like Taylor, Pittman Jr. is also one of the main reasons Indy’s offense has looked as strong as it has over the last month, and he’s become a reliable, go-to target for quarterback Carson Wentz. The Jags’ pass defense hasn’t exactly been a strong suit of theirs, as they’re surrendering a 104.8 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks this season. That rating is even worse on the road, though, at 115.5.
Given these numbers and Pittman Jr.’s production through the course of this season, he could end up having one of the better games of his career.
- The Colts’ defense will force at least one turnover
The Colts’ defense has forced 20 total turnovers this season, which is first among other defenses in the NFL. Linebackers Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke kept the defense’s streak of forcing at least one turnover alive against the Jets last Thursday.
Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Trever Lawrence is coming off a mediocre performance against the Buffalo Bills, going 15-of-26 (57% completion rate) for 118 yards. Lawrence has also struggled with taking care of the football this season, as the rookie has nine interceptions to only eight touchdowns. This stat line bodes well for a Colts’ defense that has forced one or more turnovers in each of the last four games.
While the inconsistencies within Indy’s secondary do concern me a bit, I’d expect an experienced defense to rattle Lawrence and force some errant throws from the rookie on Sunday.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Colts are 10-point favorites against the Jaguars this week.