Entering Week 2, the Indianapolis Colts travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. Much like in Week 1, the Colts will be looking to break yet another streak and earn their first victory in Jacksonville since 2014.
As Indianapolis, at 0-0-1 for the first time in four decades, looks to claim their first victory of the 2022 season, here are my bold predictions for Sunday’s matchup against the Jaguars.
- The Colts will win their first game in Jacksonville since 2014
At some point, the Colts are going to have to break their losing streak in Jacksonville, right? Despite some offensive hiccups against the Houston Texans, Indianapolis orchestrated a late-game rally and came within a missed 42-yard field goal of winning their first season opener since 2013.
The Colts’ primary issue against Houston was untimely turnovers, caused mostly by mishandled snaps. You don’t typically see those same sorts of miscues two weeks in a row, and I don’t anticipate that being an issue Sunday.
What was encouraging to see was the resilience shown by Indianapolis’ offense in the third and fourth quarters. The Colts piled up over 500 yards on offense, and quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Jonathan Taylor and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. started clicking at the right time.
The 26-11 loss last January left a bitter taste in the Colts’ mouths. If the offense can avoid inopportune mistakes and be more efficient early on, I like Indianapolis’ chances of coming away with a victory.
- Indy’s defense will record multiple sacks
Indianapolis’ pass rush was a bit underwhelming at times against the Texans in Week 1, as the defense recorded three sacks between defensive end Kwity Paye (2) and linebacker E.J. Speed (1).
The Colts are going to have to get more out of their bolstered front four against Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence carved up Indianapolis’ defense for 223 passing yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions and completed a career-high 71.9 percent of his passes in Week 18 of last season.
Jacksonville’s offensive line surrendered two sacks and ten quarterback hits in Week 1 against the Washington Commanders.
With a bolstered pass rush unit that includes former Jaguars’ DE Yannick Ngakoue, All-Pro DT DeForest Buckner, and former first-round pick Kwity Paye, the Colts should be able to take advantage of the Jaguars’ struggles along their offensive line.
- Jonathan Taylor will surpass 150 rushing yards for a second straight week
Jacksonville’s run defense was fairly stout against Washington’s rushing attack, giving up a total of 85 yards on the ground on an average of 3.0 YPC.
Running back Jonathan Taylor should present a tough matchup for Jacksonville’s defense. Taylor gashed the Texans’ defense for 161 rushing yards and a touchdown on an average of 5.2 YPC.
I believe that Taylor, the league’s rushing champ just a season ago, will have the upper hand in Sunday’s game and garner over 150 rushing yards for a second consecutive game against Jacksonville, helping to lead the Colts to their first win of the 2022 season.