has the Colts as 7-point favorites on the road against the As of this writing, DraftKings Sportsbook has the Colts as 3-point favorites on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars. You must look at the situation and history if that seems closer than expected.
As for the history, the Colts have failed to defeat an inferior Jaguars team in Duvall County since 2014. It is a mind-boggling road losing streak that baffles even Jaguars fans. It’s difficult to predict any outcome other than a narrow Colts win or a Jaguars upset — as that has been the standard of late.
As for the situation, the Colts are heading into the second game under new quarterback Matt Ryan. Ryan fared reasonably well in the season-opener as a passer but made some mistakes and had poor exchanges with center Ryan Kelly. His top wide receiver, Michael Pittman Jr., is also questionable heading into the game, which is a big deal because Pittman is the only proven weapon in the receiving room. If that wasn’t bad enough, second-round rookie Alec Pierce is out this week after suffering a concussion in the opener. Who will help Ryan move the Colts’ offense in the air - against a Jaguars secondary that looks vulnerable to exploitation?
Could Jonathan Taylor carry the Colts to a victory? Yes. There is little doubt that few teams in the NFL have a good answer for Taylor at this point. He can score enough and do enough damage on the ground to keep Indy’s offense on the scoreboard. But is that a good way to start his third season? The concern is that Taylor will carry so much of the offensive burden early in his career that it will take a toll on his body. After all, he was a bell cow at Wisconsin in college, and at some point, the hits will start to slow anyone down.
On defense, Shaquille Leonard has been ruled out. DeForest Buckner and Kenny Moore also carry a questionable designation into game day. Both players are integral to what Gus Bradley wants to do defensively. Moore is considered the best slot cornerback in the NFL, and Buckner is considered amongst the tier just below Aaron Donald for interior defensive linemen. Their absences would make things more difficult for Bradley and the Colts' defense, giving Jacksonville another reason to feel confident.
With that in mind, watch the lines as inactive are announced. The Colts should be clear favorites. They have been for most of the last eight years. But in Duvall County, nothing is promised for the Colts franchise. Even less so if the team is missing most of its Pro Bowl and All-Pro talent on the defensive side of the ball.