Last week we saw the Colts physically dominate the Tennessee Titans, running the ball at will and limiting Derrick Henry on defense. One thing the Colts didn’t do a great job of last week was limiting Ryan Tannehill through the air as DeAndre Hopkins caught 8 passes for 140 yards. Near the redzone the Indy defense did their job and only allowed one touchdown on the day and the Colts came away with a divisional win.
In the win, as we’re all aware, the Colts lost rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson for the foreseeable future with a shoulder injury. In his place Gardner Minshew was able to lead the offense effectively. What remains to be seen is if Minshew’s effectiveness in games where he replaces Richardson is more about what Minshew is doing, or more about the defense having to adjust to the Colts offense changing so drastically mid-game. To the Colts credit, they have seamlessly switched between quarterbacks in game multiple times. However, the Colts offense with Richardson is almost indistinguishable from the one run by Minshew. So it does make sense that a team who could make such a massive change on the fly would have a strategic advantage, one that a defense simply could not prepare for. So with a full week to prepare for the Colts offense led by Gardner Minshew, the question becomes, can the Colts offense continue to be effective when their opponent knows Minshew is the guy.
On the other side of the ball the Colts are going up against a much better quarterback in Trevor Lawrence a week after being dismantled by Ryan Tannehill. Where I see the Colts biggest advantage on defense is in the trenches. The Colts best chance to limit Lawrence is going to be through their pass rush. I believe they will keep Travis Etienne in check most of the day. I also believe the Jaguars have the talent and offensive creativity to be more dangerous in the redzone than what the Colts saw a week ago.
The Jaguars have the more explosive offense and overall better skill position players. Because of that, they’re favored to win this week. The Colts path to victory relies on them controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and not making mistakes. The Colts have to play a really clean game. Minimal penalties, no turnovers and everyone has to play disciplined, assignment football for all 60 minutes. In games like this one, the margin for victory figures to be narrow, but we’ve seen the Shane Steichen Colts do it in the past. Today, we’ll see if they can do it again.
This is your week six open thread so hang out here, chat, celebrate, commiserate, and argue in the comments! Go wild (within reason)!