There is one team for each NFL franchise that seems to cause issues no matter their record. The Jacksonville Jaguars have proven to be that team for the Indianapolis Colts over the years. Although the franchise has been unable to find sustained success season to season, they always cause fits for the Colts. For a team that picks in the top ten of the NFL draft year in and year out, can they really be the Colts’ rival?
The teams meet often:
Once again, this is a divisional opponent, so the Colts meet them twice a year. They have even taken the show on the road and played the Jaguars in London.
The Colts kick off the 2023 season against the Jaguars at home on September 10th. They travel to the land of losses on October 15th.
The series must be balanced:
The series reads 12-10 in the Colts favor during the regular season. The two teams have not met in the playoffs.
Before researching the win totals, this is about what I expected. No matter their record, the Jaguars always cause problems for the Colts. About a third of the games have been decided by seven or fewer points. The rest weren’t close, however, which can be deceiving given the tightness of the overall series record.
While the series has been balanced, the win total for the Colts as the road team has been paltry given their current streak of 0-7.
The games need to have high stakes:
Since 2012, the Jaguars have finished last or second to last in the division nine out of eleven seasons. Finishing that low in the division and with records such as 2-14, 4-12, 3-13, 5-11, 3-13, 5-11, 6-10, 1-15, and 3-14 across that span, you would think there would be zero pressurized games. That is not the case, however.
January 3rd, 2021, the Colts needed to win, and they were in. They only had the 1-14 Jaguars in their way. Up six in the fourth quarter, it took a monster run by Jonathan Taylor to put the game on ice and ensure the Colts made the Wild Card round.
January 9th, 2022, produced another win and in situation for the Colts. At 2-14, that Jaguar team was almost as bad as the previous years. This one was over before the third quarter expired. We saw the last of Carson Wentz in a Colts uniform as he did Carson Wentz-like things under the bright Florida sun to miss out on the playoffs against the bottom feeding Jaguars.
In general, the Colts have increased the stakes and pressure each year by not being able to beat a bad Jaguars team on the road. Every year, the thought is, surely the Colts can’t lose to this team, and then they do. That pressure continues to compound.
Is one of the worst teams in the NFL the Colts’ greatest rival? They see them twice a year, and the overall series is close. The Colts have struggled to beat them at home and can’t seem to do so on the road, even in contests with playoff implications. Does this make the Jaguars a true rival or just a thorn in the side? At the present time and given the Jaguars’ extremely poor record since 2012, it is too embarrassing to admit that the Jaguars could be a true rival of the Colts. With the rise of Trevor Lawrence and Anthony Richardson, however, we could see the dawn of some epic showdowns between these two clubs.