The Indianapolis Colts (+5) are set to open the 2023 NFL season at the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium against the divisional rival Jacksonville Jaguars. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. EST, and the game will be nationally televised on FOX – local WXIN FOX 59.
These two divisional foes spent the second half of 2022 heading in seemingly opposite directions. Coming out of nowhere, the Jaguars (9-8) captured the AFC South by winning seven out of their last nine contests. The Tennessee Titans fading down the stretch certainly aided in the ability of Jacksonville to take over the division, but this was still surprising given their abysmal three-win season the year before. Not only did the Jaguars make the playoffs, they also stunned the Chargers after being down 27-0 late in the second quarter of their Wild Card game. They went on to win 31-30 and advance to the Divisional round.
The Colts (4-12-1) found themselves heading the other way to complete their 2022 season. After a rocky start, the wheels completely fell off after Jeff Saturday took over the controls with the team going 1-7 down the final stretch. The clearly diminished play of an aged Matt Ryan, injuries to stars Shaq Leonard and Jonathan Taylor, and a porous offensive line were too much for Indy to overcome. The Colts finished with the fourth worst record in the NFL, which certainly aided their ability to land rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson.
These rivals now come into the season with different goals in mind. The Jaguars are focused on taking the next step under up-and-coming former #1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence. Jacksonville wants to build on last year’s success and make a deeper playoff run. The Colts are focused on building a sturdy foundation under new head coach Shane Steichen and with Richardson under center, having clear eyes towards the imminent future.
This year is not so much about wins and losses but instead about developing the team’s young core players, most specifically Richardson.
To begin his career debut, Richardson will host an NFL opponent who calls home to a major city just hours from where he grew up in nearby Gainesville, Florida. Is that cool or what?
Jags: DB Antonio Johnson (hamstring) - unspecified; DE Tyler Lacy (hip) - unspecified
Colts: CB Julius Brents - unspecified; LB Shaquille Leonard (concussion) - unspecified; RB Zack Moss (forearm) - Questionable; RB Jonathan Taylor (ankle) (PUP) - Out
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium
Playing surface: Synthetic turf
Weather forecast: Sunny, 76 degrees
Matchup history: 27-17 Colts
Odds: Jaguars (-4.5) per DraftKings Sportsbook
Head Official: Clay Martin
Television broadcast: FOX
Colts radio broadcast: Matt Taylor is joined by Rick Venturi and Larra Overton on 93.5 FM & 107.5 The Fan and 97.1 HANK FM and on Colts Radio Network affiliates. (Colts Radio Affiliates | Indianapolis Colts -colts.com)
SiriusXM broadcast: Channel 813
Twitter: Stampede Blue
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