Obviously, oddsmakers in Las Vegas see the potential for Jacksonville to possibly win on Sunday.
Why else would a team that was almost a 20-point “dog” on the road only be an eight-point underdog at home against a team that is trending upward in the NFL?
Maybe I am just fooling myself into thinking this is a game the Jags can win, but stranger things have happened.
And the Jaguars tend to play the Colts tough no matter what the situation is.
This might be the week Maurice Jones-Drew finds his running legs and lanes to run through the Colts' defense for two reasons.
First. the Colts are 26th in the league in rushing defense and Jones-Drew for his career has run for an average of over 100 yards per contest again.
The second reason is the return of tight end Marcedes Lewis, who will help in the passing game, but is also one of the better blocking tight ends in the game. Lewis will act as a third tackle on the line in running situations, hopefully opening more holes for MJD during the game.
Also, because of injuries and a depleted receiving corps, the Jaguars may look to run more this week While Blaine Gabbert gets familiar with game situations again. It seems whenever the team appears to move forward, it takes three steps back. Having Lewis on the field will help both the passing attack in the red zone and on third down and to create more opportunities for Jones-Drew.
In other Jaguars news…
This will be the first week of the regular season where rookie Ace Sanders returns kicks.
The fourth round pick out of South Carolina was drafted to help with special teams as well as provide speed to the receiving game. At 5’7” and 173 pounds, he is light on his feet. Sanders has not fielded a kick since the seasons started.
This will be the 140th game kicker Josh Scobee has played in for the Jaguars. He is in pretty good company. The kicker will be tied with Fred Taylor for the third most games ever played in a Jaguars uniform. He trails on Jimmy Smith and Brad Meester in that category. The Colts were the team that Scobee kicked his longest field goal of his career, a 59-yarder to beat them in 2010.
To show you how thin the Jaguars are at wide receiver, the team stated on Friday Stephen Burton and Mike Brown have been ruled out of the game for Sunday.
The Jaguars will bring Jeremy Ebert and Tobias Palmer up from the practice squad. The team has relied on Cecil Shorts to be the leading pass receiver on this team, but over the first three games, the team has a combined 11 passes caught by receivers other than Shorts.
The secondary should get a boost this week as well. Alan Ball has been cleared to play after missing last week with a groin issue. Ball will start at cornerback, opposite Will Blackmon. Dwight Lowery and Dwayne Gratz will miss the game at home. Johnathan Cyprien and rookie Josh Evans will start at safety for the team.