Indianapolis and Jacksonville always keep things interesting between them, even if apart they are far from interesting.
Jacksonville has been absolutely atrocious this season.
Kansas City, who has yet to hold a lead, have been compared to the infamous 2008 Lions (0-16). Kansas City has accumulated -107 net points on the season while on their way to a 1-7 record. Jacksonville has -102 net points, and is also 1-7.
Take that in for a second, Jacksonville really is that bad. There was hope, not so long ago, that Blaine Gabbert, Justin Blackmon and Maurice Jones-Drew would use the 2012 season to initiate a turnaround in Jacksonville.
It has not been the case. Jacksonville is far from interesting.
The team’s lone win came in a Week 3 thriller against division rival Indianapolis. Indianapolis was hardly thrilled by the 80-yard pass that put Jacksonville ahead with 56 seconds left on the clock.
Andrew Luck and the Colts used the loss as a learning experience, and went on to win four of their next five in a similar fashion. They defeated the Packers by three, the Browns by four, the Titans by six and the Dolphins by three.
Enough about the first eight games, what about tonight? Can Jacksonville repeat the upset?
It is hard to picture. Luck is red-hot over the team’s winning stretch. Last week, as we all know, he broke the single-game rookie passing record with 433 yards. That game put him at 2,404 yards on the season. Exactly the same as Peyton Manning, but we won’t go there.
The Jaguars' defense is ranked 25th against the pass with 2,044 yards allowed. They have recorded just four interceptions. Luck, on the other hand, has thrown just one pick during the team’s three-game win streak. It looks like Luck will have the upper hand in this one.
The Colts’ ground game has not been half-bad, either, with 416 yards over the last three games. Jacksonville has just 180 yards over the same stretch. Without Maurice Jones-Drew, the run game has been extremely lack-luster. The team’s last 100+ yard game? Yep, Week 3 against the Colts.
Indianapolis has been stout against the run on defense. They’ve allowed just 251 yards during the win-streak. They will be missing both of their starting cornerbacks – Vontae Davis and Jerraud Powers. If Gabbert had any chance to throw over the top of the Indy defense, it is even bigger now.
Gabbert was solid against the Detroit Lions, despite losing in blowout style. He completed 71 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Jaguars will look to expose the ailing secondary of Indianapolis.
This Thursday Night Football game may not feature the league’s most interesting teams, but it will certainly be an interesting game. Tune in to see if the Jaguars can play spoiler to the Colts’ win streak and midseason playoff push.