Jaguars vs. Colts: 3 things to know about Week 17’s game

James Johnson
·4 min read

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made it to their season finale after a long season full of lows and a late-season Christmas gift. As they did last season, they will conclude the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts, who they were able to acquire their first and only win of 2020 against.

Of course, with both teams being in the AFC South for a while they’ve grown quite familiar with each other and Sunday’s game will mark their 39th meeting. However, with Doug Marrone’s future up in the air, it could mark the veteran coach’s last game with the Jags, and it goes without saying he’d like to end it with a bang.

All of that said, here are three things to watch Sunday as the Jags travel to Indy:

The Jags have fared well against Colts since late 2015

Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

While the Colts are ahead as far as their all-time record goes against the Jags (24-15), the Cardiac Cats have given them issues in recent times. In fact, Jacksonville has won seven of their last 10 games against Indy. However, one thing going in the Colts' is their success at home against the Jags as they will enter Sunday's game 4-1 against the Jags at Lucas Oil Stadium. Included with those wins was last year's trip to Indy, which resulted in a 33-13 final. Many fans will remember that game because the Jags benched Gardner Minshew II for that game as Nick Foles was returning from a broken collarbone. This time around, however, the Jags will be starting a different quarterback against the Colts in veteran Mike Glennon, despite Minshew being undefeated against them. Regardless of who starts, the Jags' recent success against Indy is still alarming, especially when considering the fact that Indy has been the better team more times than not.

A win could get the Colts into the postseason, but they need some help

Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus speaks to the media during the Colts mandatory minicamp at the Colts Complex on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
Colts Minicamp

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jags' playoff hopes have long been gone down the drain, but that isn't the case for Indy. With a victory against the Jags and a Week 17 loss by the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, or Cleveland Browns, they would earn a playoff spot. The Colts were in control of their own destiny until last week, where they fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers. After being up 21-7 at the half, the Colts blew their 14-point lead in the second half and let the Steelers win by a score of 28-24. Needless to say, that means they will have plenty of motivation come Sunday. In the process of the game, they may not get much of a challenge as the Jags might be without D.J. Chark Jr., are likely to be without James Robinson, and will be without receiver Collin Johnson.

The Colts have a HC candidate and GM candidate fans should get familiar with

Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus speaks to the media during the Colts mandatory minicamp at the Colts Complex on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
Colts Minicamp

The Jags no longer need to tank and a win for them would be a great way to end the season as they would stop the Colts from making the postseason. However, there is another reason a win would benefit the Jags -- and that's to make it easier to interview their assistant general manager Ed Dodds and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus next month. As many are aware, the Jags will be looking for a new general manager and probably a new head coach. Dodds and Eberflus are considered notable candidates in both categories, respectively, and could appeal to the Jags due to their familiarity with both. Dodds has played a key role in getting the Colts back on their feet alongside general manager Chris Ballard since the retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck. They've added notable names like Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson, and Jonathan Taylor through the draft and players like DeForest Buckner and Philip Rivers through free agency. Meanwhile, Eberflus has been one of the league's most underrated defensive coordinators as the Colts defense is currently ranked second against the pass and is eighth overall. The only issue with the Jags getting a win is that it's going to be extremely difficult without Robinson and possibly Chark. Then again, we've seen crazy things happen in 2020, so the Jags shouldn't be counted out.