Game Scout: Jaguars at Colts

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11) at Indianapolis Colts (10-5)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis - TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker
*Keys to the game: The Colts can finish as high as the No. 2 seed in the AFC if everything breaks perfectly Sunday. The Jaguars can finish as high as the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft order. The same chasm that has existed between division rivals for most of the Jaguars' existence is the presence of a franchise quarterback. Andrew Luck (and before him, Peyton Manning) has had good success against Jacksonville and if the Colts can coax more positive performances out of RBs Trent Richardson and Donald Brown, defending Luck in the postseason could be a nightmare. Jacksonville is vulnerable on the edges, where OLB Robert Mathis has turned in an All-Pro season. Cement-legged QB Chad Henne was sacked multiple times in nine starts this season but was an innocent bystander when the Colts got three picks and four sacks of Blaine Gabbert in the Sept. 29 meeting. Jacksonville wants a 12-round fight, but to last RBs Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman must produce more than the 19 combined carries for 51 yards they offered up in Week 16.
*Matchup to watch - Colts TE Coby Fleener vs. Jaguars ROLB Geno Hayes: Fleener has a height and reach advantage over the Hayes, who at 6-1, 226, has wheels but not the mass to deal with tight ends in the power forward on turf type of game. Fleener had five receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown in the previous meeting.
*Player spotlight - Jaguars SS Jonathan Cyprien: For fans who don't take in Jaguars games often -- read: the vast majority -- Cyprien is worth a look. At 220 pounds, he packs a wallop but can also fly with 4.5 speed and the kind of toughness coach Gus Bradley wants at every position.
*Fast facts: Luck (7,914) needs seven passing yards to break Cam Newton's NFL record for the most through the first two seasons of a career. ... Jacksonville has a three-game road winning streak.
Indianapolis all too often leaves the door ajar for lesser opponents, but the Colts might just be ready to show their teeth after blowouts of Kansas City and Houston.
*Our pick: Colts 28-15

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