Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6 SU, 3-4-1 ATS) at Indianapolis Colts (0-9 SU, 2-7 ATS), Sunday November 13th, 2011. 1:00PM EST, NFL Week 10, Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, Indiana
By Jay Horne, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Jax -3/Indy +3
Over/Under Total: 37.5
It may be hard for NFL fans to get overly excited about this Sunday’s game between the Jaguars and Colts. After all both teams are among the worst teams in the NFL this season. The Jaguars are 2-6 on the season and have lost 5 of their last 6 games. Outside of an upset against the Baltimore Ravens 12-7 two weeks ago, the Jaguars have been an afterthought to the rest of the NFL. For the Colts most expected tough times without QB Peyton Manning, but nobody expected things to be this tough.
The Colts with Manning were expected to make another run at an AFC Title. When it became known Manning would miss the year, many still expected the Colts to remain a respectable foe in the AFC. However, things have been quite the opposite as the Colts enter week 10 this Sunday still searching for their first win on the year. For Colts fans, this may be their best opportunity to snatch that elusive first win this season as they host a Jaguars team that has had their share of troubles this year as well. With the help of the home crowd, the Colts will be focused to end their streak of disappointment this Sunday inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
To make matters more entertaining this Sunday, the game will feature the two worse offenses in the NFL. The Jaguars have averaged just 242 total yards per game while the Colts have managed a measly 282 yards per game. For Jacksonville, they also own the worst scoring offense in the NFL averaging just 12.3 points per game. However, the good news for the Jaguars is their defense is one of the better groups in the league. The Jaguars rank 5th in total defense holding opponents to just 307 yards per game. If you consider how often the Jaguars defense has been on the field this season that is a truly stunning accomplishment for the defense.
On offense, the Jaguars have just been plain horrible. QB Blaine Gabbert took over the starting role behind center, but has not provided any answers to the offensive troubles. Gabbert has completed just 45% passing on the season while tossing 5 touchdowns and 4 picks. Outside of the non-existent passing attack, the Jaguars have historically run the ball well behind running back Maurice Jones-Drew. However due to the lack of not having any type of passing success to keep defenses off the line of scrimmage, opponents have been to sell out on stopping the run. As a result the Jaguars have managed just 119 yards per game on the ground. Jones-Drew has still had his share of yards racking up 780 on the season, but the running game has not been as consistent due to the passing woes.
Still, the key for the Jaguars this week will remain on the defensive side of the ball. If that Jaguars defense keeps the Colts offense on the short side of the field, good things are bound to happen eventually for the offense. For the Colts, QB Curtis Painter is the new man behind center after experimentation with veteran Kerry Collins went horribly wrong. Painter has not exactly been impressive either completing just 53.5% passing with 5 scores and 5 picks. However, the Colts offense will have a fairly sizeable advantage from their receiving core over the Jaguars defense.
Wide outs Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne are big play guys that have suffered statistically from the passing woes. Still, the talent is there to make plays against this Jaguar secondary if Painter can play well. Outside of the passing game, the Colts have no help from their ground game. Running back Delone Carter leads the team with a dismal 313 yards on the ground in 9 games. The Colts have not had to worry about running the ball much during the Manning era and the lack of a big time running back hurts even worse now that Manning is gone. Therefore, if plays are to happen this Sunday against that Jaguars defense it will have to be through the air. Again, the Colts have the receivers to get the job done, but can Painter finally deliver a commendable performance to make it happen?
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Early betting action has really jumped on the Jaguars by nearly 70% of the betting public, but the line has held steady. I believe the reason Jacksonville is the “appetizing” pick here is because their victory over Baltimore is still fresh on most everyone’s memory. However, I like the Colts here to end the winless streak. Both offenses are bad, but the Colts have the big play potential that could make the difference. Not only can the Colts receivers make big plays, but DE Dwight Freeney is due for a big game as well. I believe the Colts defense forces a turnover or two that will help aid the upset. Take the Colts +3.
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