When and where: November 11, 2018, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN, 1:00 PM ET
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Who ever thought the Jacksonville Jaguars would be underdogs against the perennially rebuilding Indianapolis Colts? That’s the new reality on Sunday, when the team formerly known as Sacksonville trots into Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Jaguars have lost five of their last six games, and three of those losses came by double-digit margins. Perhaps a bye week was all that was needed to wash away the stench of their 24-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8. The Colts, on the other hand, were on a similar trajectory, but they managed to snap out of it with back-to-back wins over the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills.
Is Blake Bortles on borrowed time?
The trade deadline came and went for the Jaguars, along with a chance to get rid of and replace quarterback Blake Bortles. There’s obviously enough blame to go around for the Jaguars’ precipitous fall from the mountain of playoff teams to the charred ground of one-and-done contenders. Yet, at the center of it all, Bortles has been the only constant hurdle the team always had to overcome.
He has thrown nearly as many interceptions as he has touchdown passes this season—2,021 passing yards for 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The struggles offensively have weighed down that once vaunted defense and pushed them to the brink of implosion. There is in-fighting within the team and organization, and it is boiling over into the team’s play on the field.
Bortles has had enough time to show he isn’t the long-term answer in Jacksonville. He may not be the short-term one, either. The 26-year-old signal-caller could potentially be another poor performance away from being benched. If the Jaguars can’t win this year, then perhaps it’s time to start thinking about the future.
The offense failed to get the run game going against the Eagles, which led to Bortles trying to do it with his arm and legs. It wasn’t his worst performance.
He finished the game with 24 completions for 286 yards and one touchdown.
Can Marlon Mack keep it going?
The great revelation for the Colts late in the season has been the emergence of running back Marlon Mack, who has racked up 100-plus yards on the ground in back-to-back weeks. He is averaging a remarkable 5.8 yards per carry in four appearances this year.
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— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 30, 2018
The main question is whether that kind of production can last or if it’s simply a hot streak destined to be cooled in the coming weeks.
Mack does have talent, and the Colts offensive line has played better in recent weeks. So it’s completely possible they could continue to have an effective running attack with him at the helm. However, I don’t foresee the elite numbers he’s putting up on a weekly basis sticking, although his big running day against Buffalo’s top-ranked defense is definitely an encouraging sign.
If the Colts can finally develop a consistent running attack behind quarterback Andrew Luck, it would open up more opportunities in the passing attack. It would also limit the amount of times Luck has to drop back in the pocket. If Mack keeps producing on the rushing end, the Colts could be a dark horse team in the AFC South.
- Colts are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games against teams in the AFC South
- Colts are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games after a win
- Colts are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games after scoring more than 30 points in the previous game
- Colts are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games played on fieldturf
- Jaguars are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games played in Week 10
- Jaguars are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in the previous game
- Jaguars are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after a bye week
- Jaguars are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games played on fieldturf
Updated on Nov 11 at 12:55am EST
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Some Sharp money is coming in on the Colts. 57u% of the Bets have been on Jacksonville, yet the line has stayed steady at Indy -3 all week. The Jags have many issues and the Sharps are seeing that.
Injury / Weather Report
Jacksonville’s Impact Injury Report:
DB A.J. Bouye (30 Tackles) is out.
LB Telvin Smith (65 Tackles) & James O’Shaughnessy (101 Yards) are both questionable.
Indianapolis’ Impact Injury Report:
DB Mike Mitchell (17 Tackles, 1 INT) & TE Erik Swoope (3 TDs) are both out.
DE Kemoko Turay (3 Sacks), WR Ryan Grant (270 Yards) & DB Nate Hairston (28 Tackles) are all questionable.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
It’s hard to project where the Colts are at right now after beating two of the worst teams in the NFL in the Bills and Raiders. Those were two games on the schedule they were expected to win.
The Jaguars haven’t looked good in recent weeks, but they are also a team more than capable of turning things around. They’ve had an entire bye week to mull over the ways they can come together and potentially right the ship before the door to the playoffs closes completely.
Running back Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft and an important cog in the offense, was back on the practice field this week after missing several games. His return is vital for a team that typically relies on a balance of power-running and check-down passes to move the ball downfield.
The Colts will also face a defense that surprisingly still ranks first in the league against the pass, second in total yards and eighth in points. As long as Bortles and the offense take care of the football, they still have a clear shot at beating any team in the NFL. The hole might be too deep for a playoff run, but they’ll start digging themselves out on Sunday against a Colts team that isn’t very good.
Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars (+3)
Full-Game Total Pick
The Jaguars defense will hold Luck and the Colts offense for as long as they can, but ultimately, this game will come down to the Jaguars offense making more plays to put points on the board. Things won’t get too crazy offensively, but I could easily see these two teams combining for more than 46.5 points. It’s what Bortles typically does when people are ready to close the door on him. The over is 4-1 in the Jaguars’ last five games against teams with a losing record.
Prediction: Over (46.5)