Colts out to prevent first Jaguars’ win streak in two years
Trevor Lawrence appears healthy enough to help the Jacksonville Jaguars try to win back-to-back games for the first time in more than two years.
Standing in the way is the turbo-charged offense of the Indianapolis Colts, who are aiming to post consecutive home victories for the first time this season.
Regardless of how Jacksonville’s 2021 ends, its 9-6 victory over AFC East-leading Buffalo in Week 9 will be one of the most memorable moments for the franchise this season.
While holding a Bills’ offense that entered averaging 32.7 points without a touchdown and to just 301 total yards, the Jaguars received bad news when Lawrence (1,821 passing yards, eight touchdowns, nine interceptions in 2021) injured his ankle.
However, coach Urban Meyer is confident the No. 1 pick in April will play this weekend along with running back James Robinson (482 rushing yards, five touchdowns), who sat out last week’s win with a heel injury.
“I expect (Trevor) to go…I think he’ll be full speed sooner than we think,” Meyer said.
Looking to snap a 12-game road losing streak, Jacksonville (2-6) last won back-to-back games anywhere, in the same season, Oct. 20 and 27, 2019.
“I think we’re playing well,” Meyer added. “There’s a lot of momentum.”
The Jaguars average 16.5 points and totaled 16 in the last two games, but another solid defensive effort could be the key in remaining competitive this weekend. Linebacker Josh Allen continued to shine against the Bills, recording eight tackles, an interception and increased his team-leading sack total to 5.5 with a takedown of Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
“We’ve got to build on this, we’re going to build on this,” Allen told the Jaguars’ official website. “Hopefully, we can capitalize and get better.”
Jacksonville has been tapped out at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Jaguars dropped three in a row at Indianapolis, where these Colts (4-5) are 2-3 at home, but looking to build on a 45-30 win over the New York Jets last Thursday.
Adding to the challenge for Jacksonville’s promising defense is that Indianapolis has averaged 34.3 points while winning three of the last four overall.
“What we want to accomplish each week is to focus on the ability to get better, then just continue to get better,” Indianapolis coach Frank Reich said. “That’s what I’m most excited about with our players is the commitment to get better as the season goes on.
“We know that’s what it takes. Those are the teams that can make the most noise at the end.”
Colts quarterback Carson Wentz has 14 of his 17 touchdowns through the air while completing 64.9 percent of his passes over his last six games.
Running back Jonathan Taylor (172 rushing yards versus New York), is averaging 123.5 yards and 7.4 yards per carry, and scored six touchdowns on the ground during the last four games. Receiver Michael Pittman Jr. has totaled 19 receptions, averaged 13.4 yards per catch and scored four touchdowns in the last three contests.
While the Colts’ offense is rolling along, their defense has yielded 64 total points to Tennessee and the Jets over the last two weeks. However, this could be a week for improvement against Jacksonville, which hasn’t scored more than 21 points in five straight road contests dating to last season.
Indianapolis receiver T.Y. Hilton, who has been limited to two games this season due to injuries and currently in concussion protocol, was slated to practice this week.
–Field Level Media