Colts look for payback in Jacksonville
The Colts lost their shorts in the first matchup against Jacksonville on September 23. Actually, they lost Cecil Shorts. The Jaguars receiver slipped past the Colts secondary for an 80-yard touchdown with just 45 seconds left in the game. The Jaguars beat the Colts for the third straight time, Jacksonville's longest win streak in this series.
The Colts are looking for payback in Thursday's 8:20 p.m. game at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. The game will be televised on WTHR Channel 13.
"They kicked our butt twice last year and beat us once this year," said Colts linebacker Pat Angerer. "So obviously it would be really nice to get them."
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 177 yards in the 22-17 Jacksonville victory, his top rushing performance of many good games against the Colts. But Jones-Drew will not play Thursday because of a sprained foot.
"It's going to hurt them a little because he's a Pro Bowl player," said Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney. "But that being said, we can't overlook who's going to be in his place and what they're going to do."
The Colts are the surprise of the NFL, winners of three straight games and four of their last five - all since head coach Chuck Pagano began treatment for leukemia. Pagano attended his first game last Sunday since his diagnosis.
"You know where they (the media) had us in the beginning, every last one of them," said Pagano to his team in a passionate post game locker room speech after the Colts beat the Dolphins, 23-20. "But you refused to live in circumstances. You decided consciously, as a team and a family, to live in a vision."
Coming off that emotional victory and post game speech, the Colts have a short week to prepare for a division road trip and their only scheduled prime time TV game this season.
"We have to learn from the last time we had an emotional win," said Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians. "We got our brains beat out. The short week is always tough on both teams, especially the one that is traveling. We've got to be able to focus."
The Colts beat the Packers, 30-27, at home on October 7, the first game the team played without Pagano. The next Sunday the Colts lost 35-9 on the road against the New York Jets.
The Jaguars win over the Colts is their only win this season.
"I don't want to speak for them," said Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne. "But I can imagine that this is not the way they wanted their season to go. They're going to be pretty upset and pretty determined to go out there and try to turn some things around for the second half of the season."
The Colts have already made the turn and put themselves in the playoff conversation. If the playoffs started today, the Colts would open the postseason in Denver against former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos.