INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Bob Kravitz breaks down the five things the Colts need to do to pull out a win at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars:
- Ball Security: The Jaguars lead the NFL with a plus-10 turnover differential, having forced 16 turnovers while giving the ball away just six times. This is a young, aggressive, ball-hawking defense that is finally coming of age after several years of selecting at or near the top of the draft. The secondary, which has 10 interceptions, is especially strong with Jalen Ramsey, a star already in this league, and A.J. Bouye, a rising corner. The Colts can’t give Jacksonville any freebies.
- Slow down Fournette: Rookie Leonard Fournette is second in the league in yards and yards per carry, and has blown everybody away with his combination of speed and power. There may be hope for the Colts, though. First, Fournette is coming off an injury, so he may have some limitations, a la Marcus Mariota (although he threw for 306 yards despite moving as much as a desk). Second, Jacksonville likes to run between the tackles and that’s where the Colts’ strength is as a run-defense team.
- Re-discover T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack – In Hilton’s case, that means moving him to the slot and getting him away from Ramsey, the terrific cornerback. Put Hilton in stacks and bunches so defenders will have a tougher time getting their hands on him at the line of scrimmage. With Mack, that means simply getting him more snaps and more handoffs, which figures to be an emphasis with Robert Turbin hurt and so much talk this week about Mack’s disappearing act last week.
- Keep Blake Bortles in the pocket: Bortles is a much better passer on the run when he gets outside the pocket and creates, but leave him in the pocket and put people in his face, he tends to panic. The Colts will have to maintain strong lane discipline and rush discipline to keep Bortles from getting outside and making plays.
- Protect Brissett: The Jaguars lead the league in sacks and sack the quarterback 3.8 times per game. This will be a huge challenge for the Colts reconfigured (again) offensive line, although last week’s group did not allow a single sack and largely kept the Titans at bay. Brissett has shown that if you give him a relatively clean pocket, he’s more than capable of making plays.