Jacksonville Sports Day

Bonts: Trip to Indy Maybe Just What the Doctor Ordered

Photo by Rick Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS – Coming off a much needed bye week, the Jaguars are staring up at their NFL playoff chances.

Playing the Colts in Indy Sunday gives Jacksonville a good opportunity to at least not share the cellar of the AFC South with Andrew Luck and Company. Both clubs are 3-5.

Jacksonville has lost four straight.

“I think they are all must-wins for me from here on out,” said Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles. “I think we have to win them all. Maybe you get lucky and lose a couple and find a way to still make it, but I think you have to win them all and for sure starting with the first one.”

Bortles has 10 touchdown passes with eight interceptions, has lost three of five fumbles and taken 18 sacks.

Good news for the Jaguars.

The Colts defense is 25th in points allowed at 26.6 per game, Luck is facing the NFL’s No. 1 pass defense. The Jaguars allow just 190 passing yards per game. And they’re also second in fewest total yards allowed at 313.2 per game.

More good news for Jacksonville.

Running back Leonard Fournette practiced for the second time this week. The Jaguars are 2-0 in the two games he’s played in this season. Without him, they are 1-5.

“You’re asking me if he is able to play, are we going to kind of hold back or just kind of work him into it? We are full-boring everybody,” said Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone. “Once a guy is ready to play, that has to be our expectation.”

Neither team can afford a loss. Division leader Houston (6-3) is on a six-game winning streak. Tennessee (4-4) appears to be playing better.

“Not make or break,” said Colts four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. “We know what we need to do and how to get there. We’ve just got to win.”

Despite winning just once in their first six games. The Colts have won back-to-back games and play their next three games at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The third quarter of the Jaguars’ season features two match ups against the Colts , a home game against the Steelers that has been move to 1 p.m. after originally being scheduled for Sunday night and a trip to Buffalo.

LOOKING BACK: The Jaguars have won four of their last five games against the Colts, including both matchups in 2017. Jacksonville has played 34 games against Indianapolis, which is the second-most games it has played against any team (Tennessee, 37). Of the 34 games against the Colts, 18 have been decided by seven or fewer points.

NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER: As a head coach, Doug Marrone is 6-5 in the month of November,
including 3-1 with the Jaguars. Jacksonville won its first three games in November last season by a combined 31 points.

LAST MINUTE NOTES: Calais Campbell recorded his fifth sack of the 2018 season against Philadelphia and has totaled at least 5.0 sacks in 10 consecutive seasons dating back to 2009. Campbell and Panthers Julius Peppers (2008-17) are the only active players with 10 consecutive seasons of 5.0-plus sacks……Jacksonville’s special teams unit ranks first in opponent kick return average (15.7 yards per return) and second in opponent punt return average (3.4 yards per return). The Jaguars are the only team in the NFL to have connected on every FG (12 of 12) and every PAT (12 of 12) this season……Telvin Smith Sr. has recorded at least seven tackles in 17 of the 22 games in which he has played since the beginning of 2017, the second mos such games of any player in the NFL Smith has led the Jaguars in tackles in five of eight games this

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