If the Jacksonville Jaguars want to prove they belong with the big boys, then beating the Indy Colts Sunday at the RCA Dome should qualify as a must win. The Jags enter the contest one game back of the Colts in the AFC South with a mark of 8-3, while Indy sits at 9-2. Jacksonville has won three straight and four of five, and they seem poised to be the biggest threat the Colts have had to the top of the division in quite some time.
This is not to say that the Colts will simply lie down for the up and coming Jags. The same talk was going on about Jacksonville back in late October when Indy shut them up by beating the Jags badly on a Monday night in Jacksonville 29-7. It was that game they knocked out Jags starting QB David Garrard with an injury, but that was not enough to halt the Jags train which has been running pretty well since.
The Colts will likely again be without wide out Marvin Harrison, who is still stuck on the sideline with a knee injury. The Colts will turn to the wide outs they have been using as Harrison’s been out – Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and when healthy – Anthony Gonzalez. They will throw a lot to those guys again this week as Peyton Manning will look to open things up early against the Jags, a team that does well up front against the run.
As for the Jags offense, they need to use that 1-2 running back punch of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jags also need some help from their special teams, as the Colts have been downright bad this year in kick coverage, and if Jacksonville can break one, it will help their chances a great deal. With that said, the Colts are still the big dogs in this division, and Sunday they will have enough again to beat their biggest rivals.