WHEN THE JAGUARS HAVE THE BALL
Rookie quarterback Gabbert has thrown for touchdowns in five of his six starts, but Jacksonville has won just one of those games. In 10 career games against the Colts, Jones-Drew has 929 rushing yards and eight touchdowns and he’s averaged 93.8 rushing yards per game since 2010, second-best in the NFL to Houston’s Arian Foster’s 98.8. Jones-Drew needs just 12 rushing yards to join Fred Taylor as only backs in franchise history to reach 6,000. He ranks second in the AFC with 740 rushing yards, trailing only Buffalo’s Fred Jackson (803). Wide receiver Mike Thomas averages 15.1 yards per catch against the Colts (10 receptions, 151 yards) for his career, while fellow wide receiver Jason Hill has three touchdown catches in his past four games. Tight end Marcedes Lewis needs four catches to join Kyle Brady as the only Jaguar tight ends with 200 career receptions.
For the Colts on defense, end Dwight Freeney needs 1 1/2 sacks to become the 26th player with 100 in a career since the stat became official in 1982. He has nine career sacks against Jacksonville. Safety Antoine Bethea had an interception in last December’s win over the Jaguars and cornerback Jerraud Powers had a six-yard interception return for a touchdown last week. At linebacker, second-year man Pat Angerer has 98 tackles and a forced fumble on the season.
Statistically speaking, Jacksonville is dead last in the league in scoring offense (12.2 ppg), total yards (242.6 ypg) and passing yards (123.6 ypg), but jumps to 14th in rushing yards (119.0 ypg). The Colts are in the bottom tier in all defensive categories, including 32nd in scoring defense (31.4 ppg), 31st in total yardage (406.1 ypg), 24th in pass defense (260.0 ypg) and 31st against the run (146.1 ypg).
WHEN THE COLTS HAVE THE BALL
In two career starts at home, Painter has completed 28-of-54 passes (51.9 percent) for 375 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Running back Joseph Addai, who is questionable for Sunday’s test with a hamstring injury, has five rushing touchdowns in his past four games against the Jaguars, while backfield mate Donald Brown had a season-best 70 rush yards last week. Rookie running back Delone Carter ranks second in the AFC among first-year players with 313 rushing yards, trailing only Miami’s Daniel Thomas (314). Wide receiver Reggie Wayne needs two catches to surpass Larry Centers (827) for 19th-most all-time and since 2006, Wayne averages 118.7 receiving yards per game (1,187 in 10 games) against the Jaguars. Wide receiver Austin Collie had eight catches for 87 yards and tied a career high with two touchdown receptions in the Colts’ last meeting with Jacksonville. He has four touchdowns in his past three games against the Jaguars as well. In his past three games at home, wide receiver Pierre Garcon has 14 receptions for 229 yards (16.4 avg.) and two touchdown catches.
For Jacksonville on defense, linebacker Paul Posluszny leads the team with 66 tackles and fellow linebacker Clint Session posted his first sack with Jacksonville in the recent loss to Houston. Session spent four seasons with the Colts from 2007-10 before signing with the Jaguars over the summer. End Jeremy Mincey has two sacks in his past four games and cornerback Derek Cox registered his first career interception against the Colts in September of 2009.
By the numbers, the Colts’ offense is 30th in scoring (14.2 ppg), 31st in total yards (282.8 ypg), 28th in passing yards (182.8 ypg) and 23rd in rushing (100.0 ypg). Jacksonville is in the top tier in all four categories on defense, placing eighth in points allowed (20.4 ppg), fifth in total defense (307.0 ypg), eighth versus the pass (197.0 ypg) and 12th against the run (110.0 ypg).
KEYS TO THE GAME
How much it matters this year is a question mark, but the Jaguars have struggled historically in Indianapolis, winning just twice in 10 games there and only five times in 20 overall series meetings. They’re also winless in four road contests this season.
He was held in check by Houston, but a matchup with the second-worst run defense in football ought to widen the eyes of a star like Jones-Drew, who’s long been successful against the Colts. With Gabbert struggling, it’s important that the Jaguars get another productive day out of their main running back.
Painter is still enduring the growing pains predictable of a long-term understudy thrown into the breach by injury. The Jaguars, who are eighth in the league against the pass, don’t figure to make it easy.
Prediction – The Colts are simply awful. They have the lock right now to get Andrew Luck in the draft, and while the Jags are not much better, they are by far the better team here, and they will run all over the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Jacksonville 27 Indianapolis 13