Gridiron Gab Week Three Preview: Jacksonville at Indianapolis

The Colts will look for their second straight win Sunday as they play host to AFC South rival the Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts come into the game 1-1, while the Jags have started slow at 0-2.

A win for the Colts would be impressive in that it will have taken rookie QB Andrew Luck three games to match last season’s win total of just two victories.

Last week vs the Vikings, Luck drove the team 45 yards in 23 seconds to set up Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning 53-yard field goal with 8 seconds left. Luck did not commit a turnover after throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble in his NFL debut, a 41-21 loss at Chicago on September 9th.

“It’s just amazing that the guy’s able to go out there and do the things he does as a rookie,” first-year coach Chuck Pagano said.

He will go up against a Jags team that fought hard in an OT loss vs Minnesota in the opener, but last week looked awful in one of their worst games in history in their home opener vs the Texans.

QB Blaine Gabbert was awful vs the Texans, finishing with 53 yards passing – his fewest as a starter. Jacksonville (0-2) totaled a franchise-low 117 yards. It was not what Gabbert, or the Jaguars, expected after the second-year signal-caller showed positive signs in a 26-23 overtime loss to the Vikings in Week 1, throwing for a career-best 260 yards and two TDs.

“We killed ourselves,” said Gabbert, the league’s lowest-rated passer in 2011 at 65.4. “We were 0 for 9 on third down, just a lack of execution. Had a bunch of mental mistakes. We just shot ourselves in the foot. And you can’t win football games in the NFL by doing that.”

The Jags enter Sunday banged up on the O-line, as left guard Eben Britton has been ruled out and right tackle Cam Bradfield is listed as questionable. Herb Taylor, Mike Brewster and Guy Whimper should get plenty of snaps if both players can’t go.

Even with that, look for RB Maurice Jones-Drew to get plenty of chances to run vs the Colts. The Jags likely will be without Rashad Jennings, as he could miss a second straight game with a knee injury.

Jones-Drew, the Jaguars’ only non-quarterback with a rushing attempt last Sunday, has averaged 15.5 carries and 68.5 yards after holding out all of training camp and the preseason.

Jones-Drew has faced the Colts 12 times, rushing for 101.0 yards per game with nine TDs. He ran for 283 yards and a score in 2011 when the Jaguars swept this AFC South series for the first time.

Luck and the Colts are playing with confidence. With the Jags O-line banged up, and the Colts D looking to lower the boom on Gabbert, Indy walks out with a 2-1 mark after another early season win.

Indianapolis 16 Jacksonville 13

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