Thursday Night Football: Colts vs. Jaguars

After finishing last season with the league’s worst record, no one thought the Indianapolis Colts would have a winning record halfway through this year. The draft pick of Andrew Luck has certainly paid off for Indy and at 5-3, they are certainly in the playoff hunt.

The Jaguars won round one against the Colts, but can they do it again?

Meanwhile, the 2012 Jaguars have become the Colts of last season. The 1-7 Jags desperately a miracle winning-streak to have any short of shot at the postseason, so on paper tonight’s game between the teams seems like a pretty big mismatch. However, the only win the Jaguars do have this season, came against the Colts in week three 22-17.

Luck continues to improve as a passer and should have success today against one of the league's worst pass defenses

Luck has shown the ability to adapt to defensive schemes in the second half of games, so there’s reason to believe that he will fare better facing the Jaguars for the second time this season. Luck has also quietly grown as a NFL starter since week three and is coming off a career best performance last week against the Dolphins, completing 30 of 48 passes for 433 yards and two touchdowns.

On the other side, Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars are ranked last in the NFL in passing yards per game. ¬†You could argue that it’s because Jacksonville is a run-first type of offense, but they aren’t getting it done on the ground either, ranking just 28th in the league with 84 yards per game.

Things won’t be easy for Jacksonville of the defensive side of the ball either. Not only are the Colts bringing in the 6th best passing offense in terms of yards per game, but the Jags will defending that aerial attack with 25th best pass defense. It looks like Luck may have another big game.

The Jaguars did win the first time these two squads met, but with all of the advantages, I don’t see Indy losing this one, especially considering how well they are playing as of late. Inversely, the Jaguars are sliding, having lost five in a row. What’s interesting is the Colts are only three-point favorites today, presumably because they are on the road, but I’d like to think they will easily cover that today. So feel safe in betting Colts to cover-3 tonight to improve to 6-3.