Betting Odds c/o Bovada
The Indianapolis Colts have opened the season 0-2 after losing to the Denver Broncos Week 1 and falling by a field goal to the Philadelphia Eagles last week. This week should turn it all around, and the Colts enter as 7-point favorites in an affair at Jacksonville against the Jags.
The Colts have been effective on the ground, ranking 7th in the NFL in rushing yardage (263 per game). Trent Richardson is starting to show more signs, rushing for a team high 99 yards on 27 carries (3.7 yards per carry), and Ahmad Bradshaw has been solid as usual, rushing for 85 yards on 16 attempts, for 5.3 yard per carry average. Neither, however, have accounted for a single TD.
Andrew Luck is failing to build off the momentum of a strong 2013, which saw him amass 3,822 passing yards with 23 TDs and 9 INTs. He threw 60.2 percent for completion last year, and is at 63.2 percent this year, but he has thrown three INTs already, with five TDs. His QB rating is about the same as last season, and the Colts are hoping Luck continues to grow.
Week 1 against the Broncos Luck through for 370 yards on 66 percent passing, with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. In the game last week against the Eagles, he saw only 34 passing attempts and managed 172 yards. He has been ineffective rushing the ball in the few situations he’s had, nine attempts for 39 yards, though one of the carries in the Broncos game was a TD, it’s worth noting.
Like the Colts, the Jaguars are winless, too. The team has ranked near the bottom of the league in both passing yardage and rushing yardage, and all while allowing nearly the most by opponents. It has resulted in being outscored 75-27 in the first two weeks, against both Philadelphia and Washington, respectively.
Chad Henne is still the QB, but fans may be aching to see No. 3 overall pick Blake Bortles take the helm. A local star of sorts, hailing from UCF, the Jags selected both he and teammate Storm Johnson (222nd pick).
Toby Gerheart is an awful option in the backfield, and has managed just 50 yards on 25 carries (2 per carry). The second leading rusher is Henne, with 25 yards on four carries. Henne has been relatively decent with an 81.8 QB rating, but with so little production in the backfield it’s tough to take the Jaguars seriously. Johnson (listed as probable) may eventually make an impact, but Denard Robinson saw three carries last week and amanged just eight yards.
Henne has completed a pedestrian 53.5 percent of his passes, for an average of 6.47 yards. The Jags aren’t moving it downfield, nor is the defense putting the clamps on its opposition.
Allen Hurns has been the best receiver thus far, accounting for 123 yards and 35 yards after catch, five first downs, and two touchdowns. Mercedes Lewis has also been productive with 106 yards on 12 receptions. A host of other recovers have made impacts, but Hurns and Lewis are responsible for four of the five TDs (the other coming from Allen Robinson).
With a mediocre at best pass game and the run completely ineffective, it doesn’t stand that the Jaguars will be able to pull this off as 7-point underdogs according to NFL oddsmakers. In fact, without more production from the backfield and defense, it could be a double digit win by the by the Colts.