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Talking Points: Jaguars at Colts

Here are this week’s talking points for the Jaguars game at Indianapolis. These are the topics that I’ll be talking about before the game, following during the game and analysing after the game.

1. Jaguars approach:
It’s clear to me (so why isn’t it clear to everyone else!) that the Jaguars need to get back to what they do the best: running the football. The Colts have been very bad against the run this year, giving up 18 1yards per game and a robust 4.8 yards per carry. Couple that with the loss of Bob Sanders, Indy’s best defensive player and a major factor in their run defense, and would think the Jaguars would absolutely be stubborn with the run. I expect to see Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to combine for over 30 carriers.

2. Offensive line: In the second straight week with a patchwork offensive line, will the Jaguars replacement guards be more comfortable with the system? Will they open up any holes in the running game? And how will Khalif Barnes handle Dwight Freeney? Freeney has two of the five sacks by Colts players this year.

3. Stop. Porter Time: We expect that this will be the week that Jerry Porter makes his Jaguars debut. He is yet to be on the field in a Jaguars uniform after off-season hamstring surgery. This year, Matt Jones leads the Jaguars in receiving with 11 catches. And Jones has the only 2 plays of longer than 20 yards. That’s not a good sign. The Jaguars don’t need a lot of big plays, but 2 or 3 a game would really loosen up opposing defenses. If the Colts load up against the run (as I expect they will) the Jaguars need to be able to take advantage with some plays over the top.

4. Manning’s Knee: Peyton Manning hasn’t looked as sharp as we’re used to seeing him this year. A large part of that is his recovery from a procedure on his knee just before training camp. Manning has thrown as many touchdowns as interceptions this year (2) and has been working without tight end Dallas Clark and center Jeff Saturday. That can’t help, but both could be back this week.

5. Groves and Harvey: Why did the Jaguars draft Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves? For games like this. Games against passers like Peyton Manning. The Jaguars need to put pressure on Manning, especially in obvious passing situations. The other aspect to this key is for the Jaguars to put the Colts in those kinds of situations, which means doing well on first and second down.

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