Week 17 Tale Of The Tape: Jacksonville Jaguars At Indianapolis Colts
- QuarterbackThe Jaguars responded to head coach Gus Bradley’s firing with one of their few excellent efforts of the season and they brought home a victory over the Tennessee Titans. Quarterback Blake Bortles demonstrated his talents in that game, and there’s no reason he can’t turn things around and become a more consistent quarterback.This has been another disappointing season for the Colts as they are missing the postseason for the second consecutive year. Andrew Luck has been under the gun, largely because he is playing behind an offensive line that struggles to protect him. Luck remains one of the most talented passers, but he is feeling the pressure that comes with unreached expectations.
- OffenseThe Jaguars responded to head coach Gus Bradley’s firing with one of their few excellent efforts of the season and they brought home a victory over the Tennessee Titans. Quarterback Blake Bortles demonstrated his talents in that game, and there’s no reason he can’t turn things around and become a more consistent quarterback.The Colts have received another productive season from veteran running back Frank Gore, who makes up for in savvy, toughness and desire what he lacks in speed. Gore has rushed for 964 yards and has fumbled just twice on 247 carries. T.Y. Hilton is an excellent deep threat with game-changing speed while Donte Moncrief (shoulder) is also a solid receiver.
- DefenseThe Jaguars went into the season thinking that their offense might have to carry the defense, but the opposite has been true. The defense ranks fourth in yards allowed and has been especially effective at pass defense. Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny excels at diagnosing plays and leads the team with 127 tackles. Malik Jackson leads the team with 4.5 sacks.The Colts have struggled defensively and they have a hard time slowing down athletic teams. They rank 28th in yardage allowed, and regularly get pushed around at the point of attack. Outside linebacker has been able to turn the corner and provide pressure with 10.0 sacks, but the Indianapolis secondary has a difficult time slowing down receivers.
- Special TeamsThe Jaguars have struggled quite a bit on special teams this season and that has manifested itself in a poor punt return differential that has seen opponents have averaged more than twice as many yards. Jason Myers is an ordinary placekicker.The Colts have a huge advantage in the kicking game because Pat McAfee has a huge leg and is averaging 49.2 yards per punt. PK Adam Vinatieri has connected on 26-of-29 FG attempts, including 7-of-9 from 50 yards and beyond.
The Colts are severely disappointed at missing the playoffs again, and they may be looking forward to the offseason. It’s hard to see them mustering up their best effort here.