Game Predictions & Player Projections - IND vs. JAC

David Dorey, @DMDorey

Prediction: IND 24, JAC 25 (Line: IND by 2.5, O/U = 49.5)

UPDATE: Julius Thomas is questionable and missed all practices this week other than limited work on Friday. He is expected to be a game time decision because of his elbow. I am lowering his projections in light of the risk. Philip Dorsett is questionable but only showed up as limited on Friday. I am leaving his moderate projections as is but he's one to check his status on Sunday.

The 1-2 Colts are are winless on the road and the Jaguars haven't won anywhere. This is one of those interesting matchups where the team with no offense meets the team with no defense. Both teams are not playing well so that makes this a coin flip.

These rivals traded home wins in 2015. The Colts won 16-13 in Week 4 while the Jaguars won 51-16 during Week 14.

Indianapolis Colts

1 DET 35-39 10 BYE ---
2 @DEN 20-34 11 TEN ---
3 SD 26-22 12 PIT ---
4 @JAC --- 13 @NYJ ---
5 CHI --- 14 HOU ---
6 @HOU --- 15 @MIN ---
7 @TEN --- 16 @OAK ---
8 KC --- 17 JAC ---
9 @GB ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
IND @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Jacoby Brissett 30 160
QB Andrew Luck 20,1 250,2
RB Christine Michael 60,1 3-20
WR T.Y. Hilton 7-90,1
TE Jack Doyle 3-20,1
TE Eric Ebron 5-50
PK Adam Vinatieri 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Colts finally faced an opponent that they could outscore what their own defense was giving away. Every week is turning into a point-fest but the Colts are getting some injured defenders back. The schedule gets tough with three road games over the next four weeks and all three go against divisional rivals. The Colts playoff hopes are either alive or very damaged by Week 8.

QUARTERBACK : Andrew Luck still isn't back to 2014 levels and while he scored in each game, he's only managed more than one touchdown in the season opener. Against the Chargers soft defense, he threw for 331 yards but most of that all came in the second half and the lone touchdown was on a late 63-yard strike to T.Y. Hilton. Luck needs to show that he can still produce well on the road since his only away game was just 197 yards and a score in Denver.

RUNNING BACK : Frank Gore comes off his best game of the year with 82 yards and a score on 21 carries but he only had one catch and still has only a minimal role as a receiver. His lone road game so far only produced 44 rushing yards though he scored on a reception. Worse yet, Robert Turbin never had more than ten rushing yards and yet leads the team with two rushing touchdowns.

WIDE RECEIVER : T.Y. Hilton ended with a season best - by considerable margin - 174 yards on eight receptions with his first score of the year in the win over the Chargers. Donte Moncrief is out for the next four to six weeks but in his place, Philip Dorsett has done little and only managed three receptions for 27 yards against the visiting Chargers. Other than one long catch in the season opener, Dorsett has been a disappointment in his second season. No other wideout matters besides Hilton.

TIGHT END : The tight ends are not producing big stats but combined they are making up for the shortfall from the disappointing wide receivers. Dwayne Allen is only getting around 30 yards per game while Jack Doyle is slightly better and comes off a six catch, 65 yard effort last week. Both have not scored since the opener. Combined they make for decent production but individually there are no difference makers here.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Jaguars are better on defense this year and while they rank low against quarterbacks, that stems from giving up six passing touchdowns and two rushing scores to quarterbacks. No one has passed for more than 220 yards on the Jaguars though at 0-3, no one has really needed to either.

Playing at Jacksonville, no runner has topped 61 yards (Eddie Lacy) or have scored., the Jaguars are playing much better when at home even if they have lost two close games there to the Packers and Ravens. This seems to be a great matchup at first glance, but no receiver gained more than 87 yards on them and just two have scored as a visitor. That makes all the Colts as only moderate plays this week.

Even the tight ends face a defense that only allows under 30 yards to the position per game.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 8 13 23 1 12 26
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 27 7 25 10 29 25

Jacksonville Jaguars

1 GB 23-27 10 HOU ---
2 @SD 14-38 11 @DET ---
3 BAL 17-19 12 @BUF ---
4 IND --- 13 DEN ---
5 BYE --- 14 MIN ---
6 @CHI --- 15 @HOU ---
7 OAK --- 16 TEN ---
8 @TEN --- 17 @IND ---
9 @KC ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
JAC vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Blake Bortles 10 320,2
QB Cody Kessler 240,1
RB T.J. Yeldon 30 5-30
PK Josh Lambo 5 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars are not winning games or looking nearly as good on offense as they did in 2015. After an 0-3 start, many expect HC Gus Bradley to be the first casualty of the annual Cutting of the Coaches. Whatever happens here will be as good as it will get all year. The season starts a succession of road games and formidable defenses starting in Week 8 and if Bradley gets to Week 16 it will be a miracle because the schedule is just far tougher than last year.

QUARTERBACK : While Blake Bortles threw for touchdowns in every game, he's not had more than two and last week was held to only 194 passing yards by the Ravens who intercepted him three times. Bortles currently has five touchdowns against six interceptions and one lost fumble. He hasn't yet thrown for more than 75 yards to any player.

RUNNING BACK : Chris Ivory had his debut last week but only gained 14 yards on 12 carries with one catch for nine yards. T.J. Yeldon was held to only 17 yards on six runs. This is one of the worst units in the league that has not yet produced a runner with more than 39 yards in any game. Now that Ivory is back, that treasure trove of fantasy points is split into two.

WIDE RECEIVER : This is the biggest disappointment of all. The only strength of the offense last year currently has only two touchdowns - both in the same week by Allen Robinson - and no one is able to break 75 yards in a game. Robinson comes off a two score game but only gained 57 yards on seven receptions. He is averaging just over 60 yards per game while Allen Hurns has not scored and is declining weekly to only catching four passes for 40 yards. Both receivers are being dragged down from a team with no running game and that is facing a much tougher schedule than last year. There is no one else to worry about other than the Allens.

TIGHT END : Julius Thomas started the year with a score and even managed 71 yards on four catches in Week 2 but then only caught two passes for 13 yards in the loss to the visiting Ravens. The only plus here is that Thomas has gone three games without injury.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is about as good as it gets. If the Jags cannot turn it around here, then it is time to pack it in for the season already. A distinct possibility. The only positive here is that the Colts are a bad road team and the Jags at home play better. But the Colts have not allowed a touchdown to be thrown to a wideout. And no wide receiver has gained more than 90 yards (Demaryius Thomas). The Colts give up passing yardage but not scores.

The Colts are allowing rushing scores to every opponent and that should favor Ivory but the rushing effort has been so bad that it is a risk to rely on. Thomas and both Allens are moderate starts but only for yardage. Flip a coin on the rushing touchdown and realize that neither runner is likely to turn in a big game.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 13 29 16 4 21 20
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 12 31 8 18 31 31

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