Colts: Must Avoid a ‘Trap Game’ at Jacksonville


Colts head coach Chuck Pagano says his team is ‘all-in’. In order to prove it, they must avoid a trap game scenario at their division foe, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Colts have been plagued by injuries and inconsistency all season. With quarterback Andrew Luck out they have gone 4-1 but will play without five starters today as they play Jacksonville in a critical AFC South matchup. Among today’s inactives for the Colts are five starters;  Luck, Anthony Castonzo, Jerrell Freeman, Erik Walden and Greg Toler. Luck and Castonzo were not expected to play, but the loss of three starters on defense is cause for concern. Jalil Brown will replace Toler at LCB and Jonathan Newsome gets the nod over Bjoern Werner to start in place of Walden.

Chuck Pagano claims both he and his Colts are all-in. Colts fans can only hope that’s the case. This season has been mired with disappointment and plagued with injuries. The weather is immaculate for the matchup with temperatures in the low 80’s and still need the win in Jacksonville, especially with the Houston Texans still vying for the AFC South division title. The Colts are short-handed but the mantra of “next man up” will have to be fully embraced on both sides of the ball.

Where to Watch:

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WHO: Indianapolis Colts (6-6) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)

WHEN: Today, 1:00 pm ET / 12:00 pm CT

WHERE: EverBank Field (Jacksonville, FL)

TV Broadcast: CBS

Mobile Stream: NFL Mobile App

RADIO: Indy’s SportCenter 93.5 FM /1070 AM

The Colts secondary is going to be challenged and tested all day by Jaguars Blake Bortles with receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. Bortles has gained tons of confidence this season despite their record and has had a hot hand in recent weeks. Last week, while the Colts were being dismantled in Pittsburgh, Bortles was busy in Tennessee throwing five touchdowns going 24/36 for 322 yards. Three of those touchdowns went to Robinson who had a career game against the Titans with 10 receptions of 15 targets for 153 yards.

The Colts will need to find an answer for Robinson while hoping Jalil Brown continues his ball-hawking skills he displayed early in the season. Let’s not forget that Julius Thomas is back and a threat down the middle of the field that will require a linebacker to keep pace. The Colts have had little success against tight ends this season and would be unwise to overlook him.

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Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has to be able to move the sticks today and have a much better performance than he had in Pittsburgh where he went 16/26, 169 yds, 1 TD. His performance will be completely reliant on the patchwork offensive line who is still missing their anchor, Castonzo. Look for the Colts to go with the same starting offensive line as they had against the Steelers. The Colts offensive line is their greatest concern. With starters Castonzo and

The Colts offensive line is their greatest concern. With starters Castonzo and Hugh Thornton missing from the week, the Colts look to start the same lineup as last week. Joe Reitz slides over from right tackle to start at left tackle for the second week in a row. Jack Mewhort remains at left guard with Jonathon Harrison alongside him starting at center.

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The good news the Colts is first-round draft pick Phillip Dorsett is back from a broken leg and the Jaguars will be playing without defensive captain and middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. No matter how you look at it the Colts are in the unenviable position of being underdogs  today in Jacksonville. Without Luck, this is just not the same team and for the sake of Pagano and his staff, they need this win.

As Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star wrote earlier this week, “Now they’re 6-6. Now comes the season’s final push. Now, for Chuck Pagano, four years come down to four games.” Let’s see if the boys donning the horseshoe will respond. Today we see if the players are truly all-in or if they end up folding.

Let’s see if the boys donning the horseshoe will respond. Today we see if the players are truly all-in as Pagano claims or if they end up folding.

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