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Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars - NFL Week 1
September 13, 2020
1:00 PM ET
TIAA Bank Stadium
About the Colts
The Colts signed QB Philip Rivers and hopes he will have immediate success playing on a 1-year deal. He has everything he needs to be successful from a stout offensive line to playmakers at the skill positions. The Colts were able to retain a key piece of their offensive line signing OT Anthony Castonzo to $33 million for 2 years with $16.5 million in guarantees. RB Marlon Mack returns looking to improve off of his first 1,000-yard season. He should form a formidable 1-2 punch with rookie RB Johnathon Taylor, a 2nd round selection out of Wisconsin who has a reputation as a versatile playmaker who can play special teams and has the build to handle a heavy workload. The Colts young defense should improve from their 18th ranked unit. LB Darius Leonard was tied for 2nd in total interceptions last year and is a jack of all trades whose versatility as a player in coverage and also the pass rush are equally dynamic. LB Anthony Walker was a tackling machine and forms a nice duo with Leonard and was ranked 10th in solo tackles. DE Justin Houston brings a veteran’s presence and leadership to a young defensive unit. Newly acquired DeForest Buckner is athletically gifted with great size and length and gives the Colts another elite pass rusher.
About the Jaguars
The Jags have cleaned house as of late, trading DE Yannick Ngakoue to the Minnesota Vikings and also releasing RB Leonard Fournette. Ownership is trying to create a different culture in Jacksonville, and it seems like this year will be more of an evaluation period to analyze what the franchise has moving forward. QB Gardner Minshew will assume the starting role once again and should be improved after a year of gaining valuable experience after QB Nick Foles went down with an injury. Minshew has a bevy of talented WR’s to throw the ball to including D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, and rookies Laviska Shenault Jr. and Collin Johnson. Who should replace Fournette as the feature back? There really isn’t a clear cut favorite and it appears that it will be a by-committee approach to begin the season. Players in the mix are Ryquell Armstead, Chris Thompson, and Devine Ozigbo. It will be interesting to see who emerges from this group as the lead back. CB D.J. Hayden and LB Joe Schobert are the newcomers on the defensive unit and should fit right into defensive coordinator Todd Wash’s scheme perfectly. Last season’s first-round selection LB Josh Allen is poised to become the unsung leader of the defense. He is a phenomenal athlete who is adept at dropping into coverage and attacking ball carriers.
Players to Watch
TY Hilton (Colts): It will be interesting to see what kind of chemistry he develops with Rivers.
Josh Allen (Jaguars): After an amazing rookie season, he should be even better moving forward as the undisputed leader of the defense. Will he be able to penetrate the Colts elite offensive line and get to Rivers?
Michael Pittman Jr. (Colts): Equipped with good speed and agility, he can play outside or in the slot and is capable of drawing extra coverage.
C.J. Henderson (Jaguars): A 1st round pick out of the University of Florida, Henderson has the ability to become a shutdown corner with his impressive speed, length, and fluidity.
The Jags have a lot of young talent on their roster and will be a very good football team in the future, but this Colts team is in win-now mode. They have too much firepower and the more experienced QB. Philip Rivers earns his 1st win as a member of the Colts.
Final Score: Colts 28 / Jaguars 17