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Andy

Double A Breakdown: Week 10

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In their first taste of primetime TV this year, the Colts go to Jacksonville to face the struggling Jaguars. The Colts are on a 3 game winning streak and have just come off an impressive victory over the Dolphins. Andrew Luck looks to follow up on his record setting 433 yard performance, and the Jags are looking to bounce back after getting trounced by the Lions at home.

What the Colts Need to do to Win

The Colts need to step back, relax and take one game at a time. There is a lot of playoff talk now, but they need to just focus on their next opponent. There have been too many teams that have gone through this process and come out unlucky. Colts have to realize that they're 8 games away from the end of the season; it's far from over. I'd like to probably point out that they probably (and I hope) talked about this.

Andrew Luck is going to have to forget about last week's performance. It was beyond great, but the best quarterbacks always worry about the present. He must too, and I think he has the ability to do that.

Now, no more psychology crap...

Andrew Luck must have a solid performance where he doesn't make too many mistakes. Unlike last week, he can make some bad throws, or even throw a pick and get away with it, because the Jags aren't that kind of team that will make you pay for turnovers. Obviously, he shouldn't throw picks at all, but at least it should be known that he could throw one and it could have absolutely no effect on the game. Now, the Jags don't have a good pass rush, so he should go out and worry about passing only, don't even think about running unless the guy is about to touch you. What Luck has done in the past is run, or scramble when he sees blitzes or a lot of rushers. The Jags don't do that, so he just needs to worry about passing. With that said, Reggie Wayne shouldn't always be targeted. He should especially be targeted when the Colts are in their zone. He has 388 yards when the Colts are in between the 21 and the 50. That crossing route over the middle works almost every time. The guy I'd like Luck to target is the #2 receiver, whether it be Donnie Avery (if he plays) or TY Hilton. Both are deep threats and the Jags are bad against deep threats. If Luck sees man coverage, that should be the sign to do an "All-Go." Being aggressive should be the mentality early on in the game, and once/if they take the lead later in the game, they should slow it down and establish the run more.

Speaking of the run, the running game has a role in this game too. Although, the running game probably won't play a major role in this game, it's still important to have solid runs, as you want an inexperience team like this to keep guessing. When balanced teams play against the Jags, they always lose. Look at last week, the Lions were able to establish a solid running game on top of their very good passing game and they took the lead early and never looked back. Now, I think the Colts should be aggressive early on, but as the game goes on, being more conservative and protecting the ball has to be the way to go.

The Colts must run the ball well, because when they run it well, it makes the play action more effective and Luck was nearly perfect in play action last week against a good pass defense. The running game helps the passing game in many different ways and if you want a balanced offense, running the ball effectively has to be the most important part.

Now, the offensive line. They have a pretty easy task, as there is nobody on that Jags D-line besides Terrence Knighton that is scary. With Knighton, all they can do is double team him as the other tackle Alualu only needs one good guy against him. The pass protection has been good lately, but they have to keep up the good run blocking. It's gotten better, but these guys have some good linebackers that will make you pay if you * your assignment. Daryl Smith comes to mind. Give Luck time and keep up the good run blocking and the offense should roll along smoothly. With or without Luck, these guys are the foundation of the offense, they set the tone.

Let's switch to the defensive side of the ball.

They're going to have to have some pressure up the middle from the D-line. That means that Cory Redding and Fili Moala have to get some pressure on Gabbert. If they can pressure Gabbert, he'll get flustered and make bad decisions. That's what always happens with him. Anything from the D-line could be a bonus, so let's hope guys like Redding and Moala can pull through.

The linebackers are going to play a very important role in this game. Let's start with the outside guys. We'll assume that Mathis will play, because there is a better chance that he will than he won't. Freeney and Mathis need to come up back, and they're going to have to for the next few weeks because the D-line isn't generating that much pressure, so it's almost all up to them when it comes to pressure. Have them blitz every play, don't send them into coverage. They have pretty good matchups (better than last week's) too. Then the inside guys, one should be in coverage and the other could bltiz or follow the running. Against the Jags, it isn't great to have two guys blitzing because they like to pass it over the middle. So, if you blitz two, the middle of the field will be open. If you drop them into coverage, then they can run it pretty well against you. Then 1 front and 1 back is perfect for the this.

As for the secondary, they have a favorable matchup against a weak Jags receiving unit. The best Jags receiver this year is Cecil Shorts, who without a few of deep passes (yes, a couple,maybe 4), would lose half of his receiving yards total. He's a deep threat only kind of receiver, which means that the Colts should probably want to have safety help over the top on 2nd and 3rd downs. As for the other receivers: Justin Blackmon and Laurent Robinson, man coverage should be good for them too, but maybe having a linebacker take away the middle of the field could be good. If you do that, then (as mentioned before) the outside linebacker could blitz the QB or follow the running back.

So on defense, the Colts should have one safety play deep to avoid deep passes to Shorts, and they should try and have a couple of blitzes most of the time so that they can get pressure on Gabbert.

What the Jaguars Need to do to Win

On offense, they have to be extremely balanced. They should go run heavy. Rashard Jennings isn't a great back, but the Colts are not good on the ground. Had the Dolphins ran more in the 2nd half, I honestly believe that they could have easily won that game. They were dominating on the ground, as they had some big runs. If the run blocking is there, the running game will work. The Colts don't have a good run defense, and their run stopping from the D-line and outside linebackers is not good, so they couldn't be easily controlled. The Colts don't do that well against balanced offenses, so going pass heavy or run heavy won't be good.

Being balanced is important, but the mist important part of the Jags offense needs to be pass protection. The Colts have some very good pass rushers in Mathis (70% chance he plays), Freeney and Redding. They will get to the QB.That means they need to have 6, even 7 guys blocking. They have to give Gabbert time. When they do, Gabbert does pretty well. If they can't give Gabbert protection, they'll have no chance of winning.

On defense, they're going to have to be conservative with occasional blitzes. They're going to have to get a lot of guys in coverage (double team Reggie Wayne). They to play some pretty deep zonse to contain the Colts and not allow any big plays. Last week, the Colts thrived on offense due to their many big plays. Take away those big plays, and it makes it more even. This means bringing the safeties back (Cover 2), and have the cornerbacks play short. Linebackers take away the middle of the field. The Colts' running game isn't good enough that you have to worry about the running back each play. They clearly pass more, so worry more about the pass.

The Jags must worry about the pass more than the run, which means getting more guys in coverage. As mentioned earlier, the Colts' running backs aren't that great. They won't pick you apart if you drop 6+ guys back, they don't have Arian Foster or Lesean McCoy...

So, to recap, they must play safe on defense by playing deep zones, and on offense they must be balanced (and must establish some sort of running game).

Intriguing Matchup

There aren't many great matchups in this game, so I guess the best one would have to be Reggie Wayne vs Derek Cox. Reggie Wayne has been a machine this year, and no one has been able to stop him. He's Andrew Luck's security blanket and the guy he looks for when in trouble. You take away his security blanket and you make him more likely to throw interceptions. If Cox can win, this could become a very interesting game.

Bold Statement

The Jaguars don't record one sack.

Prediction

Indianapolis Colts 24 vs Jacksonville Jaguars 13

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I think the 1st paragraph says it all......one step...one game at a time....I am not even THINKING playoffs.

Well written Andy! :thmup:

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Nice. I really don't know what to expect tonight. Historically (which means absolutely zilch) the Jags play us tough.

I hope your bold statement comes true!

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