Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has led the Colts to a 5-3 record this season. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Getty Images
The fortunes of Indianapolis and Jacksonville have changed markedly since the Jaguars scored a 22-17 win in Week 3. Since then, the Colts have moved to a 5-3 record behind a better-than-expected showing from No. 1 overall draft pick, quarterback Andrew Luck . They’re also on a three-game winning streak, and a win over the Jaguars would put them right in the playoff mix.
The Jags, meanwhile, are winless since that victory over the Colts, and are trying to avoid a franchise record fifth straight defeat at home. Second-year QB Blaine Gabbert has been in a hole of late, with his team last in the NFL in total offence and scoring. They’ve been struggling without running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who ran for 177 yards and a TD last time these teams met. Rashad Jennings has been doing a serviceable job in his absence, but he is only averaging around 50 yards per game on the ground since coming in the starting line-up.
The only good news is that Gabbert is unbeaten in his three starts against Indy, and overall Jacksonville has won four of the past five meetings between the teams. In each of the last three games, less than 40 points have been scored in total, so take a look at the under mark closely.
Luck, meantime, is re-writing the rookie record books, and erasing the odd mark set by his predecessor Peyton Manning. Last weekend against the Dolphins he passed for 433 yards, breaking Cam Newton’s single-game rookie record, and it was his fourth game with 300-plus passing yards, which ties Manning’s first-year tally.
Unlike Gabbert, Luck is at least working with some talented targets. Reggie Wayne leads the league with 835 receiving yards on 61 catches, while Vick Ballard has added some punch to the Colts’ ground game.
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