It was just a few short weeks ago that the Indianapolis Colts comeback specialist and ROTY candidate Andrew Luck had one pulled over on him. Blaine Gabbert spied Cecil Shorts on a slant route and 80 yards later Shorts scored the game-winning touchdown with just 45 seconds left on the clock, shocking both the Colts and Jaguars fans. That same game cost both teams in terms of injuries. It sent Colts WR Austin Collie to the sideline for the rest of the season. The Jaguars lost their top free agent, Laurent Robinson, to a concussion, and he would miss the next five games.The Colts come into this Thursday night matchup on the heels of Luck’s record 433 yards passing and a huge victory, but don’t think Indianapolis has forgotten about the past defeat they had snatched from the jaws of victory. Newly shaved heads and the inspiration of Chuck Pagano behind them, the Colts offense has vaulted to an overall fourth ranking on the heels of Luck's fourth game of over 300 yards passing. In their last meeting, Luck threw for 313 yards and assisted rookie T. Y. Hilton to his first 100 yard game and first career touchdown. Hilton could play as big a role this week, as Donnie Avery is struggling through a hip problem, and with a struggling rushing offense of their own (ranked 20th) the Colts are as likely to throw as ever. Though it would seem the Colts would exploit the Jaguars 27th ranked rush defense, the Colts average 3.9 yards per carry as a team with their best rushing average coming from Luck. Vick Ballard is averages just 3.5 yards per carry, and Donald Brown, questionable with his knee, is averaging 4.3. Delone Carter is averaging 3.7 yards per carry, but really has only carried the ball once Brown has gone out. Mewelde Moore may have scored against Jacksonville in their last meeting but that’s the last he’s been heard from. The case is clear that Andrew Luck will see another 35 attempts, and that means the Colts' wide receivers should be busy. With the Jags star CB Rashean Mathis questionable with a groin, you need to keep an ear out for whether Avery will play at all, because if he doesn’t watch Hilton get another 7-8 catches for 75 yards and a score, while Wayne has another 100-yard receiving day. Tight End Dwayne Allen seems to have won the lottery over Coby Fleener for most targeted tight end. Fleener has been ruled out this week, so Allen will see a few targets, but keep in mind the Jaguars have not given up a touchdown to a tight end this year. That may be a collateral effect from yielding the 15th most fantasy points to wide receivers.
|Expect T.Y. Hilton to be a solid play|
Fantasy wise, I expect Ballard to get between 10-12 carries for around 45 yards. He'll get a few grabs as well. However, the scoring will come from Hilton and Wayne, who'll combine for nearly 200 yards receiving and two scores. Divisional match-ups are always hard, so Andrew Luck might not get you more than 220 yards and a couple of touchdowns. T. Y. Hilton is your sleeper play for a big game, while Justin Blackmon becomes my sleeper for the Jaguars. I expect Shorts is still Gabbert's top target, but the Colts won't let him behind their secondary again. Rashad Jennings has a shot at a solid game to finish in the top 15 of all runners this weekend.
COLTS 20, JAGUARS 17