Joe Robbins | Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS – This is how the Jacksonville Jaguars began their Monday prep for the Colts this week:
-Fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
-Benched ‘franchise’ quarterback Blake Bortles
-Running back Leonard Fournette received a one-game suspension for Sunday’s game
-Placed their best offensive lineman Andrew Norwell on injured reserve
Sounds like a ho-hum Monday for a team having lost 7 straight games.
The Jaguars have fallen off a cliff since starting the year 3-1, as a preseason pick to represent the AFC (possibly by this guy).
Third-year quarterback Cody Kessler will try to get this train back on some track as he gets the starting nod this Sunday.
Kessler has made 8 career starts and played in 13 games. Those starts came in Cleveland during the 2016 season before he joined the Jaguars in 2018.
The new play caller will be quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich for Kessler and an offense not having Fournette this weekend.
Back when these teams met on Nov. 11, the Colts actually did a very nice job in shutting down Fournette.
Indianapolis jumped out to a 16-point first half lead in that Lucas Oil Stadium meeting against the Jaguars, before Jacksonville slowly made things very interesting down the stretch.
It was a Kenny Moore forced fumble with 1:32 to play that finally sealed the 29-26 victory with the Jaguars in field goal range.
Jacksonville has lost back-to-back games to Pittsburgh (20-16) and Buffalo (24-21) since coming up short against the Colts earlier this month.
The Jaguars do have the league’s fifth ranked defense, but have recorded just 2 sacks in their past three games.
Sunday will be the start of three divisional road games for the Colts in the final month of the season.
2018 Record: 3-8, 4th place in the AFC South.
Head Coach: Doug Marrone, head coach (3rd season as the head coach of the Jaguars, 5th season as an NFL head coach, 29-32 overall in regular season, 2-1 in the postseason).
2018 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 22nd (346.5); Rushing, 16th (114.2); Passing, 22nd (232.3). Defense – Overall, 5th (320.2); Rushing, 17th (114.5); Passing, 3rd (205.6).
2018 Starting Quarterback: Cody Kessler (21-of-30 comp., 156 yards, 70.0 pct., 1 TD, 1 INT, 79.3 rating).
2018 Leading Running Back: T.J. Yeldon (92 carries, 385 yards, 1 TD).
2018 Leading Receiver: T.J. Yeldon (46 receptions, 423 yards, 4 TDs).
2018 Leading Sacker: Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell (6.0).
2018 Turnover Breakdown: Minus 11 (30th in the NFL).
2018 NFL Draft Results: Even though Jacksonville already had a stout defensive line, they added to that position group with Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan being selected at No. 29 overall. In Round Two, the Jaguars chose LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark in trying to add some speed to an offense lacking at the pass catcher position. The Jaguars rounded out the first two days of the draft by selecting Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison.
2017 Review: A playoff breakthrough for the Jaguars finally occurred last season. Before winning the AFC South in 2017, the Jaguars last made the playoffs in 2007. The surprise season started off with a 3-3 record before the Jaguars then won 6 of their next 7 games to capture the AFC South. Doug Marrone’s second full season saw the Jaguars make it all the way to the AFC Title game, before losing a fourth-quarter lead to the New England Patriots.
Last time in Playoffs: 2017 season. Lost to the New England Patriots, 24-20, in the AFC Championship Round of the Playoffs.
Last time in Super Bowl: Never.
Super Bowl Championships: None.
2017 Pro Bowl Selections: DE-Calais Campbell, CB-Jalen Ramsey, CB-A.J. Bouye, DL-Malik Jackson, DE-Yannick Ngakoue, LB-Telvin Smith