By Dustin Fletcher| firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars will look to take on their divisional rivals, the Indianapolis Colts with a much different looking team than they fielded last year. Last year the offensive focal point was running back Leonard Fournette who is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Into that role steps rookie running back James Robinson out of Illinois State. The Jaguars also are equipped with a newly high powered wide receiver room to help take any pressure off of starting quarterback Gardner Minshew II. Out with the old, and in with the new. That has been the feeling in Jacksonville for the offseason. The Colts acquired long-time Charger quarterback Phillip Rivers, who has always put up huge numbers historically against the Jaguars. They also bring back arguably the league’s best offensive line, which is led by star guard Quenton Nelson. Sunday has the feeling of a statement game if the Jaguars can come out on top, amongst all of the talk of “Tanking for Trevor,” which has been vehemently denied by Minshew, coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell. Here are three things to watch for on Sunday.
Chark looks to build off of huge 2019
One of the huge storylines in 2019 for the Jaguars were the huge strides made by WR D.J. Chark. Chark cemented himself as the franchise’s WR1 with a stat line of 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. Chark is now a leader in the locker room heading into his third season in Jacksonville. He is joined by training camp standout Collin Johnson and second-round pick Laviska Shenault in the Jaguars’ suddenly deep wide receiver room, which should make things much easier for second year QB Gardner Minshew II. Another help to Chark and the rest of the offense should be new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Gruden found huge success in the same position with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2011-2013, with the team’s high powered offense leading them to three straight wild-card appearances. The Jaguars will look to follow the same template with the pieces they have in house to surprise many folks around the league.
Minshew looks to do more Minshew things in second time around the block
All of you have heard of Jaguars social media sensation at quarterback, Gardner Minshew II. Minshew took America’s hearts by storm when he was forced into the lineup week one after Nick Foles was injured. The jort-wearing, handlebar mustache sporting Brandon, MS native stole the starting job from the former Super Bowl MVP and was arguably the best rookie quarterback last year after being selected in the sixth round of the NFL draft. Minshew will look to repeat his performance and show why he was given the starting job in 2019 and kept it into 2020.
Jaguars trying to prove their run stopping ability
Last year, the Jaguars were gashed open by running backs time and time again. The defense was a shell of it’s former 2017 self. They also lost Marcel Dareus in the offseason on their interior defensive line, one of the few remaining players from the “Sacksonville” core group. However, Abry Jones, the team’s longest tenured player (2013) will look to take on the starting role once and for all. The team also picked up former Browns linebacker Joe Schobert, which will allow Myles Jack to return to his role as an outside linebacker. This is a role Jack thrived in early in his career in Jacksonville. His struggles started to show when he was asked to move inside after Paul Posluszny retired in 2017. The team will face a huge challenge against one of the league’s best offensive lines led by third year guard Quenton Nelson. The Colts will look to expose any potential Jacksonville weaknesses, the biggest being their run defense. They will run the ball early and often. The ball is in the Jags’ court to stop them.
Jaguars 17- Colts 13