Colts vs. Jaguars: Week 1 Jags Wire staff picks and predictions

by 24USATVSept. 13, 2020, 6:40 p.m. 22
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Finally, Jacksonville Jaguars football has returned and the Cardiac Cats will have the luxury of taking on their divisional foes in the Indianapolis Colts right out of the gate. Sunday’s regular season opener will occur after the Jags ended their 2019 regular season with a victory over Indy, and they could make it two in a row with some luck.

With all of us going into Week 1’s game without any preseason football, our writers at the Jags Wire did their best to make a call on the outcome of Sunday’s opener. Here’s a summary of our predictions as the Jags begin their journey into the 2020 season:

Predicting this game would be easier had there been a preseason, but the coronavirus pandemic prevented that and I based my prediction off the talent level of both teams. The Jags initial roster had 16 rookies on it and they added two more yesterday through their practice squad — at least for Week 1. Additionally, going into this game with four rookie cornerbacks against Philip Rivers just isn’t ideal. For those reasons, I’m going with Indy, however, I don’t think fans should get too high or low by what the outcome of this game is because several teams in the NFL will have to shake off the rust.

In a year that has been unlike any other, it’s best to expect the unexpected. The Jaguars have spent the last few months hearing nothing but criticism for all of their offseason moves and will now have the opportunity to show everyone that they’ve been making the right decisions. I believe this game will come down to which unproven secondary makes the least amount of mistakes. Given the fact that the Jaguars’ wide receiver group is better than the Colts’, I feel like Indy’s secondary will give up more big plays. The weather may also play a significant factor, too, so I’m expecting a sloppy one. Jaguars pull off the Week 1 upset.

The Jaguars are the youngest team in the NFL and with youth comes growing pains. The Colts have the best roster in the AFC South and look to be headed for a playoff run. While the Jags may jump out early, I expect the Colts talent to ultimately overwhelm an inexperienced Jacksonville team.

Philip Rivers has historically had great success against the Jags, going 7-2 in his career during his time with the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers. Now as Rivers begins a new chapter with the Indianapolis Colts, things won’t be different. The lack of a true preseason will hurt this young Jags roster, leading to many mistakes on the defensive side. Colts win big.

This should have been a tough game to call as both squads were on the right side of blowout wins in the 2019 series. Whilst both rosters look significantly different from last year, the Colts have retooled in a way that makes them seem like a more dangerous team. I’m not sure letting most of their starters go had the same effect in Jacksonville, though.

The team has struggled to stop the run for two seasons now and the addition of Jonathan Taylor to the Colts’ backfield won’t help matters there. It may not be a pretty one.

Year 2 of Minshew Mania is set to kick off when the Jags host the Colts. This is a young Jags team that is missing many veterans for a myriad of reasons. The Colts also have the Jags’ number. Combine that with Philip Rivers being under center and it’s a recipe for a Week 1 loss for the Jags. Minshew tries valiantly, but can’t pull it off late.

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