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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts is tackled as he carries the ball during the second half against the Las Vegas Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo : Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
A pivotal AFC South matchup will take place this Sunday, January 9, as the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18. Can the Colts clinch a wild card spot against the Jags, or will Jacksonville record a major upset? Here’s a preview of the Colts vs Jaguars clash.
Indianapolis Colts installed as -15.5 favorites
The Indianapolis Colts had their three-game winning streak snapped in Week 17 with a stinging 23-20 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. It was a costly defeat for the Colts, who dropped to sixth place in the AFC with a 9-7 record.
The good news for the Colts is that they still control their own playoff destiny. They only need to win or tie against Jacksonville in Week 18 to reach the playoffs for the third time in the last four years.
However, the Jaguars have been a tough nut to crack for the Colts in recent years. Indianapolis has lost each of its last five games in Jacksonville and another road game against the Jaguars across the pond in London back in 2016. The Colts have lost seven of their last 12 games against the Jags.
For Indianapolis to end its road woes against Jacksonville, they will need Jonathan Taylor to produce another monster showing. He is tied with Hall of Famer Edgerrin James for the most 100-yard games in a season (10) in franchise history. Taylor is also tied with another Hall of Famer, Lenny Moore, for the most total touchdowns scored in one season (20) in the history of the franchise.
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Jacksonville Jaguars enter Week 18 as +15.5 underdogs
The losses are piling up for the reeling Jags. Jacksonville crashed to its eighth consecutive defeat in Week 17, absorbing a heavy 50-10 loss at the hands of the New England Patriots. It was another embarrassing defeat for the Jaguars, who lost in 14 of their last 16 games.
The Jaguars will look to end their season on a high note when they host the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18. The Jaguars have not enjoyed the home-field advantage that much this season, posting a 2-6 record in their eight home games. They will be tested by a Colts team that is 5-2 on the road this campaign.
The Jaguars will look to play spoiler in the regular-season finale and keep the playoff hopes of both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens alive. For Jacksonville to grab its third win of the season against Indianapolis, the Jaguars will need Trevor Lawrence to deliver a solid showing. He struggled mightily in the loss to New England, completing just 17 of 27 passes for 193 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
The Jags have the worst scoring offense in their franchise’s history, with Lawrence on pace to record the fewest touchdowns by a full-season starter. The top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has been disappointing, passing for just 10 touchdowns in 16 games this season.
Indianapolis wins and covers the spread.
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