Jaguars vs. Colts: Run defense could be tested by the Colts

In the 20 times the Jaguars and Colts have faced each other in history, only once in 1995 did the Colts not have Peyton Manning starting at quarterback. Instead the Colts led by Craig Erickson accumulated only 129 yards of passing offense.

In the following 19 games, the Colts won 14 of them and Peyton Manning averaged 276 yards passing, two touchdowns and 0.68 interceptions per game. Far more than the 182.8 yards and the 0.78 touchdowns they're averaging this season. To say the Curtis Painter led Colts are struggling would be an understatement, but they haven't been terrible in every facet of the game.

In fact, the Colts rushing offense, despite having missed Joseph Addai for three games this season, has done relatively well. While they rank 23rd in the NFL in yards/game, the Colts also have averaged 4.5 yards per carry. That ranks 10th in the NFL and is much better than the 3.8 yards/carry that the Jaguars average.

The rushing duo of Addai and Delone Carter have had the luxury of running behind the Colts 5th ranked run blocking offensive line according to Football Outsiders. The reason the Colts rank so low on the rushing charts has been due to the fact that the Colts have run the ball just 22.3 times per game. That ranks 30th in the NFL and is much fewer than the 31.1 times the Jaguars run the ball in an average game.

One of the biggest reasons the Colts haven't ran the ball much is that their offense has struggled to keep teams off the scoreboard. While the Jaguars have a struggling pass offense, as do the Colts, the Jaguars have benefitted from having a defense that has kept them close in just about every game this season. The Colts have not had such luck.

Their defense has struggled and has forced the Colts offense to rely on their deficient pass game to lead them back into contention. As is evident by their record, it hasn't worked.

For the Jaguars to make the Colts one-dimensional and rely on their weak passing game, the offense will have to score early and often. Something they haven't done all season. But if they can't do it against one of the league's worst defenses, then when will they?

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