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Colts v. Jaguars: Game Day Media Maddness!!!

Top of the morning to everyone!!

We've got a lot of stuff going on today as the entire NFL world revolves around Jacksonville!  Because of this our Jaguars are receiving a whole lot more pre-game press than normal, and I'm going to go ahead and document as much of it as I can.  Hopefully people say terribly inaccurate things and we can enjoy how foolish they look.

Let's start with Peter King:

Throw the last meeting between the Jags and Colts out the window -- a 44-17, 375-rushing-yard bonanza for Jacksonville -- and here are the margins of victory in the previous nine games between the teams: 7, 8, 7, 3, 7, 5, 10, 7, 3. The Colts are 4-3 in their last seven, by the way. All of this says, very simply, that ESPN has one of the best games of the first half of the season tonight.

Indianapolis, 23-21. And Peyton Manning had better have a late drive up his sleeve. He's going to need it.

I imagine the folks at ABC and Monday Night Football are pretty pleased about tonight.  At least its not the terrible Atlanta/NYG matchup...

Keeping with the SI Writers theme, Bucky Brooks has his "How to beat the Colts" story:

* Grind it out. Facing a Colts' run defense allowing more than four yards a carry, the Jaguars will pound Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor between the tackles to control the tempo of the game and keep the Colts' high-powered offense on the sideline. Jacksonville averages almost 32 attempts per game.

* Take care of Colts tight end Dallas Clark. The fourth-year pro's emergence has given the Colts an effective counter to Cover Two schemes. Jacksonville should have MLB Mike Peterson take a deeper drop down the middle of the field. By keeping Peterson deep, the Jaguars can keep double coverage on Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison outside without Clark hurting them in the middle of the field.

I'm all in on Grinding...

Dan Shanoff waffles a little bit, considering that he's a "fan":

MNF: Colts at Jags. As a Jaguars fan (nominally), last season's blowout win over the Colts represented the best moment of the season for the Jaguars (and made the end-of-season collapse that much more painful). Not sure if the teams match up the same way this year, but this is a real test if the Jags truly are a Top 5 NFL team this year. (Not that it matters, in terms of winning a Super Bowl; the Pats have that locked up.)

The amazing folks at Football Outsiders worked with ESPN to look at Joseph Addai and Maurice Jones-Drew.  The story is here

The long and the short of the story is that Addai is having a career that is so far like Terrel Davis, and Jones-Drew is really hard to compare to anyone.

Big Cat Country considers itself friends with the Fine folks at JagNation  As usual, Charlie Bernstein has a Great Pre-game article.  Charlie notes the problem Jacksonville could have trying to pressure Peyton Manning:

Putting pressure on the Colts quarterback just became even more difficult for the Jaguars as their best pass rushing defensive end, Reggie Hayward, was just downgraded on the injury report to questionable, with a bad hamstring. If Hayward can't go, Bobby McCray will likely fill in. After having a fantastic season rushing the passer in 2006, McCray has pulled a disappearing act thus far in 2007. While starting four of the Jaguars five games this season, McCray has exactly three tackles and no sacks. What's worse is that he hasn't even been close to any opposing quarterbacks prior to the post-game handshakes, and he still struggles at the point of attack, and teams like the Colts will likely try and run directly at him. This disappearing act that McCray has pulled, comes off the heels of an offseason spent bickering about his contract. It now appears that the Jaguars organization made a solid move when they decided to let McCray play out his restricted free agency season before giving him a very lucrative contract.

I'm not much of a supporter of ESPN, but I have good news to report.  The Jaguars game will be broadcast on ESPN Deportes  This is fantastic because there is a huge Latino population in Florida, and they get to see a great game broadcast with announcers that are probably way better than the terrible trio that we'll get.  

ESPN Deportes' broadcast team will include Spanish Emmy nominee Álvaro Martín (play-by-play) and Super Bowl-winning kicker Raúl Allegre (analyst).  ESPN Deportes will offer weekly telecasts of Monday Night Football, featuring 17 regular-season games.

Seriously, this is pretty good news for the Jags. Anything that expands our accessibility is fine by me.  

The Florida Times Union ponders what could have happened if Wayne Weaver had chosen Dungy over Tom Coughlin :

"Yeah, it hurts when you think you're close and you think you may have a chance," he said. "I understood after talking to Wayne [Weaver, the Jaguars' owner] what he was looking for and the direction he wanted to take the organization at the time. I think they made a great choice, but it does [hurt]. You get geared up. You hope you get the job. You go in and try to sell yourself, and it doesn't work out, but you have to move on."

Asked what Weaver was looking for, Dungy responded: "I think he was looking for Tom Coughlin, and that's the way he went, and it worked out great for them. They had great success."

Also, one time Jags security told Tony that his son couldn't be on the sideline.  Here's what Tony Did:

Dungy said he finally told the guard, "If you remove him from this sideline, I'm taking my team to the locker room, where we'll change and then leave on our buses. You can explain to Wayne [Weaver] why he's refunding everybody's money.'

"The guard blinked, and I finished my thought. 'You might want to double check with your head coach before you do that, however.'

"That was the last I heard of the issue. No one has brought it up since."

Dungy said last week that he won't have any of his children on the sidelines Monday night because it's a school night.

Finally, don't forget to see what is being said over at Stampede Blue You know they'll be all excited about their Colts over there, but they're good folks so I can tolerate it.

Time for me to start getting some stuff together for the game.  I've got a short list of interviews I'm supposed to do before the game, and I'll be letting you know what's up when that happens.

Also, I'll be tailgating with Jagnation in the Arthritis  Center  Parking Lot, so come up and see me if you're there!