Here it is.
Respect, consistency, all that nonsense comes down to tonight. Winner gets 1st place in the AFC South, a Jacksonville Loss would make them 3rd behind the Titans.
Let's not forget that a tremendous game and a victory puts Jacksonville in the top echelon of the NFL, behind only the Patriots, in my opinion. Some are even saying that a win "saves" football in Jacksonville. I might agree.
Let's look at what we've got.
Who: The Indianapolis Colts (5-0) at the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-1). The Colts are unbeaten since the last time they played the Jags (you might remember the 375 yards rushing). Jacksonville is 4-1 and on a serious roll since dropping their 1st game against the Titans.
Where: Monday Night Football, Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. 76 degrees expected at kickoff, 94% humidity. Teal Waves expected.
What's at Stake: Everything for Jacksonville. We're looking at the chance to have the lead in the Division for the first time in far too long. A win puts Jacksonville in condition for a serious playoff spot, a loss puts us in the hunt for the wild card and a very difficult playoff road. A loss puts the Jags in 3rd place behind the Titans.
The Colts start a nasty stretch of schedule, with the Jags, Patriots, and Chargers all coming up on the schedule. The Colts need to win this game simply because they have some rough games ahead. Of course, they're doing the whole "it's just a game" thing where they downplay the importance of the Jaguars in their minds.
When: 8:40, on ESPN
Who to Watch: On the Colts, I want you to pay absolute attention to Bob Sanders. His number is 21, and he's never faced Maurice Jones-Drew. The Colts have two different defenses, a good one with Bob Sanders and a bad one without. The Colts also do a Cover Two (duh) that normally takes away the deep ball. With Bob acting more like a linebacker against our running game, it could be a "dare to throw" sort of thing.
But seriously, If you watch one Colt, make sure it's Sanders. The game will be won or lost depending on how well the Colts adjust to the Jaguars running game.
On the Jags, it's going to be David Garrard. He is going head to head against the best quarterback in the NFL. David is going to see Dwight Freeney's spin move. David is going to see the running game get all the attention. David is going to have to get the ball to an average group of receivers in order to make the pass a legitimate threat.
Thankfully, the Colts Cover 2 prevents the deep ball. We don't really throw a lot of deep balls, so if all we get is "underneith", that's exactly how we play.
As long as we convert 70% of our third downs, we'll win. Keep the ball, win the game. It's just that simple.
Final Thoughts: I'll be on the MVN Radio Show at some point beteween 4-6. I'll get a link up if I can, but I should be at the stadium by that point.
Yeah, about that. I won't be able to make any real attempt at live blogging the game, frankly because I'll be standing and screaming my lungs out.
If someone wanted to live blog the game, I'll offer them a piece of Jaguars memorabilia for their efforts!
Here's to a good game!