A dominant 27-7 victory over the San Francisco 49ers was enough to sell many on the Indianapolis Colts who are considered a legitimate playoff contender, now just two seasons removed from their 2-14 season in 2011. The same cannot be said for the Jaguars after three bad losses to start their season.
So why are the Big Cat Country editors picking the Jaguars to win?
Well, let's start off by saying this is the NFL. No team is going to lose by two or more touchdowns on a weekly basis for 16 weeks. The Jaguars are probably going to win a game at some point and they will definitely play in a few competitive games.
Is there a more logical team for the Jaguars to be surprisingly competitive with than the Colts? In Blaine Gabbert's tumultuous career he's accumulated a 5-20 record as a starter, but a 3-1 record against Indianapolis. In fact, in the last three seasons, the Jaguars have come away with wins in four of the six matchups between the two teams.
But it's not just the history of the two teams that is the cause for optimism for Sunday's game.
Stunting the offensive progress of the Jaguars so far in the 2013 season has been the poor play of the interior offensive line and the subpar quarterback play, among other problems. While there's no reason to believe Will Rackley is going to look less like a stumbling mess in Week 4, the loss of Ricky Jean-Francois makes the Colts defensive line a lot less intimidating.
Also hindering the team's run defense is the loss of LaRon Landry for a second week, a very solid run defender in the Colts secondary. That's not to say the Colts run defense will be weak, as Cory Redding and company are still a stout group, but the team just doesn't look as strong as the units the Jaguars had the misfortune of facing in Weeks 1, 2 and 3.
If Maurice Jones-Drew can get on track against the Colts, there's reason that the return of Blaine Gabbert and Marcedes Lewis could create a balanced offensive attack, if all goes well.
Should the Jaguars be the underdogs against the Colts? Absolutely. The Colts are a good team and if they play to their capabilities, this is simply a better football team that shouldn't have problem handling the Jaguars and improving to 3-1.
But I don't see it happening. Call it a feeling, but I'm picking the Jaguars to earn their first Gus Bradley victory.