The Jacksonville Jaguars face off against their rival, the Indianapolis Colts, this Sunday. After a week of drama with the Colts All-Pro quarterback Andrew Luck and his shoulder injury, this game is starting to look more winnable for the Jaguars. While it will be a battle between the two teams on each side of the ball, I'm looking for a specific individual matchup that could potentially make-or-break the game for Jacksonville.
But "individual matchups" does not necessarily mean just two players facing off against each other. It could be the Jaguars defensive line vs. the Colts offensive line, Davon House vs. T.Y. Hilton, and more.
My matchup of the week is T.J. Yeldon vs. the Colts front seven on defense.
T.J. Yeldon vs. the Colts front seven
Yeldon is really starting to look like what Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley wants in a "bell-cow" back. Through three games, he leads all rookies in offensive touches with 56 touches (both rushes and receptions), and has rushed for 154 yards so far this season, as well as caught eight passes for 38 yards.
He's shown the speed and skill that the Jaguars have been looking for in a running back and looks to lead this offense in the running game for years to come if he can keep his play up.
The Colts front seven is, to say the least, penetrable. Their defense has allowed opposing teams to run for 336 yards and four touchdowns in three games this year, and those high numbers fall on the Colts front seven. While their front seven includes proven players like Robert Mathis, Bjoern Werner, D'Qwell Jackson, as well as several other players, the unit has failed to stop the rushing attack of the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Tennessee Titans this season.
How Yeldon can win this matchup:
Like I said before, Yeldon is starting to look like the Jaguars full-time, feature running back. He has the speed and skill set to put on a show against opposing defenses, so playing a weaker defense like the Colts, he should be able to "break out" and put up numbers that could seriously impact the game.
I think the Jaguars should focus on the strong side of their offensive line and let Jermey Parnell lead the way more than he has this season. And while featuring right-side running should be a focus, a good way to exploit a mediocre run defense is to vary the run calls. Run right predominately, but mix in some play-action screens, some runs up the middle, and some bootlegs by Blake Bortles.
If Yeldon can help create a serious rushing attack against the Colts, then the Jaguars could have a serious chance of winning their first rivalry game of the season.