MNF 10 - 22
MNF 10 - 22
What bettors need to know: Colts at Jaguars
Jacksonville’s ground attack has sliced threw defenses like a hot knife through butter. The Jaguars averaged over 190 rushing yards in their last three outings and are averaging 154.2 rushing yards per game overall.
Stout running back Maurice Jones-Drew is a major reason for the club’s rushing success. Jones-Drew, who didn’t rush for more than 37 yards in the Jags’ first four games, has compiled 207 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries over the last two weeks.
“That little man is a beast,” Jacksonville tight end Mercedes Lewis told the Florida Times-Union. “If you're on defense, that's not somebody you’d want to tackle in open space.”
Jones-Drew had a career-high 166 rushing yards with two touchdowns against the Colts in Jacksonville’s 44-17 home win last season.
Taming the Jags
The Colts made a personnel change on defense in preparation for their Monday night meeting with the Jaguars.
Indianapolis will move third-year linebacker Tyjuan Hagler to the strong-side linebacker position. Hagler, who will replace Colts veteran strong-side linebacker Rocky Boiman, has 14 tackles, a quarterback pressure, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in four outings this season.
“This is a team that’s going to run the ball,” Hagler told reporters. “They’re a running team. They have two big, powerful running backs. It will be a chance for me to go make a lot of plays in the running game.”
Colts coach Tony Dungy thinks the athletic Hagler can be effective against the Jaguars’ dynamic backfield combination of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor.
“Tyjuan has played well,” Dungy told reporters. “He has been very explosive and has played well for us when given the opportunity.”
Dungy bets on Harrison
Indianapolis wide receiver Marvin Harrison did not participate in the club’s Friday practice. The eight-time Pro-Bowl receiver bruised his left knee against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 30 and missed the Colts’ last game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Harrison is questionable for Monday night’s game against the Jags.
“Marvin did a lot of individual work and ran routes,” Dungy told reporters. “My sense is that if I were a betting man, I’d say he’d probably go. He did a little more this morning, but he’s much further along than he was during the bye week.”
Harrison has 231 receiving yards with one touchdown in four games this season. Fifth-year receiver Reggie Wayne leads the Colts with over 360 receiving yards and four TDs this season.
The right move
It’s now obvious why Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio named David Garrard the starting quarterback and released underachieving quarterback Byron Leftwich earlier this season.
Garrard has been unstoppable so far and is putting up similar numbers to Colts’ star signal caller Peyton Manning this season. The fifth-year quarterback has passed for over 1,000 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions.
Manning, comparatively, has passed for over 1,300 yards with 10 TDs and two interceptions.
Garrard also ranks third in the league with a 104.7 quarterback rating. Manning is second with a 108.4 rating.
“I don't know if we want to get into one of those (shootout) games with the Super Bowl MVP. Whatever we've got to do to scratch out a win, that's what we're going to be about,” Del Rio told reporters.
Manning and the Colts are 4-0 against the spread (ATS) in their last four Monday night games. They are also 7-3 straight up (SU) and 3-6-1 ATS in their last 10 overall meetings with the Jags.
“We've been flying under the radar,” Garrard told reporters. “Now we want a little bit of that national spotlight.”
Re: MNF 10 - 22
Colts' Harrison a game-time decision against Jaguars
INDIANAPOLIS -- Wide receiver Marvin Harrison remains questionable for the Indianapolis Colts' game against Jacksonville on Monday night because of a bruised left knee.
Colts coach Tony Dungy said before practice Saturday that Harrison would probably be a game-time decision in the AFC South clash between the Colts (5-0) and Jaguars (4-1).
''We'll see how much he can do,'' Dungy said, adding that the practice would be ''a good indicator'' of whether the eight-time Pro Bowl selection will play.
The 12-year NFL veteran has been hampered by the knee since bruising it in the first quarter of the Colts' Sept. 30 win over Denver. Harrison has seen relatively light work the past two weeks.
Middle linebacker Gary Brackett was also questionable for the Jaguars after suffering an abdominal strain near the end of Thursday's practice. He was held out of Friday's workout, but got some work Saturday.
''He's feeling like he's going to play,'' Dungy said.
Offensive guard Dylan Gandy did not practice Saturday due to an illness and also was listed as questionable.
Rookie outside linebacker Victor Worlsey (foot) was questionable, but rookie offensive tackle Tony Ugoh (ankle) practiced Friday and Saturday and should start.
Safety Bob Sanders (chest/ribs) and wide receiver Aaron Moorehead (back) also practiced Saturday after resting their injuries during Friday's workout. Both are expected to play against the Jaguars.
Re: MNF 10 - 22
Indianapolis (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS) at Jacksonville (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)
The Colts look to keep pace with the Patriots and remain undefeated when they travel to Jacksonville for a key AFC South matchup with the Jaguars tonight in front of a national television audience.
The Jaguars have rattled off four straight victories (3-1 ATS) since dropping their season opener 13-10 at home to Tennessee as a 7 ½-point favorite, but they aren’t mentioned among the league’s elite because they have yet to beat a team with a winning record.
Jacksonville’s rushing attack has been key during its recent winning streak, averaging 195.3 yards over the last three games with Maurice Jones-Drew rushing for 207 yards and three TDs in the last two weeks. He accounted for 166 of the Jags’ 375 yards on the ground in a 44-14 rout of the Colts as a one-point home dog in Week 14 a year ago.
Indianapolis is in the throes of a 1-7 ATS slump as a road favorite, including 0-2 this year, failing to cover as a seven-point favorite in a 22-20 win at Tennessee Sept. 16, and falling short of the number in a 30-24 triumph at Houston Sept. 23 as a 6 ½-point chalk.
Jacksonville is 6-3-1 ATS against the Colts dating back to 2002. The Jaguars are also 8-1-1 versus the oddsmakers in their last 10 outings as a home underdog.
The Colts are on runs of 7-2 ATS against teams with a winning record and in their last nine October kickoffs.
In terms of Monday night outings, Indy is 3-9 ATS on the road while the Jaguars are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS at home.
The over is 4-1 the last five times these two have played in Jacksonville and 6-2 in the Jags last eight against an AFC opponent. The over has been the play the last three overall for the Colts.
ATS ADVANTAGE: COLTS and OVER
Re: MNF 10 - 22
Colts at Jaguars
The AFC South’s most intense rivalry will be renewed Monday night when Jacksonville plays host to Indianapolis at Alltel Stadium. The Colts will be looking to avenge an embarrassing 44-17 loss in River City last year, when the Jaguars dominated them with more than 300 yards rushing.
Maurice Jones-Drew sliced and diced his way through Indy’s defense for 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Fred Taylor added 131 yards on just nine carries.
This time around, most sports books are listing Indianapolis (5-0 straight up, 3-2 against the spread) as a three-point favorite with a total of 45. Gamblers can back the Jaguars to win outright for a plus 155 return (risk $100 to win $155).
Jacksonville (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) has won four consecutive games since opening the season with a 13-10 home loss to Tennessee. Jack Del Rio’s squad is off a 37-17 triumph over Houston as a 6 ½-point favorite.
Jones-Drew was the catalyst against the Texans, producing 184 yards from scrimmage (125 rushing, 59 receiving) on just 16 touches (12 rushes, four catches). Taylor added 90 yards despite only six carries, while David Garrard continued to play mistake-free football with a pair of TD passes and zero interceptions.
Del Rio is making all the right moves in the fifth season of his tenure in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are clearly a team that displays his personality as a former linebacker, playing physical football with an aggressive defense and an unwavering determination to effectively run the football.
Before the season started, Del Rio was considered on the hot seat, possibly needing to make the playoffs and win at least one game to keep his job.
Even with those circumstances in place, Del Rio decided to make a bold move back in the pre-season, releasing former first-round pick Byron Leftwich and handing the QB job to Garrard. The decision has worked out brilliantly.
Garrard and Jeff Garcia are the NFL’s only starting QBs that haven’t thrown an interception yet this year. Garrard has the league’s fourth-best QB rating (104.7), completing 66.2 percent of his throws for 1,069 yards and six touchdowns.
Indianapolis knows all about outstanding play at the QB position. Peyton Manning continues to put up monster numbers with a 108.4 passer rating and a 10/2 touchdown-interception ratio. He has connected on 69.7 percent of his throws for 1,319 yards.
Reggie Wayne has been Manning’s favorite target, hauling in 28 receptions for 369 yards and four touchdowns. Marvin Harrison has 17 catches for 231 yards and one TD. He missed Indy’s last game – a 33-14 home win over Tampa Bay as a nine-point ‘chalk’ – and is listed as “questionable” this week.
Joseph Addai continues to excel as the Colts’ featured back, rushing 84 times for 407 yards and five touchdowns. Like Harrison, he missed the win over the Bucs with an injury, but Addai is expected back in the starting lineup against Jacksonville.
Indy enjoyed an open date last week, and that was just what the doctor ordered for the defending Super Bowl champs. Not only did Harrison and Addai have time to get better, but safety Bob Sanders should also return after sitting out the Tampa Bay game.
The ‘over’ is 3-2 overall for the Colts, hitting in each of their last three games. On the flip side, the ‘under’ is 3-2 overall for the Jags, 2-1 in their home games.
Since 2004, Jacksonville owns a 5-1-1 spread record as a home underdog. Meanwhile, Indy is 11-8-1 ATS as a road ‘chalk’ dating back to 2004. The Colts have won both of their road games this year, but they failed to cover the number in both spots (at Tennessee and at Houston).
ESPN will provide television coverage at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--The ‘over’ is 4-1 in the last five Colts-Jags matchups in Jacksonville.
--Taylor has 9,810 career rushing yards, ranking him 21st on the NFL’s all-time list.
--New Orleans rallied for a 22-16 home win over Atlanta. However, the Saints failed to cover the number as eight-point favorites at most spots. They are now 3-13 ATS as home favorites dating back to 2004.
--Bobby Petrino’s nightmare first season as an NFL coach got even worse at the Superdome. The Falcons blew a 13-7 lead at intermission on their way to falling to 1-6. Facing a fourth-and-13 situation near midfield on the first play after the two-minute warning, Petrino opted to punt since Atlanta had all three timeouts left. Say what? The Saints predictably got a first down two plays later and then ran out the clock. Seriously, when you have a 1-5 record and a decent chance at winning the football game, why not go for it? Petrino lost nine games in four seasons at Louisville. Something tells me the Falcons are going to exceed that total in the very near future.
Re: MNF 10 - 22
Game Preview for Colts vs Jaguars
(Sports Network) - The presence of a Nov. 4th meeting between the Colts and Patriots on the NFL calendar continues to generate a great deal of attention and expectation, but the Jacksonville Jaguars can strip that future date of much of its luster on Monday night.
Jack Del Rio's team welcomes Indianapolis to what figures to be a raucous Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Monday, with an eye toward placing the first blemish on the Colts' season and also challenging Indy's long-standing dominance in the AFC South.
The Jaguars enter their Week 7 tilt having won four in a row since an opening week loss to the Titans, and can grab a share of first place as well as the upper hand in the division with a victory on Monday.
Jacksonville, which comes off a 37-17 win over Houston last week, figures to be less intimidated by the stature of Indianapolis than most. The Jaguars' last meeting with Tony Dungy's club, last Dec. 10, resulted in a 44-17 Jacksonville blowout in which the Jaguars rang up a whopping 375 rushing yards.
Indianapolis, meanwhile, has more than sole possession of first place on the line on Monday. The Colts, who enter Jacksonville with a 10-game winning streak dating back to last season, are attempting to become just the third team in NFL history to open three straight seasons at 6-0. The 1999-2001 St. Louis Rams and 1929-1931 Green Bay Packers are the only other franchises to achieve the feat.
The Colts come off a Week 6 bye, which was preceded by a 33-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Colts hold a 9-3 edge in the regular season series with Jacksonville, and earned a home-and-home split with their AFC South rival last season. Indy was a 21-14 home winner over Jacksonville in Week 3, but as mentioned, was drilled by a 44-17 count in the return matchup in Week 14. The Colts are 4-2 in Jacksonville all-time, and last won there in 2005.
Dungy is 7-4 against Jacksonville in his career, including 7-3 since coming to the Colts. Jacksonville's Del Rio is 3-5 against both Dungy and Indianapolis as a head coach.
WHEN THE COLTS HAVE THE BALL
The Colts' most recent win, against the Buccaneers, was achieved in the absence of a couple of the team's notable offensive stars. Wide receiver Marvin Harrison (knee) and running back Joseph Addai (shoulder, back) were missing from the lineup due to injury, but both are expected to be back in the lineup on Monday night. Peyton Manning (1319 passing yards, 10 TD, 2 INT), who enters Week 7 with a glistening 108.2 passer rating, didn't miss a beat without the two stars, throwing for 253 yards on 29-of-37 passing with touchdown passes to Reggie Wayne (28 receptions, 4 TD) and Dallas Clark (26 receptions, 5 TD). Rookie slot receiver and first-round draft Anthony Gonzalez had his most productive game of the year in Harrison's (17 receptions, 1 TD) absence, catching seven balls for a game-high 71 yards in the win. Although Addai (407 rushing yards, 5 TD, 11 receptions) is set to return, the team might still want to find some touches for backup rusher Kenton Keith (255 rushing yards, 2 TD), who had 158 combined yards (121 rushing, 37 receiving) and scored two touchdowns in the Tampa win. Manning was not sacked against the Buccaneers, and has been dropped just three times all season.
The Jaguars' ability to control the Indianapolis passing game will have much to say about the outcome of this game. Jacksonville is a middle-of-the-road 12th in the NFL against the pass (208.4 yards per game), but is worse when it comes to allowing opponents to complete passes (63.9 percent, 21st in the league). Cornerbacks Rashean Mathis (23 tackles) and Brian Williams (26 tackles) will be under pressure from start to finish, and will need plenty of help from safeties Reggie Nelson (16 tackles) and Sammy Knight (36 tackles). All four players have one interception on the year, including one by Williams off of Matt Schaub last Sunday. Opponents traditionally have great trouble pressuring Manning, but Jacksonville, which has 15 sacks on the year, could be a candidate to do so. End Paul Spicer (13 tackles), the team leader with three sacks, is the reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Week after a six-tackle, one-sack, one forced fumble performance versus Houston. The forced fumble was scooped up by linebacker Daryl Smith (21 tackles) and returned 77 yards for a Jacksonville touchdown. The Jaguars give up just 96.4 rushing yards per game (10th in the league), though that number shrinks to 50 yards per game if you throw out an uncharacteristically poor run-stopping performance against Tennessee in Week 1. Defensive tackles John Henderson (10 tackles, 1 sack) and Marcus Stroud (16 tackles, 2.5 sacks) have a great deal to do with the club's run-stopping prowess, and middle man Mike Peterson (26 tackles, 2 sacks) is the team's best tackling linebacker.
WHEN THE JAGUARS HAVE THE BALL
Obviously, based on the success Jacksonville had running the football against Indy last season, the offensive game plan on Monday figures to feature a heavy dose of Maurice Jones-Drew (307 rushing yards, 3 TD, 13 receptions) and Fred Taylor (297 rushing yards). The duo combined for 297 yards and three touchdowns on just 24 combined carries in last year's massacre, for an average of 12.4 yards per carry. Jones-Drew and Taylor had a similar time in last Sunday's win over Houston, combining for 215 yards and two touchdowns (both by Jones-Drew) on a mere 18 carries, an average of 11.9 per tote. When Jacksonville puts it in the air, the remarkably efficient David Garrard (1069 passing yards, 6 TD, 0 INT) will throw to a fleet of targets including wideouts Dennis Northcutt (19 receptions, 1 TD) and Reggie Williams (11 receptions, 3 TD) along with tight end Marcedes Lewis (14 receptions). Thanks to Garrard, who carries a 104.7 passer rating into Monday's contest, the Jaguars are the only team in the NFL that has yet to throw an interception. The sixth-year-pro has been sacked 15 times this season, however, and the Jaguars will have to do a better job protecting him against the Indianapolis pass rush.
Colts supporters will be quick to point out that the Jaguars' 375-yard ground assault against Jacksonville last season was pulled off in the absence of safety Bob Sanders (28 tackles, 2.5 sacks), a key component of their run- stopping forces. The oft-injured Sanders is expected to be in the lineup on Monday night despite missing the Week 5 win over Tampa Bay with a rib problem. Also of note in regard to Indy's ability to halt the Jacksonville run is the presence of a new starter, Tyjuan Hagler (18 tackles), at strong side linebacker. The third-year-pro will replace the demoted Rocky Boiman (9 tackles, 1 INT), who was himself replacing the injured Rob Morris (out for the year, knee), at the position. Indianapolis is 13th in the league against the run (105.4 yards per game) as Week 7 begins. Garrard will be facing a pass rush that has just nine sacks on the year, but still carries a mighty reputation due to the presence of ends Dwight Freeney (10 tackles, 1.5 sacks) and Robert Mathis (10 tackles, 2 sacks). Three of Indy's six interceptions on the year have come from the secondary, including one from safety Antoine Bethea (29 tackles, 1 INT) against the Buccaneers. The Colts are allowing opponents to complete 71.1 percent of their passes, the worst figure in the league.
Many Week 7 fantasy results will hinge on what happens in this game, especially from the vantage point of the Colts, where Manning, Addai, Harrison, Wayne, Clark, and kicker Adam Vinatieri are all must-starts. Don't expect any to set records for fantasy points, but look for all to contribute a solid number to your total for the week. It probably makes sense to start Jones-Drew and/or Taylor based on what they did both last week and in their 2006 home meeting with Indianapolis, though don't expect another 375-yard performances this time. Probably wise to leave both of these defenses on the bench if you have the ability to do so.
The Jaguars are 7-3 all-time on Monday night, the best record in the league, and their home crowd figures to be amped for what is always the game to circle on the Jacksonville schedule. From a standpoint of emotion, the Jags will have the edge. But how many times in the past few years have we seen Indianapolis coolly dismiss an opponent that looks primed for a statement win? Many, and we'll see one more on Monday. This Colts team has the ability to slow the Jacksonville run, and will challenge Garrard and the receivers to make more plays than they are accustomed to. As for the Indy offense, look for Manning to chip away for 60 minutes, hitting his targets, moving the ball slowly down the field, keeping the ball out of the hands of the Jacksonville offense. In other words, the same as it ever was.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colts 35, Jaguars 20