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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
I was looking at the Jaguars-Colts Week One line recently, and I was again reminded of how entertaining this series is because the Jags give no quarter.
Since divisional realignment in 2002, the Colts are 10-4 against Jacksonville, but they are just 5-8-1 against the spread. The Jaguars have never been favored against the Colts in this span, but they have never been double-digit underdogs, and they have typically given Indianapolis all it can handle. The teams split the season series in 2008, with Jacksonville winning 23-21 in Indy as 4½-point underdogs in Week Three. Thirteen weeks later, the Colts, favored by six, won the rematch, 31-24, but it took an outstanding performance from QB Peyton Manning and 17 fourth-quarter points to put away the very game Jaguars.
Interestingly enough, the Colts' 31 points were the most they had scored vs. Jacksonville in AFC South play. It's not as if the Jaguars have shut down the Indianapolis offense — Indy has scored 20 points or more in 12-of-14 divisional matchups — but they have slowed it just enough to make things interesting. On the other hand, the Texans, a popular sleeper pick for 2009, have surrendered 30 points or more to the Colts in 7-of-8 matchups since 2005 and 9-of-14 overall. If you're looking for a reason to be skeptical of the Texans, you start with their ability to stand up to the Colts.
The Colts are, as usual, favored to beat the Jaguars in the season-opener, but given the history between the clubs, a close game would come as no surprise.