The Jaguars have won eight straight home games against the Colts and will catch a break on Sunday for their AFC South matchup in Jacksonville as Indianapolis will be without starting quarterback Anthony Richardson and will start backup and former Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew. At least, it’s usually an advantage when an #NFL team faces its opponents’ backup QB, but that might not be the case Sunday.
While Richardson could be a very good NFL player eventually, the Colts are 0-2 this year in the two games the former Florida star played nearly the entire game compared to 3-0 when Minshew sees significant action. He relieved Richardson in Week 2 in Houston and led a 31-20 victory and threw for 171 yards and a TD. The rookie missed Week 3 with a concussion and Minshew for 227 yards and a touchdown in a big upset victory in Baltimore.
Richardson started Week 4 and the #ForTheShoe lost in OT to the Rams. This past Sunday against the Titans, the No. 4 overall pick his right shoulder injury late in the first half when he fell awkwardly to the ground on a 4-yard run with two Tennessee defenders draped around him. Richardson would not return and will miss at least one game with an AC joint sprain. The NFL Network has reported it’s a Grade 3 sprain that could result in him being placed on IR for a minimum of four games.
Minshew was 11-for-14 for 155 yards in the 23-16 win vs. Tennessee and joined future Hall of Famer Steve Young in 1989 as the only QBs since 1950 with a 75% completion percentage and at least 150 passing yards in multiple wins off the bench in a season.
Overall this season Minshew is completing 69% of his passes, which is 10th in the league. He is 17-for-24 passing 71%) on third downs, leading to 12 first downs. Minshew has the second-highest first down/attempts rate in the NFL behind Tampa Bay’s Baker Mayfield. Indy has converted 44% on third downs this year with Minshew on the field and 33% with Richardson.
Career, Minshew has 46 touchdowns and 15 picks, which is the fourth best TD:INT ratio in NFL history with a minimum of 500 attempts. Point being: The Colts might be better off right now with the veteran Minshew under center instead of Richardson and that’s likely why Indy has dropped from an opening 5-point underdog Sunday to +4.5.
Jacksonville is back from a two-game road trip – both wins – to London and is 7-1 ATS in the past eight meetings vs. the Colts, including a 31-21 win at Indianapolis as a 3.5-point favorite in Week 1.
#DUUUVAL are looking to move multiple games above .500 for the first time since Week 5 of 2018, the longest active drought in the NFL (82 games). However, the Jags 0-6 ATS in their past six games as home favorites. Their eight-game home winning streak in the series is their longest over any visiting opponent in franchise history.