By Jeff Moeller, Florida Sports Wire
JACKSONVILLE – Gameday….you can smell and sense it in the air.
The highly anticipated Jaguars season will begin this Sunday in Indianapolis. Heading into the season as defending AFC South champs.
It also is time for them to send a message to the rest of the league..this team is ready to enter the door of the league elite.
Will Trevor Lawrence take his game to the next level? Can Travie Etienne establish himself as one of the league’s premier backs? How will the addition of Calvin Ridley impact the offense? Is the Jags’ offensive tackle position secure? And can the defense raise its play to be among the league’s top units?
Those questions will begin to be answered this Sunday. Second-year head coach Doug Peserson knows too well about readied expectations from his days with the Eagles, and has kept everything in its proper perspective.
“We’re on the road, week one, division opponent, in the dome,” Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”
“I was pleased. They met my expectations. The team is in a good place. They had a really good training camp. Coming out relatively healthy heading into week one.”
These Jags are in a good place right now.
They will enter Indy as a five-point favorite, and they need to seize the opportunity.
The Colts will start rookie quarterbacks dn top pick Anthony Richardson, and they won’t have the services of running back Jonathan Taylor, who wants to take his many talents elsewhere.
Jacksonville will have the advantage in the backfield and on the outside, especially withRidley. Up front, the focus will be on top pick and right tackle Anton Harrison.
Defensively, the Colts do have some studs led by lineman DeForest Bruckner and middle linebacker Zaire Franklin, and the overall unit is solid.
The spotlight will be on the Jags defense, needing the linebacker corps of Travon Walker, Devin Lloyd, Josh Alen, and Fytesade Oluokon to make it a miserable afternoon for Richardson.
The Jags need to put this one into the win column, and maybe Vegas still isn’t sold on them with the five-point margin. They should be, and more importantly, this is one for the Jags to take care of business and not let the Colts hang around.
Based on my logic, I like the Jags to have a convincing opening win in a manner of a 31-13 victory. It will set the stage for a super showdown with the Chiefs at Everbank Stadium next Sunday before an anticipated raucous home crowd.
Gameday..it’s here and the wait is over. Hey Jaguars and their fans..embrace it.
A big victory and a message sent to the rest of the league should be in the offing.