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Four factors: Can the Jaguars beat the Colts and start a winning streak?

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41), right, and safety Andre Cisco (38) celebrate Allen's recovery of a Buffalo fumble during the second half an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. The Jaguars defeated the Bills 9-6. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough) (Gary McCullough, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The arrow for the Jaguars is officially pointing up. The Jaguars have won two of their last three games and doubled their win total from last season. Now, the team has to guard against the letdown.

After getting their first win of the season against the Dolphins in London, the Jaguars laid an egg against the Seahawks in Week 8. Urban Meyer said that the young team didn’t handle the bye week very well.

No bye week issues this Sunday. The Jaguars have the Colts coming right down the line. Here are my four factors that the Jaguars need to do to get their first winning streak since 2019.

Find the end zone

The Jaguars were able to beat the Buffalo Bills without scoring a touchdown but games like that don’t happen often. Before last week the Jaguars won a game without a touchdown was in 2018 when they beat the Colts 6-0. A win is a win but putting that sort of pressure on the defense is not a winning formula week in and week out.

The Jaguars offense has been a work in progress all year at this point of the season their season-high in points is 23. Not exactly a number to write home about. While the Jaguars have no true dynamic alpha threat on offense there are enough tools to expect them to crack 30 points at some point this season. At the very least, they should find the end zone with more consistency.

Empty the tank On D again

After last week’s game Rudy Ford was helped to the locker room. When I asked him why after the game he said “I really emptied the tank.” The Jaguars need that sort of defensive effort again this week.

Myles Jack said this week that, “the Jaguars are a defensive team.”

I’ll take his word for it now, but the defense will need to go out and prove this week that they can play to that level consistently before it is time to call the Jaguars any sort of team.

Convert on third down

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said “I think third down is an issue for us. It is a major focus and we have to continue to work on it.”

A major issue is putting it lightly the Jaguars rank dead last in the NFL in third-down conversion rate converting only 29% of the time. To put that in perspective, remember 2020 when the Jaguars only won one game. In 2020, the Jags converted 40% of their third-down attempts. The Jaguars offensive woes are bad enough to spread the blame around, from play calling to the offensive line and the receivers.

But up until now, Trevor Lawrence has been spared from the finger-pointing. But against the Bills, CJ Beathard came into the game completed a 28-yard pass and threw a perfect pass into the end zone that was dropped. It is a small sample size but why is it that when Beathard enters the game he can find these explosive plays that Lawrence has been struggling to locate all year?

Stop Jonathan Taylor

This season, the Colts have gone as far as Jonathan Taylor has led them. In games where Taylor has rushed for more than 100 yards, the Colts are undefeated this season. The last time the Jaguars faced Taylor he racked up 253 yards. That was the final game of a lost season, so take those stats with a grain of salt.

The Jaguars can’t allow that to happen on Sunday if they are going to walk out with a win. Meyer knows what Taylor can do dating back to his days at Wisconsin.

“I used to get so upset with our coaches at Ohio State. I said, ‘Why don’t we have him?,” Meyer said.

Well, now Meyer gets to play Taylor twice a year. If his defense does its job he will never have to ask the question of “why don’t we have him” again.


About the Author:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.