Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
The Colts have yet to win at Lucas Oil Stadium, and they are eager to christen the building with a victory. In their two wins, they've come back from 15- and 17-point deficits.
Baltimore, meanwhile, is surely tired of hearing how it has beaten no one, with wins over Cincinnati and Cleveland and losses to the two stronger teams it has faced -- Pittsburgh and Tennessee.
We've got what's supposed to be a good offense against the Ravens' defense, which is top-rated in the NFL. Can the Colts' O-line get Peyton Manning enough time to attack matchups in a secondary that's without cornerback Samari Rolle, his replacement Fabian Washington and safety Dawan Landry? (I don't know that it can.)
On the other side, can Indianapolis' undersized and struggling run defense contain bruiser Le'Ron McClain? He seems to be the type of back who's ideal to run against the Colts. (I think he'll do well.)
A lot of people thought the officials overdid it in the Tennessee-Baltimore game last week in an attempt to keep it under control. That was physical vs. physical. This is finesse vs. physical. The Colts talked early this week about the trend that's reduced holding calls and how officials aren't calling it if it isn't material to the play. They'd love to see a broader interpretation of what is potentially material in this game.
Before the season started, Houston was regarded as the up-and-comer with a chance to move up in its division while many thought the new regime in Miami would need at least a year before we saw results.
Things have turned out differently so far, as the Texans are winless and the Dolphins have beaten the two finalists from the AFC last season.
Miami has already passed its 2007 win total and is on its first win streak since November 2006. Running back Ronnie Brown leads the AFC with six rushing touchdowns and has back-to-back 100-yard games.
Miami has been quite good against the run, but the Texans have shown if they can't get Steve Slaton going with handoffs, they're willing and able to get him the ball in space with short passes.
His fate probably mirrors his team's, and when he doesn't have the ball he'll need to help block a couple of dangerous linebackers who will be coming at Matt Schaub from the edges.
Yes, the Buccaneers found a way to slow down the Broncos last week.
Still, I feel that for the Jaguars to win this crucial game, they'll need to follow the script that worked for them in Indianapolis: Run it determinedly, win time of possession by a good margin and make it so Jay Cutler feels like he's got to guide a scoring drive every time the Broncos offense makes it on the field.
Even in that scenario, Jacksonville might be missing its best player in safety Reggie Nelson. Without the smart, dynamic safety, the Jags are limited in what blitz risks they are able to take. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said this week that his guys have been missing by inches. Cutler's big arm, pocket awareness and accuracy -- his .678 completion percentage at home is the NFL's best -- have the potential to turn the inches into feet.
Jacksonville ranks 19th in rushing. That's nowhere near strong enough considering what the Jaguars want their identity to be. If they come home 3-3 instead of 2-4, it's going to be because Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew start to re-establish that M.O.