Jacksonville Jaguars: T.Y. Hilton

Jaguars fantasy breakdown: Week 17

December, 27, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Looking for some help with your fantasy football lineup? Every Friday I'll give you my opinions on which Jacksonville Jaguars players to play and sit, as well as which of the opposing players might be a good play against the Jags. For more fantasy football advice, check out ESPN.com's fantasy football page.


QB Chad Henne: He has thrown eight touchdown passes in the last four weeks despite not exactly having an elite group of receivers. He is played his best football right now. Verdict: He's a viable option for a No. 2 QB if you can play two.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: He was limited all week but will play against the Colts, a team he has traditionally had a lot of success against. He may not have a full workload because of his hamstring but he still should get 15 touches. Verdict: Sit him.

TE Marcedes Lewis: He has caught a touchdown pass in four straight games and has been a bigger part of the passing offense. He's pretty much the best weapon Henne has. Verdict: Start him.

K Josh Scobee: Scobee has had a great year and he wraps it up by kicking in a dome. The only problem is the Jaguars have passed up some sure field goals in the past few games to go for it on fourth down. Verdict: He's as good an option as any kicker.

Defense/special teams: The defense will be down four starters and the defensive line rotation will likely include two players who joined the team earlier this week. The return game has been solid but still hasn't produced a score. The Colts are going to try to pound the ball like Tennessee and Buffalo the past two weeks. Verdict: Sit them.


QB Andrew Luck: He's not whipping it around the field like he did as a rookie, but he has been more efficient and his interceptions are down. Don't expect big numbers because the Colts are going to have success running the ball. Verdict: Sit him.

RB Donald Brown: He has emerged as the Colts' top back and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He should have success Sunday because of the Jaguars' limitations along the defensive front. Verdict: Start him.

WR T.Y. Hilton: He has stepped neatly into the No. 1 receiver role after Reggie Wayne went down and needs just 72 yards to reach 1,000. Verdict: Start him as your No. 2 or No. 3 receiver.

TE Coby Fleener: Fleener burned the Jaguars for five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown in the previous meeting. The Jaguars haven't figured out how to stop tight ends since then. Verdict: Start him.

K Adam Vinatieri: Always go with dome kickers, especially ones that have set career highs in field goals made (32) and rank 15th in field goal accuracy in NFL history (82.9 percent). Verdict: Start him.

Defense/special teams: The Colts have given up a total of 10 points in the last two games. Plus, the Jaguars' situation at offensive tackle is unclear because of injuries and the team may have to play Sam Young, who has played mainly on special teams this season. Robert Mathis (16.5 sacks) should be drooling. Verdict: Start them.

Double Coverage: Jaguars at Colts

December, 26, 2013
Henne-LuckGetty ImagesAndrew Luck and the Colts will look to take momentum into the playoffs with a win over Chad Henne and the Jaguars.
It’ll be a battle of teams headed in opposite directions at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

The Indianapolis Colts want to have momentum heading into the playoffs. They also need the victory to have a shot at moving up from the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Jacksonville Jaguars are simply playing out the season before vacation starts following the game.

The Colts easily beat the Jaguars 37-3 in Week 4.

ESPN.com Colts reporter Mike Wells and Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco discuss the rematch:

Wells: Running back Maurice Jones-Drew has been a fixture in the organization for eight years. Will Sunday be the last time he wears a Jaguars uniform?

DiRocco: My gut feeling is that he’ll be back, but it’s certainly not a slam dunk. Jones-Drew said after Sunday’s loss to Tennessee that he wants to be back in Jacksonville, but he has a price and contract length in mind. So does general manager David Caldwell, so I expect this to be a deal that’s going to take some negotiating to get done. Jones-Drew may still want to test the free-agent market to see what kind of money is out there, but he’ll probably find that there isn’t a lot of demand for a 29-year-old running back who has battled injuries the past two seasons. It really would be best for both sides to have Jones-Drew finish his career in Jacksonville. Jones-Drew wouldn’t have to prove himself all over again and he would help bridge the gap between the past five terrible seasons and the new regime.

Since we’re talking about running backs, was the Trent Richardson trade the worst move of the NFL season? What does it mean going forward for both the Colts and Richardson?

Wells: The trade obviously hasn’t worked out the way the Colts envisioned -- Richardson isn't even starting -- but the front office is nowhere near ready to ball up a white towel and throw it in on the second-year running back. They still believe he’s a huge part of the team’s future. The Colts believe a full offseason of organized team activities and training camp will help Richardson’s development. Richardson has shown some flashes -- he ran for 51 yards on seven carries in the fourth quarter against Houston on Dec. 15 -- but the Colts don’t want flashes. They want consistency out of him, and believe that will come.

I know I asked you about Sunday possibly being Jones-Drew’s final game with the Jaguars, but what about the coaching situation down there? Do you think you’ll be covering a coaching search in the offseason?

DiRocco: It may look to outsiders that Gus Bradley should be on the hot seat after a 4-11 season that included an 0-8 start, but he’s just as secure in his job as Bill Belichick, Andy Reid and Pete Carroll are theirs. Owner Shad Khan knew this was going to be a rough season because he, Caldwell and Bradley agreed to essentially blow things up and start over. The Jaguars’ roster is the least talented in the league, and it’s also one of the youngest. Caldwell is committed to building through the draft (the Jags have 10 picks in the 2014 draft) and Bradley is on board with that. The first priority is finding a quarterback, which likely will be done in May. Now, if the Jaguars are still only able to manage single-digit victories three seasons from now, Bradley would be in trouble.

Did Chuck Pagano use QB Andrew Luck correctly this season? Even with the Reggie Wayne injury, shouldn’t Luck have been throwing it all over the place?

Wells: The Colts put a heavy emphasis on being a power-running team this season. Any thought of that happening basically ended when Ahmad Bradshaw was lost for the season with a neck injury after the Week 3 game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Colts became a team that simply wanted to be able to run the football, and they weren’t going to let anybody stop them from trying to do it. They’ve gained at least 104 yards in 10 games this season, with the idea of helping ease the burden on Luck’s shoulders. Luck’s passing yards are down from his rookie season, but he has had a better overall second year. His completion percentage is up and his interceptions are down. It didn’t seem that would happen after Wayne was lost for the season and there wasn’t much continuity with the rest of the receiving group outside of T.Y. Hilton. Have you ever heard of Da'Rick Rogers? But Luck’s faith and trust with his receivers has improved each week because he has put in the time with them in practice.

The quarterback situation in Jacksonville is still a mess. Will the Jags look to upgrade the position in the offseason or will Blaine Gabbert get another shot?

DiRocco: I mentioned it briefly above, but finding a franchise quarterback is the No. 1 priority and I believe the Jaguars will select one with their first-round pick. ESPN Insider Todd McShay’s first mock draftInsider had them selecting Johnny Manziel, which would certainly make them relevant nationally and bring some excitement to the franchise. Teddy Bridgewater is still an option, too, depending on how the draft plays out. The Jaguars also could opt to go defense in the first round and take a QB in the second. Regardless of their approach, I’d be stunned if the team doesn’t draft a quarterback. Gabbert’s days in Jacksonville are done.

Denver isn’t a lock to win the AFC, by any means. How do you break down the Colts’ chances in the playoffs?

Wells: Health, continued improvement from the receivers, the defense forcing turnovers and having a running game are the biggest keys for the Colts in the playoffs. I believe it’s a two-team race between Denver and New England in the AFC, but both teams have their flaws and are beatable. The Colts are in a situation where they could finish anywhere from the No. 2 seed to the No. 4 seed. They’ve been able to overcome the loss of Wayne to be in the position to possibly match their win total of 11 games from last season, but I think it’s in the playoffs -- possibly in the second round if they get there -- that the Colts will miss Wayne’s talent and experience.


Jacksonville Jaguars mailbag

October, 24, 2013
Got questions about the Jaguars? I’ll try to answer a representative selection of them every Thursday. Submit your questions each Thursday via Twitter to @ESPNdirocco.

Jaguars fantasy breakdown: Week 4

September, 27, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Looking for some help with your fantasy football lineup? Every Friday I'll give you my opinions on which Jacksonville Jaguars players to play and sit, as well as which of the opposing players might be a good play against the Jags. For more fantasy football advice, check out ESPN.com's fantasy football page.


QB Blaine Gabbert: He returns to the field after missing the last two weeks because of a cut on the back of his hand. The good news is he gets Marcedes Lewis back, too. The bad news is two of the Jaguars’ four active receivers for the game might come from the practice squad. Plus, he’s facing league’s 11th-best passing defense. Verdict: Keep him out of your lineup.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: Lewis’ return should help in the running game, too. But will it make enough of a difference for Jones-Drew to finally get rolling? Probably not because the interior of the line is still struggling. However, Jones-Drew has averaged 106.8 yards per game in his career against the Colts. Verdict: He might not be a bad gamble as your No. 3 back in deep leagues.

WR Cecil Shorts: Shorts has caught 16 passes in the past two games. However, only three have come in the first half and the rest came when the Jaguars were in catch-up mode. But in fantasy football, it doesn’t matter when you accumulate catches and yards. Verdict: He’ll be the top target again this week so he’s a viable play as a No. 2 receiver.

TE Marcedes Lewis: Lewis finally makes his season debut after missing the first three games with a calf injury. He should be a factor in the passing game because he’s a familiar and reliable target for Gabbert. Verdict: He’s worth a gamble if you’re trying to decide between players among the second tier of tight ends.

K Josh Scobee: The offense still isn’t consistent enough for Scobee to get a lot of work, but he has kicked four field goals of 50 or more yards in his career against the Colts, including a 59-yarder. That’s more than he’s had against any other teams. Verdict: Start him, especially if you get additional points for long field goals.

Defense/special teams: Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton against a secondary that is starting two rookies. Not a good matchup. But the special teams are intriguing because rookie Ace Sanders is finally going to return punts, which is something he did very well at South Carolina. Verdict: Don’t use them this week.


QB Andrew Luck: Luck isn’t exactly throwing it around the yard through the first three weeks. He is averaging just 227.7 yards per game passing but he also has rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns and is averaging 7.1 yards per carry. He’s also going against two rookies in the secondary. Verdict: He’s a definite start.

RB Trent Richardson: He has now been with the Colts for more than a week and is slowly picking up the offense. With Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) out Richardson is sure to get the bulk of the carries against a Jaguars defense that is giving up 167.7 yards per game. Verdict: Start him.

WR Reggie Wayne: He may be in his 13th season but he’s still the Colts’ top pass catcher (18 receptions, 205 yards, one TD). There could be times where he’s matched up with rookie seventh-round pick Demetrius McCray. That probably will end badly for McCray. Verdict: You should have him in your lineup.

WR T.Y. Hilton: The second-year player is the Colts’ big-play receiver. He’s averaging a team-high 14.3 yards per catch, and his 10 catches are second only to Reggie Wayne’s 11. Verdict: You could play him as your No. 3 receiver or flex.

TE Coby Fleener: Fleener was predicted to have a big year, but so far has caught only seven passes for 89 yards and one touchdown -- and one of those receptions was a 40-yarder. The Jaguars, though, have had trouble with tight ends (see last week’s game agaunst Seattle). Verdict: He’s a solid play.

K Adam Vinatieri: He’s not the point machine he was during his heyday, but he’s a reliable kicker who should get plenty of work on Sunday. Verdict: Play him.

Defense/special teams: The Colts are coming off a surprising 27-7 victory over San Francisco in which the defense forced two turnovers and limited Colin Kaepernick to only 170 yards of total offense. They now get a Jaguars offensive line that has struggled up the middle and a quarterback making his first start since Week 1. Verdict: Definitely play them.

Double Coverage: Colts at Jaguars

September, 26, 2013
Maurice Jones-Drew and Trent RichardsonUSA TODAY SportsMaurice Jones-Drew and Trent Richardson will square off Sunday in Jacksonville.
The winless Jacksonville Jaguars return to EverBank Field after spending more than a week on the West Coast -- they played at Oakland on Sept. 15 and remained in California to prepare for this past Sunday's game at Seattle -- for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts had a much better trip out West than the Jaguars. They routed host San Francisco 27-7 on Sunday by shutting down 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Jaguars, meanwhile, fell to 0-3 after the Seahawks routed them 45-17. Sunday presents another tough task for the Jaguars. Colts reporter Mike Wells and Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco take a look at this week's matchup.

Michael DiRocco: Mike, Peyton Manning was such an iconic figure in Indianapolis. With all the success he's had in his first 20 games, has Andrew Luck come close to that level yet?

Mike Wells: Manning may be on his way to his fifth MVP trophy out there in Denver, but the Colts could be set at quarterback for the next decade with Luck. It’s only natural to compare the quarterbacks because they both carry themselves in the same manner. They’re humble, perfectionists and, best of all, damn good quarterbacks. Luck isn’t at the same level as Manning, but the goal in Indianapolis is for him to reach that status or beyond. Speaking of quarterbacks -- or maybe it’s not a good idea -- what’s going on down there in Jacksonville with that situation? When do the Jaguars officially throw in the towel and say Blaine Gabbert is not the answer for them?

DiRocco: That is the general belief around Jacksonville, but that's not yet the case for new general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley. They have given Gabbert a clean slate and will evaluate him based on what they see from the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder this season. They have to find out whether Gabbert is the player around whom they can build the franchise, so this season is essentially a pressure-packed tryout for him. He has not performed well since being taken with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft. This year he's dealing with a pretty porous offensive line, and two of his top three weapons -- tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf) and Justin Blackmon (suspension) -- have yet to play this season. By the end of the season Caldwell and Bradley will know whether Gabbert is the answer. The Colts obviously have one piece of their foundation in Luck, but they recently traded for Trent Richardson to fulfill the role Edgerrin James had for years. My question is this: Who's the next Marvin Harrison?

Wells: They don’t have that receiver yet. Reggie Wayne is obviously a future Hall of Famer, and he’s still playing at a very high level. But he’s also 34 years old. The Colts are hoping that Darrius Heyward-Bey could be that receiver. He was the No. 7 overall pick in 2009, so he has the potential to complement Luck and Richardson. But Heyward-Bey has to get over his case of the drops. Playing well in spurts isn’t good enough. In fact, T.Y. Hilton, the Colts’ third receiver, outplayed Heyward-Bey in the preseason. I hate to do this to you -- and probably a lot of NFL fans -- but is there any possibility that the Jaguars would even think about bringing in Tim Tebow? There are fans down there rallying for him. And if anything, it’ll help in the attendance department.

DiRocco: Not going to happen, no matter how much noise Tebow’s supporters make. The Jaguars are moving forward with Gabbert, and if it turns out he’s not the player around whom they can build the franchise, they’ll look to the 2014 draft to find a quarterback. I covered Tebow at Florida, and he was fantastic, one of the best collegiate players of all time, but he’s just not able to make the leap. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t diminish what he did at Florida in any way. As for attendance, the Jaguars actually ranked 20th in that stat last season, drawing an average of 64,984. That’s ahead of teams such as Chicago (62,329), Minnesota (60,725) and Miami (57,379). That was for a 2-14 team that didn’t have Tebow. Sometimes young, talented teams that make the playoffs take a step backward the following season before really taking off a year later. Do you see that being the case with the Colts in 2013?

Wells: The Colts are a better team this season, but they will take a step back with their record by a game. Good fortune was on their side in more ways than one last season. They caught some breaks and Luck led them to seven fourth-quarter comebacks. They're still a playoff team, and if Houston slips up, the Colts will take advantage of it and win the division. The Jags are ranked last in this week's Power Rankings. Will they stay there all season?

DiRocco: I think they'll battle the Browns and -- I can't believe I'm writing this -- the Steelers for the last spot all year. Right now no team is playing worse than the Jaguars, especially on offense. But I do think things will get a little better with the return of Lewis and Blackmon. The offensive line has to play much better, though. Cleveland's victory last week was surprising, but I see that as more of a byproduct of emotion and anger after the Richardson trade than anything else. The Steelers have looked horrible, and the loss of Maurkice Pouncey has them reeling. Plus, we all know it's a matter of time before Ben Roethlisberger gets hurt.

Get to know the Indianapolis Colts

September, 24, 2013
The Jacksonville Jaguars return home after spending more than a week on the West Coast, suffering losses to Oakland and Seattle. They will next face the Indianapolis Colts, who they’ve beaten in three of the past four meetings, in an effort to halt an eight-game losing streak that dates back to last season.

The Colts and Andrew Luck are coming off a surprising 27-7 rout of host San Francisco last week. They held the 49ers to 254 yards of total offense and neutralized Colin Kaepernick on the ground, holding him to just 20 yards.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on CBS.

Here’s a look at the Colts:

Record: 2-1.

Last week: Beat San Francisco 27-7.

[+] EnlargeChuck Pagano
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY SportsChuck Pagano coached the Colts to a surprising 27-7 win over the 49ers in San Francisco.
Coach: Chuck Pagano, second season (13-6).

Offensive coordinator: Pep Hamilton.

Defensive coordinator: Greg Manusky.

Series record: Colts lead 16-8.


QB Andrew Luck: Forget his passing yards, touchdowns or ability to make all the throws. The most impressive thing about Luck is his ability to come through in the clutch. He has started 20 games and has led the Colts to eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.

RB Trent Richardson: The Colts acquired him in a trade last week and all he did was score a touchdown on his first carry. Richardson is a power runner and should, when he has completely learned the offense, provide the balance the offense needs. Provided, of course, he stays healthy.

WR T.Y. Hilton: The second-year player is averaging a team-high 14.3 yards per catch, and his 10 catches are second only to Reggie Wayne’s 11.


DE Robert Mathis: He leads the team with 4.5 sacks and his 96.0 career sacks rank second in Colts history behind Dwight Freeney (107.5). Mathis has the fourth-most sacks of any player in the NFL since he joined the league in 2003. He has recorded 9.5 sacks in his career against the Jaguars, second only to the 15.5 he has recorded against Houston.

LB Jerrell Freeman: The former undrafted player from Mary Hardin-Baylor toiled for several seasons in the CFL, where he led the league in tackles in 2011, before landing with the Colts in 2012. He’s been an instant impact player. He not only leads the team with 29 tackles, he also has three sacks and has forced two fumbles.

S LaRon Landry: He is second on the team with 26 tackles despite missing the San Francisco game with an ankle injury. He is expected to return this week.


The Colts have turned the ball over only once this season. The Chiefs and Titans are the only teams in the league that have not committed a turnover. … The Colts have also only dropped one pass. ... If the Colts rush for more than 100 yards this week, it will mark the first time since 1988 the team has done that in the first four games of the season. … Wayne has caught 133 passes for 1,856 yards in his career against the Jaguars. … Former Jaguars linebacker Brant Boyer is an assistant special teams coach with the Colts.