In Week 2, the Indianapolis Colts are going for their first away win against the Jacksonville Jaguars since 2014.
Hines offered an explanation for the team’s struggles in Northern Florida. He also put it rather plainly what the Colts need to do to get over them.
“To get to new levels, you gotta face — and beat — some new devils,” said Hines according to The Athletic’s Zak Keefer.
Colts’ Struggles in Jacksonville Mystify Players
When trying to fix a problem, it’s customary to first identify what’s wrong. But when asked about how the Colts have dropped 7 straight in Jacksonville, Indianapolis’ players couldn’t really offer any good reasons.
“I just don’t know,” said defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. “It’s just hard to put your finger on it.”
Hines explained that the Jaguars simply have had their number.
“If you’re a team in the NFL, I don’t care who you are, there’s gonna be a team you don’t match up well with for whatever reason,” Hines said. “For whatever reason, they’ve just had our number on offense and defense.”
One of Indianapolis’ road losses to Jacksonville over the last 7 years was a 30-27 defeat in London.
While that game was decided by only a field goal, the Colts’ 6 road losses at TIAA Bank Stadium since 2015 have all been decided by at least 6 points, and most of them haven’t been close. On average, those 6 contests were decided by nearly 17 points per game.
In 2020, Jacksonville’s only win the entire season was a 7-point victory at home versus the Colts in Week 1. The Jaguars lost 15 straight to end that year.
A Must-Win in Week 2?
It’s really hard to claim a matchup in Week 2 is a must-win. But after the tie to the Houston Texans in Week 1 and with the Kansas City Chiefs coming up in Week 3 (the Chiefs will have extra rest having played on Thursday Night Football in Week 2), the matchup versus the Jaguars is about as close of a must-win as one will see in the second week of an NFL season.
The Colts cannot afford to start winless in the first three weeks as they did last year.
Winning at TIAA Bank Stadium is also important for the psyche of the Colts’ locker room. It would prove that this season will be different for Indianapolis.
One thing that will definitely be different for the Colts on September 18 when they take the field in Jacksonville is the fact they will have Matt Ryan behind center. He could be key to Indianapolis overcoming its demons at TIAA Bank Field.
“You know what Matt told us today?” Kelly told Keefer. “That he’s 4-0 in his career against the Jaguars.”
Ryan is 4-0 with 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in his career against the Jaguars. He has averaged 261 passing yards per game in those contests.