The Indianapolis Colts are all but set to kick off the 2020 season with a road trip down to TIAA Bank Field for a Week 1 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Following the long offseason, the Colts made some strong improvements. It has led to them being strong favorites on the road to open the season. In addition, several experts around the league are choosing the Colts to come out of Week 1 with a win.
Before the Colts travel south, here’s how the Colts Wire staff sees the opener shaking out:
Kevin Hickey (@KevinHickey11): Colts 28, Jaguars 17
The Colts offense should be much improved over the product they put on the field last year. The addition of Philip Rivers should have an immediate impact, especially as his rapport with T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell grows quickly. All three should be in for strong days.
While Rivers will be the storyline of the day, the rushing attack will be the one dominating. Against a lowly Jags run defense that just lost Yannick Ngakoue, Marcell Dareus and Calais Campbell, Marlon Mack should be ready to eat.
Defensively, the Colts will have to find a way to lock down DJ Chark, who will be the source of offense for Jacksonville. Quarterback Gardner Minshew is coming off a solid rookie season, but the Colts shouldn’t be afraid of him. With a new weapon like DeForest Buckner leading the pass rush, it should be a strong day for the Indy defense.
The Colts haven’t won a regular-season opener since 2013. That’s going to change Sunday as Indy cruises to a Week 1 win.
Sam Sinclair (@samsinclair96): Colts 27, Jaguars 17
As week one approaches, the Indianapolis Colts will head down to a location they haven’t won in since 2014, Jacksonville, Florida.
The 2020 season should be exciting as the Colts bring in a lot of new faces at key positions and should be in contention for the AFC South title.
With how the schedule breaks for Indianapolis this will be their lone divisional game until early-November, so getting up 1-0 will be paramount.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have completely dismantled their team apart as they look to begin another rebuild this season.
I’m going to take the Colts, who on paper are a better team and are a 7.5 point road favorite according to Vegas.
John Alfieri (@alfierijohn): Colts 30, Jaguars 10
The Colts enter the 2020 season with lots of firepower on offense. Philip Rivers has looked great in training camp, connecting with his new receivers and developing a relationship with T.Y Hilton. Hilton is in a contract year and has to prove he can still be productive and stay healthy to stay in Indy.
I think he will have a big year, but the headline on Monday will be the dynamic rushing attack of Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor. They can easily combine for over 200 yards against this shallow Jacksonville defense and will show great signs of things to come.
On the defensive side of the ball, expect a big game out of new addition DeForest Buckner who has great run-stopping and pass-rushing ability. He will be much needed on the Colts defensive front in an area that they struggled with last season.
All in all, it should be a pretty commanding performance from the Colts as they take care of business and get their first week one win since 2013.