3 Jaguars to watch on offense vs. Colts

Today is finally the day. Jaguars football is back on our screens in just a matter of hours. The offseason has been filled with a multitude of storylines, some controversy, and distress for fans. Opening day represents something entirely different: when the hope has yet to be taken away, and the air is thick with Bud Light, excitement, and anticipation.

However, this year the anticipation is different and it’s because football is not going to look like it has in the past. For much of the year, the mere prospect of football was very much in doubt, but thanks to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols and each franchise’s diligence, the season is here.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="On today’s slate of games, the only matchup that will have fans is the one being held in Duval County as the Jags will host the Indianapolis Colts. If the Jaguars fans in attendance are to go home happy, the three players below need to have a good game:” data-reactid=”15″>On today’s slate of games, the only matchup that will have fans is the one being held in Duval County as the Jags will host the Indianapolis Colts. If the Jaguars fans in attendance are to go home happy, the three players below need to have a good game:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The undrafted rookie running back from Illinois State was supposedly a large factor in the team’s decision to move on from former top-5 pick Leonard Fournette. With the likes of Devin Ozigbo and Ryquell Armstead both unavailable for the game, James Robinson looks set to become the feature back for Jay Gruden’s offense early on this season.” data-reactid=”21″>The undrafted rookie running back from Illinois State was supposedly a large factor in the team’s decision to move on from former top-5 pick Leonard Fournette. With the likes of Devin Ozigbo and Ryquell Armstead both unavailable for the game, James Robinson looks set to become the feature back for Jay Gruden’s offense early on this season.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="If he gets off to a hot start, the Jaguars running back might join the likes of Philip Lindsay and Austin Ekeler, two undrafted running backs who’ve held their own for their respective teams. The Colts’ front seven is beginning to come into its own and the addition of second-team All-Pro DeForest Buckner will only help them.” data-reactid=”22″>If he gets off to a hot start, the Jaguars running back might join the likes of Philip Lindsay and Austin Ekeler, two undrafted running backs who’ve held their own for their respective teams. The Colts’ front seven is beginning to come into its own and the addition of second-team All-Pro DeForest Buckner will only help them.

Simply put, Week 1 will provide a tough test for Robinson in his pro debut. However, if he shines, he might be the long-term future at the position for the Jaguars.

Someone whose long-term future is by no means certain is left tackle Cam Robinson. As of now, there hasn’t been any news about the Jags looking into an extension, so it’s possible they will let the season play out to evaluate him.

Robinson missed nearly all of 2018 after suffering a torn ACL in a Jaguars win over New England and hasn’t been able to consistently perform at the same level since his return. The reports coming out of camp suggest that this is the best he has looked for quite some time, having been able to rehab properly over the course of the offseason.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The former Alabama star will need to play up to his full potential if he hopes to secure a new deal with the team who drafted him in the second-round back in 2017. Having a solid showing against Justin Houston Week 1 would be a great start towards getting that new deal.” data-reactid=”27″>The former Alabama star will need to play up to his full potential if he hopes to secure a new deal with the team who drafted him in the second-round back in 2017. Having a solid showing against Justin Houston Week 1 would be a great start towards getting that new deal.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The 2020 season is Gardner Minshew’s audition for the role of franchise quarterback. In his rookie year, Minshew played well enough to bench $88 million man Nick Foles, but more importantly, he did enough to prevent Dave Caldwell from taking a quarterback early in the draft.” data-reactid=”29″>The 2020 season is Gardner Minshew’s audition for the role of franchise quarterback. In his rookie year, Minshew played well enough to bench $88 million man Nick Foles, but more importantly, he did enough to prevent Dave Caldwell from taking a quarterback early in the draft.

Make no mistake, if he underperforms this year then the Jaguars will almost certainly be moving on from MinshewMania for 2021. For that reason, it’s vital that the second-year passer gets off to a hot start.

Everybody outside of the Jaguars’ facility seems certain that the team is “tanking for Trevor Lawrence,” but those within the organization are hopeful that their current quarterback can show he’s able to lead the team to wins. That would not only save his jobs, but also Caldwell’s and Doug Marrone’s.

Minshew’s only game against the Colts (2019’s season finale) is one of the best so far in his career. He was able to put up almost 300 passing yards for three touchdowns in a 38-20 victory. If he’s able to come anywhere close to that production today, there is a real chance the Jaguars can shock the league and start out 1-0.

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