LONDON -- The Indianapolis Colts have made sight-seeing a distant second on their list of things to do while across the pond in London. Their main priority is trying to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars to even their record at 2-2.
Here are three things to keep an eye on during Sunday’s (really) early game in the United States:
Don’t be sloppy: Everybody remembers quarterback Andrew Luck connecting with receiver T.Y. Hilton on the game-winning 63-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the Colts’ victory over San Diego in Week 3.
What some might not remember, however, is that Luck had an interception and a fumble that led to 10 points for the Chargers earlier in the game. Luck now has four turnovers -- two interceptions and two fumbles -- that have led to 24 points for the opponent in the past two games. Both interceptions were poorly-thrown balls by Luck.
The defense has done its part to try to make up for Luck’s miscues, but at some point the quarterback has to get his turnover issues resolved.
“Turnovers are something that we preach and don’t tolerate and don’t want,” offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said. “Andrew understands that, he knows that. He is the first one to come back and say, ‘I shouldn’t have done that, I know that.’ But they are going to happen. If you are aggressive in the way you want guys to go play, they are going to happen.
“We just have to cut the ones out that are avoidable, and certainly there have been a few that have been avoidable. If you average one a game, you will probably lead the league at the end of the year.”
Rattle Bortles: The verdict is still out on whether Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is the right player to lead the franchise. He has thrown six interceptions and been sacked nine times through the first three games of the season.
The Colts are the healthiest they’ve been all season in the secondary. They’ll have their top three cornerbacks -- Vontae Davis, Antonio Cromartie and Patrick Robinson -- for the first time to go with three talented safeties in Mike Adams, Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green.
The key will be in the pass rush, which has struggled, registering just four sacks so far. Linebacker Robert Mathis and Co. have to find a way to get to Bortles.
Still remember: Many of the Colts used word “embarrassed” when talking about the previous meeting against the Jaguars. That’s probably the best way to describe it because, well, the Jaguars did embarrass the Colts 51-16 in Jacksonville last December.
Here’s how quickly things changed in that game for the Colts:
They were in position to potentially put a stranglehold on the game when the Jaguars had a strip-sack on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and returned it for a touchdown. It started a stretch where the Jaguars outscored the Colts 48-3 to close the game and ended a 16-game winning streak in the AFC South for Indianapolis.
“It’s last year, but it’s still in the back of your head,” defensive end Kendall Langford said, “They dropped 50 on us. Jacksonville dropped 50 on us.”