Colts Must Limit James Robinson to Win in Jacksonville: The Indianapolis Colts will be hoping to bounce back on Sunday in Jacksonville against the Jaguars after a nail-biting overtime game with the Houston Texans. The fact that the Colts haven’t defeated the Jags on the road since 2014 speaks for itself in this case.
This behind enemy lines series will highlight a unique foe each week who merits particular attention. This week, we talk about running back James Robinson, who has gained a following among Colts supporters since moving to Jacksonville.
After watching the Colts struggle against the Texans, Jacksonville is coming off a very narrow loss to the Washington Commanders and will be optimistic going into this game. Two years ago, when the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Indianapolis Colts on opening day, James Robinson played his first professional game against the Colts.
Sixty-two yards on 16 carries with an average of 3.9 yards per carrying may not seem impressive when looking at the stats. Still, everyone who witnessed the game could see his influence—under the direction of defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.
The undrafted free agent from Rockford, Illinois, repeatedly plowed between the tackles wearing down the Colts defensive line and upsetting a Colts unit with a reputation for being a good run defender. His one reception for 28 yards made his statistical output look better.
The Colts last faced Mr. Robinson during a November home game against the Jaguars, winning 23-17. Robinson had a little more success in that game, gaining 57 yards with just 12 carries and scoring a score.
He also participated in the passing game, hauling in four passes for a total of 27 yards. Robinson is used by the Jags as a traditional running back, and he alternates with Travis Etienne, who is more of a versatile back who they deploy in various formations.
Robinson is a powerful, traditional downhill runner with exceptional vision who pressures your linebackers to be aggressive. He was highly productive in Week 1 with an average of 6 yards per carrying and two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving, even though we won’t have many details about how new coach Doug Pederson plans to use him.
He scored twice on a play-action pass where he dribbled into the flat and once on a toss play when he executed a stunning cutback to reach the end zone. The Colts linebackers will have to play well in this game. It would be beneficial to have Shaq Leonard back in a game like this because he was one of the best off-ball linebackers in the NFL last season versus the run.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 16, 2022
Whether he comes back or not, Bobby Okereke, Zaire Franklin, and the other front-line players need to find a way to take advantage of this, at best average Jaguars offensive line. Last week, the Colts did a good job stopping the run, allowing only 77 yards on 28 attempts.
To make room for Trevor Lawrence, the jaguars” second-year quarterback, they want to hit James Robinson hard and early. To prevent the Jaguars from getting into third and short situations, the Colts must stop him from having success on early downs.
I believe the Colts will win this game quickly if they can slow James Robinson down. After the curse of slow starts became apparent with a draw in Week 1 in Houston, that is a big if.
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