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INDIANAPOLIS – Call it a pregame pendulum swing. The odds and expectations for the Indianapolis Colts this week are opposite of a week earlier.
The Colts were 10-point underdogs heading to San Francisco last Sunday before stunning the 49ers with a 27-7 win.
This week, the Colts start as nine-point favorites heading to Jacksonville.
Now they want to make sure not to get smacked by the pendulum swinging again.
“Jacksonville is an NFL team, and every Sunday we have to play with the same intensity we went to San Francisco with,” Colts cornerback Vontae Davis said. “(The Jaguars) are probably thinking they can do the same thing, as far as shocking the world, trying to beat us. The biggest thing we can't do is look past them. We have to go in with the same mindset.”
That will be the mantra all week for the Colts – maintaining intensity.
The Colts (2-1) play the Jaguars (0-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday in EverBank Field, Jacksonville. It'll be the first AFC South game for both teams.
The physical, intense, dominant nature of the Colts' win over the 49ers was unexpected to outsiders who thought they'd have trouble with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers' vaunted defense.
Given all the praise showered on the Colts for the win, they could be set up for a fall. Jacksonville has typically given the Colts difficult games. In fact, the Jaguars have won three of the last four meetings (two of those during Peyton Manning's injured season, of course).
“It's a divisional game, a conference game and we're taking no one for granted,” Colts defensive end Cory Redding said. “Everyone has pride. We're going to prepare this week like last week or any other week.”
Redding and the Colts other veteran leaders will make it a special emphasis to younger players not to take Jacksonville for granted, even though the Jags have lost their first three games 28-2 (Chiefs), 19-9 (Raiders) and 45-17 (Seahawks).
“A lot of guys talk the talk, but it's something else to walk,” Redding said. “We'll go out there and lead by example. We have a lot of great veterans in this locker room and we've shown guys how to be professional and how to practice after a loss. This will be no different.”
The fact the game is a division game makes it easier to focus, Redding said.
The Colts and AFC South rivals Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans all have 2-1 records.
“It adds extra because the easiest way to get to the (playoffs) dance is to take care of your division,” Redding said. “We all know that. They have a great running back, tough quarterback and good wide receivers. We just have to go prepare.”
The Jaguars will once again bring running back Maurice Jones-Drew at the Colts.
In 13 career games against Indianapolis, Jones-Drew has averaged 106.8 yards while scoring 14 touchdowns with eight games of 100 yards or more. He rushed for 177 yards in his only game against the Colts in 2012.
Redding says he knows the secret to slowing Jones-Drew.
“When one guy gets there, hit him high, slide down to the ankle and hold on until the other 10 guys get there,” Redding said. “You have to have four or five guys on him. He's hard to take down by yourself.”
Colts notes: Among injured players, linebacker Pat Angerer and center Samson Satele are expected to play Sunday, coach Chuck Pagano said. Safety LaRon Landry is day-to-day and defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois will likely be out for another week.