2021 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 18

The Indianapolis Star
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NFL picks and predictions
NFL picks and predictions – Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) draws back to pass Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, during a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. /

Indianapolis Colts (9-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)

Sunday, January 9, 1PM ET

Last week, the Jacksonville Jaguars took on the New England Patriots and suffered one of the worst losses of the entire 2021 season. Now they face an Indianapolis Colts team featuring a dominant defense and well-rounded offense. Their chances aren’t looking too good.

It works out well for the Colts, who can’t afford to lose after dropping their Week 17 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders. If they can take down the Jaguars, they’re in the playoffs. However, if they can’t get the job done in Jacksonville, they can kiss their trip to the postseason goodbye. That means they can’t take it easy.

Trust me — the Jaguars will be looking for an opportunity to play spoiler in this AFC South showdown. I don’t see that happening considering how awful this team has been all year long, but anything is possible in these late-season divisional matchups.

The way I see it going is the Jaguars turn it over a couple of times, and are never really in the game. The Colts rely on their defense and Jonathan Taylor to build a comfortable lead before throwing it into cruise control in the fourth quarter as they prepare for the playoffs.

Prediction: Colts win 31-14 | Spread: Colts (-15)