It took a wild and unconventional game, but the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Indianapolis Colts for the first time since 2012 in blowout fashion 51-16 on Sunday afternoon. The win puts the Jaguars at 5-8 and keeps their slim playoff hopes alive for another week.
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The Jaguars offense got off to a very slow start, doing pretty much nothing in the first half outside of the opening drive that resulted in a field goal. It looked like the offense was set up for a comically bad day when a snap flew overBlake Bortles
head and into the endzone for a Colts touchdown. It had the looks of blowout when Bortles fumbled on the ensuing possession, butAndre Branch
of all people sacked Colts quarterbackMatt Hasselbeck
, forced a fumble, and returned it for a touchdown.
The second half was a completely different story, starting with a terrific play by Allen Hurns on an 80-yard touchdown pass to open up the game. Bortles threaded the needle between the cornerback and safety and Hurns took it to the house. After that, the Jaguars did a good job of mixing up the run and pass, particularly when Denard Robinson got more involved after an injury to T.J. Yeldon. A couple more touchdown tosses to Allen Robinson and Julius Thomas essentially sealed the game for the Jaguars.
Similar to the first game against the Colts this year, the defense didn’t play outstanding but they definitely did enough to win the game.
As much as I like to rag on Andre Branch, he turned the tide of this contest late in the second half when it appeared the Colts were driving to score and take a big lead.
While the Jaguars went on to win by a wide margin, it’s impossible to tell how the game would have have gone if Branch hadn’t made that play. After that, the defense locked down the Colts offense for the most part. Once things got out of hand on the scoreboard, the Colts were forced to pass with the duo of Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback, and they subsequently failed to get the ball in the endzone at all during the course of the game.
We’ll delve into the factors that contributed to this rout later on in the week, but for now it’s enough to revel in the victory of embarrassing the Colts.