Jacksonville Jaguars defeat the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC South showdown

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 03: Dede Westbrook /

The Jacksonville Jaguars return to their winning ways against the Indianapolis Colts to stay well in the playoff race.

The Jaguars returned to their 2016 level of play against the Arizona Cardinals a week ago.  I admit that I was on a Cruise with no access to the game, commentary, etc.  Sadly I came home to discover it was a less than stellar performance by the Men in Teal. As a result, the 2017 version of the Jaguars needed to put this game behind them and continue their hunt for a playoff spot.  They rose to the occasion.

A post by Blake A Hampton at bigcatcountry.com stated that five Jaguars needed to show improvement against the Colts.  The following Jags were listed as needing to do better: Blake Bortles, Leonard Fournette, Dede Westbrook, the entire offensive line, and Doug Marrone.

First let’s look at Blake Bortles (the chronic whipping boy when things go wrong.)  He ran well last week but his passing stats were very forgettable. Sunday, Bortles bounced back with 26 of 35 passes completed for 309 yards and 2 touchdowns. This was an impressive performance for Bortles.

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Next, Leonard Fournette, who had an abysmal 2 yards per carry last week. This minimal effort is caused, at least in part,  by running into a brick wall.  The continued runs into eight man fronts make little sense to me. However, Fournette continues to run hard.  Against the Colts he had 20 carries for 57 yards and 1 touchdown. In addition, he caught 3 passes for 22 yards.

Then, Dede Westbrook didn’t play well last week. Marquise Lee was blanketed by Patrick Peterson against Arizona and Westbrook had a chance to shine but didn’t perform. Sunday he had a solid afternoon with 6 catches for 78 yards.

Fourth, the offensive line neither run blocked or pass blocked well last week. They had injuries but need to play solid football every week. This week, they pass blocked much better but run blocking is sadly lacking.

Finally, Doug Marrone made a very poor call at the end of the Arizona game by not running out the clock and going to overtime.  However, he more than redeemed himself with a fourth down pass on a fake punt.

I would say that the five Jaguars that needed to improve all rose to the challenge and played well. Moreover eight wins is an amazing improvement over the record of the past few seasons.  Blake Bortles played well against inferior competition.  He struggles against better teams.  The running backs are solid.  The receivers grow better every week.  The defense is the very best I’ve ever seen. I am delighted with the Jacksonville Jaguars this season.  GO JAGS!