Jaguars get solid grade for convincing win vs. the Colts in 2023 season opener

• The Jaguars beat the Colts at Indianapolis for the first time since 2017

• They got a solid grade from CBS Sports for doing so

Sep 10, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0)
Sep 10, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars haven't had much luck beating the Indianapolis Colts as a visitor. That changed in Week 1 when they came back from behind to beat Indy 31-21. Following the win, John Breech of CBS Sports gave them a B for their performance.

When awarding a grade to Jacksonville, Breech highlights the impact Calvin Ridley had, noting that he had no rust coming off his gambling suspension. Regarding the defense, he praises them for containing Anthony Richardson.

"After missing a year due to a gambling suspension, there was a thought that Calvin Ridley might be somewhat rusty in this game, but apparently rust has no effect on him. The Jaguars receiver caught eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown and ended up being a big reason why Jacksonville won. Defensively, the Jags weren't perfect, but they did a good job of bottling up Anthony Richardson and that was mostly thanks to Josh Allen, who recorded three of Jacksonville's four sacks. "

Breech goes on to say that a loss to Indianapolis would've been less than ideal but points out that the Jags managed to "avoid disaster by escaping the upset."

Jacksonville led for most of the first half but the Colts got ahead on the scoreboard in the third quarter thanks to a fumble recovery by defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. However, the Jaguars got plays from wide receiver Calvin Ridley, running back Travis Etienne and returner Jamal Agnew to get back on top. Similarly, the defense made several key stops in the second half that prevented Indy from scoring once again.

As head coach Doug Pederson said after the game, this was a team effort that took all three phases to win.

"One thing I know about you and appreciate is four quarters," Pederson told the team in the locker room. "These games, I don't care if they're division opponents or not, you understand what we talk about. You're learning and we learned last year how to finish and to win games, how to take games. That's crucial right there, that's big,"

"Moving forward, that's an AFC South game, that's a win on the road, which we haven't done in a while, which is congratulations. It took all three phases, did it not? a) we had a great kickoff return. Create takeaways and a goal-line stand and offensively we figured it out, we stayed with the plan, and we got in the end zone," Pederson said.

There were encouraging things in the Jaguars' win over the Colts

Looking back, there were many things to like about the Jaguars' win over the Colts. Trevor Lawrence was his efficient self, going 24-of-32 for 241 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, which wasn't his fault. The pick was the result of a pass rookie Tank Bisby couldn't reel in and ended in the hands of cornerback Tony Brown.

In the summer, tight end Evan Engram said that defenses would have to pick their poison when facing the Jags and that was the case in the opener. Despite the fact that Indy took away receiver Christian Kirk, Lawrence found Calvin Ridley, Zay Jones and Engram himself.

On the other hand, Jacksonville went 3-for-12 on third downs and the offensive line couldn't create lanes in the running game. Those will be two areas they'll need to polish ahead of Week 2. On defense, several players stood out, including but not limited to Josh Allen, linebacker Foyesade Oluokun and cornerback Tyson Campbell.

The Jaguars were the only AFC South to win in Week 1 and if they want to increase their lead, they'll need to take care of the Kansas City Chiefs at home. For that to happen, they need to build on the positives and tighten things up on both offense and defense.

Here are other recent Jaguars stories you may also like: