WR Calvin Ridley great on his Jaguars debut, happy they got the win vs. Colts

• Calvin Ridley showed out on his debut for the Jaguars

• But aside individual stats, he's glad they got the win

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 ended a five-game losing streak when they beat the Indianapolis Colts as a visitor in the 2023 season opener. One player who had a huge role in the win was wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who showed out in his debut with the Jags. But as good as Ridley was, he said he's glad they managed to get the win.

Ridley met with the local media and said that he felt great after being away for more than a year but he's just glad they came out with the win.

"So happy we got the win, Ridley said. "I'm a win-first type of player, I wanna go out there and play good but I want to win the game. It feels so good, we worked so hard all week and all camp to go out there. I thought it was fun. Obviously, we got to get there but it was fun and we got the win."

This is especially true when you take into account that Jacksonville was at one point trailing 21-17. They were eventually able to bounce back to win the game but the game was closer than the Jags would've probably expected and it wasn't until the fourth quarter that they were in control.

Following the win, quarterback Trevor Lawrence had high praise for Ridley on his debut with the Black and Teal.

"It's great, not a surprise to me. I don't think it was to anybody," Trevor Lawrence said. "He played great, it was good to see him in his first game back. I'm sure he was amped up and ready to go just to play and make some great plays for us, it was awesome."

Calvin Ridley is the playmaker the Jaguars expected when they traded for him

A first-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 2018, Ridley established himself as one of the top receivers in the league early in his career, hauling in 217 catches for 3,061 yards with 26 touchdowns. However, he hung the cleats five games into the 2021 season to focus on his mental health. He was then slapped with a suspension for betting on NFL games.

During his suspension, the Jaguars acquired him from Atlanta in exchange for picks. He was able to join the team until he was reinstated in March though. Once he was able to practice and partake in other activities, he showed he was still the explosive player that gave the Falcons a 1-2 punch at receiver alongside Julio Jones.

Still, there were those who wondered whether Ridley would be rusty after not playing for more than a year. He put any doubts about his readiness when he hauled in eight receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown. At one point of the game, he had six catches and no other Jaguar had more than one, showing he's the unquestioned No. 1 target on offense.

Simply, Calvin Ridley is the game-changer the Jags expected when they got him last year. At the time, they had to part ways with a series of draft picks. In retrospect, it looks like a great investment.

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