Sunday, September 23, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Jaguars 22, Colts 17
By Paul Kuharsky
INDIANAPOLIS -- Thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars' crazy 22-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium:
What it means: The Jaguars took second-half control, showed good resolve and beat the Colts on the road to break into the win column. The two teams expected to be at the bottom of the division are both 1-2, but the Jaguars get a touch more credit for their record since their victory came on the road and over a division foe.
What I liked, Jaguars: The Jaguars ran with great authority, as Maurice Jones-Drew showed that combination of power and footwork we’ve come to expect for 177 yards on 28 carries. Jacksonville’s offensive strength fit nicely with the Colts’ defensive weakness. And then Jacksonville needed one play from an unlikely source, and they got it: Cecil Shorts broke into the secondary behind safety Sergio Brown, caught Blaine Gabbert’s pass and outran Antoine Bethea and Cassius Vaughn for an 80-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left to provide the winning margin right after the Colts had gone ahead.
What I didn’t like, Jaguars: A bunch of dropped passes that really hurt, which compounded the high throws that Gabbert missed. Linebacker Russell Allen could have been penalized twice in a short span for hits on Andrew Luck in the fourth quarter. He got away with one on a slide, then drew a personal foul for a hit out of bounds. They gave up a 39-yard Luck-to-Donald Brown pass play that set up the Colts to go ahead late.
What I liked, Colts: Even if you fear for him, Luck is simply fantastic on the run. He has such a natural sense of when to take off and where to go. Luck continued to show a good feel for where and when to find Reggie Wayne. T.Y. Hilton looks to be getting more comfortable and gaining more confidence from Luck. Adam Vinatieri missed a 36-yarder late, but bounced back to connect on a 37-yarder, barely above and inside the left upright, that could have provided the winning margin with 56 second left.
What I didn’t like, Colts: The run defense, first and foremost. After that, the inability to generate anything on the ground with the running backs. Brown lined up behind what amounted to an eight-man offensive line late in the fourth quarter and then inexplicably went outside to no avail. Luck was by far the best runner on the team.
Injury concerns: Colts receiver Austin Collie, who hadn’t played yet this season because of concussion issues, left the game with a right knee injury that didn’t look good. Jaguars receiver Laurent Robinson and running back Montell Owens didn’t finish the games after absorbing blows to the head and could miss time if they have concussions.
What’s next: The Colts will have an early bye week to heal and get some non-football time. The Jaguars will hope to carry some momentum into Week 4 as they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at EverBank Field.