NFL Nation: 2013 Week 17 JAC at IND Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: Jacksonville Jaguars

December, 29, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A few thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars' 30-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

What it means: The Jaguars finished 4-12, doubling their victory total from last season and likely securing the No. 3 draft pick. The Houston Texans (2-14) and Washington Redskins (3-13) have the top two picks, but the Redskins traded their pick to St. Louis, so the Rams will pick in their spot.

Stock watch: Two young players stood out. Safety Johnathan Cyprien has steadily improved this season and broke up three passes to go along with six tackles. The team’s second-round draft pick out of Florida International also did a much better job of patrolling the seam and keeping Colts tight ends Coby Fleener and Weslye Saunders from doing a lot of damage. Fleener caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting between the teams but had just one catch for 25 yards on Sunday. The Jaguars have been limited at receiver since Justin Blackmon's suspension and Cecil Shorts' groin injury ended his season. However, Kerry Taylor has stepped up over the past three weeks. He caught a team-high eight passes for 75 yards and a touchdown against the Colts and has 16 receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown over the past three games. Not bad for a guy who didn’t join the team until Nov. 4.

Farewell? This might have been the final game in a Jaguars uniform for running back Maurice Jones-Drew, and it wasn’t exactly a memorable one. He had averaged 100.9 yards per game rushing against the Colts in his career, but had just 39 yards on 13 carries Sunday. He also fumbled on the game’s third play a turnover the Colts turned into an early 7-0 lead. That was Jones-Drew’s first fumble lost in more than two years (against Baltimore on Oct. 24, 2011). It definitely was the final game for center Brad Meester, who is retiring after 14 seasons in the NFL.

What’s next: General manager David Caldwell will begin the process of evaluating the roster and making decisions on which players are worth re-signing, specifically quarterback Chad Henne and Jones-Drew. Both are unrestricted free agents.

Rapid Reaction: Indianapolis Colts

December, 29, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- A few quick thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts' 30-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

What it means: There was little doubt that the Colts would beat the Jaguars, who are officially on vacation, but the way they did it early on was the impressive part. The Colts had their best opening quarter of the season when they used the shotgun and no-huddle to score a season-high 17 points. Quarterback Andrew Luck was 10-of-18 for 135 yards in the first quarter, and running backs Trent Richardson and Donald Brown ran for both touchdowns in the quarter. Indianapolis held Jacksonville to 34 yards in the first quarter. The Colts (11-5) led by as many as 24 points and matched their win total of last season. The comfortable lead allowed Colts coach Chuck Pagano to rest Luck and several other key players in the fourth quarter. Pagano is the first coach in Colts history to win at least 11 games in each of his first two seasons.

Setting a record: Luck managed to set a record before watching the fourth quarter from the sideline. He passed Carolina quarterback Cam Newton for the most passing yards in the first two years of a career in the first quarter. Luck ended the afternoon 26-of-37 for 282 yards and a touchdown. He has now passed for 8,196 yards in the first two years of his career.

Mathis increases his total: Colts linebacker Robert Mathis made one final push to be the league’s defensive player of the year when he recorded two more sacks in his Pro Bowl season. Mathis ends the regular season with 19.5 sacks. He was held without a sack in only five games this season, and he had seven games where he recorded more than one sack in a game.

Hilton has a career day: Receiver T.Y. Hilton, who had been held without a 100-yard receiving game for six straight weeks, set a career high in receptions and yards with 11 catches for 155 yards. He surpassed his previous career high in catches of eight by halftime, when he had nine catches for 95 yards.

What’s next: The Colts will host a playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium next weekend.