CA Conversations: Recapping the Colts’ win over the Jaguars

This week, we at Colts Authority once again launched into conversation during and after the Colts’ big win in Jacksonville. Marcus Dugan put together our full recap of the game, but keep reading to find what our initial reaction was to the Colts’ first double digit win of the season. 

In-game Reaction

Todd Smith: Damn it…there’s the first bubble screen. That’s going to get Reggie Wayne killed one of these days.

Nate Dunlevy: I don’t get it. Those don’t work right? Has anyone ever seen numbers on those?   Maybe I’m insane, but I can’t imagine they generate a decent YPA.

Josh Boeke: Unless your name is Percy Harvin.

Greg Cowan: guys, guys, you have to keep the defense honest.  By running the WR screen 15 times a game.

Todd Smith: Just got an update from inside the stadium: the first Baguars sighting of the night has been recorded. Even Lions fans were never this embarrassed by their team.

Kyle Rodriguez: Hailing from Michigan, I beg to differ. Paper bags were as common as jerseys in Detroit during the Millen era. That being said, the Jaguars are terrible. Blaine Gabbert can’t even take advantage of the Colts’ secondary. 

Greg Cowan: If you cut off Blaine Gabbert’s right arm, would his throwing accuracy get any worse?

Scott Kacsmar: That was the first time Luck was sacked in a goal-to-go play. Second time he’s been sacked in the red zone all year. Disappointing the drive stalled like that.

Kyle Rodriguez: It seemed like a weird play design, with no checkdowns or anything. That’s what you get when you go empty backfield from the seven. If you watch Donnie Avery, he does a little hitch right on the first down marker. Then, once Luck starts to feel pressure, Avery runs AWAY from him to the opposite sideline. Not helping out your rookie quarterback with a play like that. 

Greg Cowan: Kyle and I have talked about this a lot this year, but that roll out at the goal line is the way this team should be handling short yardage throws. Allow Luck to use all of his tools to the fullest.

Kyle Rodriguez: I was thinking the exact same thing. Luck’s size and speed combo, not to mention ability to throw on the run, makes it a perfect playcall if the edge defender bites on the playfake. 

Greg Cowan: I have no clue how that Luck-to-Avery throw and catch just happened. None. Luck’s so good he’ll need to change his name to Andrew Skill

Marcus Dugan: Andrew Skill!!! The joke of the night. We can just shut it down now. 

Seriously, this is what you want to see against a horrible team. (I started typing this before the interception and brutal hit by Luck, aka Skill). You want to see them getting a “here we go again” attitude. Lots of head shaking and complaining. 

Kyle Rodriguez: Skip Bayless posted a video saying Luck gets lucky on a lot of deep balls. Apparently he missed the perfectly thrown pass to Hilton that was dropped in the endzone last week (and the one that Avery would drop later against Jacksonville). For my money, that would have been incredibly hard for the defender to get the ball by Luck to Avery, it was on a rope. It’s not like the defender and Avery had to stop and come back to the ball, it was on the outside, the defender would have had to turn his body awkardly and make the leap. 

Marcus Dugan: This is Indy’s first two touchdown lead since they blew that game to….was it Jacksonville?

Todd Smith: Wow…Blaine Gabbert may be bagging groceries next year. 

Greg Cowan: The Jaguars have tried to “rebuild” their team how many times? And they keep failing at it?  These two teams just demonstrate just how “about the QB” the NFL is. If you get the wrong one, you’re stuck in the mud for a while. 

Kyle Rodriguez: Or, in Jacksonville’s case, the wrong 4 or 5. Seriously, did anyone ever think that the Byron Leftwich/David Garrard experiment was going to work out?

Josh Boeke: Sad but true. Have to have a QB. 2000 Ravens probably don’t make the playoffs with the current coverage rules. 

Marcus Dugan: I’m so pleased to see some big plays by the defense. 

Scott Kacsmar: Playing the worst offense in football, who is missing their best player, I would be very worried if they didn’t make some plays tonight.

Post-Game Thoughts

Josh Boeke: I honestly thought with the massive number of injuries, short week, and previous road performances that the Colts would struggle in this game. I’m happy to be wrong. 

Marcus Dugan: We were all worried about the injuries and the trap game factor. But, alas, it turned out to be a laugher. The “tarp” game. What a difference a quarterback makes.

Greg Cowan: If you forget the WR screens and some iffy 1st Q decisions, this has been Arians’ best game as an OC in my opinion. Didn’t really like one of the first 3rd Q drives, but you don’t have to be pedal-to-the-metal on EVERY drive.

Marcus Dugan: I was glad to see some short routes and quick slants worked in. Those high percentage plays really helped open up the deep stuff.

Todd Smith: I’ve loved the plays tonight actually. I’ve been advocating the quick hit stuff for confidence, to offset the bad offensive line play (LINK!!!!) and to force the corners up on the line. 

Greg Cowan: So I totally misread this game… although, I’m going to try to cover my own butt: I think I got the Colts portion right, but I underestimated just how bad the Jaguars are.

Todd Smith: I expected a much more competitive game despite how bad the Jaguars are without Mojo simply because of the motivation factor. The Jaguars are perhaps historically bad. I mean they look worse than last year.

Greg Cowan: Player of the Game Offense: Andy

Player of the Game D: DA BUTLAH DID IT! (connery voice)

It’s a lazy pick, he was bad for much of the game, but when you get such a SWAGGERIFFIC pick-6, you get Player of the Game.

Storyline: overcame a lot of obstacles to beat a bad team in a game they HAD to have if they wanted to make the playoffs.

Josh Boeke: You know, I’m going to take a more positive slant on this thing. Playing on a short week with an absolute litany of injuries on both sides of the ball against a division opponent on the road, I don’t care how bad Jacksonville is (and they already beat us at home), it was a fantastic performance that really solidified this team as a legitimate playoff wild card contender (which I admit I was skeptical about going into this week).

Sure, we can look at this game after the fact and say, “Man was Jacksonville bad, it would be hard not to win this game.” But I think that doesn’t give nearly enough credit to the way this defense played under tough circumstances (Powers, Davis, and Mathis out) and with guys who have not been on the team for more than a couple weeks on a short schedule playing on the road (our struggles on the road are well documented).

You expect a legit 5-3 team to win this game, but a lot of people didn’t consider the Colts a legit 5-3 team. This game at least proved that they are and that they’ve grown exponentially since that week 3 loss to the same Jacksonville team. Our defense was already giving up the second fewest points in the league in the last 3 (~15 ppg) and that only improved tonight. Give Manusky credit regardless of the quality of opponent we’ve faced. I said the takeaway streak had to end and it did in a big way this week, 3 takeaways (doubling our anemic season total) and a defensive TD limited the offensive numbers but led to a big win. 

Luck was excellent again but the Colts didn’t need him to do anything crazy to win this game. He had a bad pick that was likely a 6 point swing going into the half but it didn’t cost us anything in the end. Wayne was great again, mostly in the first half. 

The Colts out gained the Jags 138 to 37 on the ground, a trend that I continue to love. 138 being almost the exact rushing average for the Colts in this 4 game winning streak. I’ll need to break down the individual numbers to know exactly how this game went, but my initial reaction is a very important team win, 3 defensive takeaways, a defensive TD, great rushing game on O and D, and another stellar performance from Luck. 

Scott Kacsmar: Offense – Wayne

Defense – Butler (more of a team effort) 

Storyline – These teams couldn’t have drove away in farther directions than they have since the Week 3 meeting. Colts are getting better all around while the Jaguars are a mess.

Marcus Dugan: Josh, I didn’t read all of yours because I’m sleepy. Very sleepy. But I had a positive impression too (surprise). The offense had some mistakes, two turnovers, and some second half struggles. But the difference between another close game and putting a bad team away was the presence of big plays on defense. Interceptions, sacks, big stops on 3rd down. The kind of things they SHOULD do against an inferior opponent, and will need to do against a better one. I enjoyed this game. 

Kyle Rodriguez: I can’t decide between Luck and Wayne. Both had some mistakes, but were the catalysts on offense. I’ll give the edge to Luck because of his rushing TDs. Overall, I was impressed with Gordy and Butler’s job in coverage, even though they were playing the Jaguars. Cassius Vaughn’s ridiculous reactions to average plays is grating at me. 

For the whole team, like Marcus said, good win against a bad team. Do what you have to do to get to the playoffs at this point, and this was one of those things. 

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.