It was an ugly, slow start for the Colts - about as bad as the offense could play. They couldn't protect Andrew Luck, they couldn't protect the football, and they didn't look good at all. At halftime, it was 6-3 Colts.
The second half, however, was much more like it, and the Colts ended up winning pretty comfortably over the division rival Jaguars by the score of 23-3. Here are some notes from the game:
- The defense looked good - but yes, it was against the Jaguars. Here's the deal: I'll talk about how impressive they were today, but we do have to keep in mind that it was just against the Jaguars. It pretty much continues the trend we've seen so far this season that the Colts' defense plays well against the lesser teams while they don't against the top teams. That's what we've seen so far, and it continued today. In other words: the Colts' defense totally dominated the Jaguars' offense. The only points they scored all day were when the Colts handed them the ball in the red zone and then held them to a field goal. They pressured Blake Bortles and forced a couple of turnovers. It was a very impressive performance by the Colts defense, and I think regardless of the opponent it's very welcome after last week.
- The offensive line was terrible today in the first half. It has been bad for the last three years, but this was arguably as bad as they've been. Joe Reitz and Hugh Thornton, making up the right side of the line, looked terrible.
- Actually, the line looked much better once Thornton was ruled out for the game with a knee injury. Want to know who played some at right guard in his place? A.Q. Shipley. This is now the second spot along the offensive line in which Shipley has outplayed the "starter." Just throwing that out there.
- Josh Cribbs is the real deal. In his first game with the Colts, he looked good. His first return came on the opening kickoff, when he took it deep in the end zone and had a 46-yard return. He had several nice punt returns and even broke one for an 82-yard touchdown, only to have it called back for a penalty that didn't really effect the return much. Quite simply, I think it was really clear already in his first game that it was a good move for the Colts. Cribbs looked good today.
- Reggie Wayne had a rough day. He just looks a step slower and today his timing with Andrew Luck was off - probably related to him looking slower. He didn't look like Reggie Wayne, that's for sure. Big props to the Colts for realizing his record of 3+ catch games was in jeopardy and getting him two screens toward the end of it.
- A streak came to an end today, as Andrew Luck's consecutive games with 300+-yards came to an end. His streak ends at eight, which is still very impressive and a franchise record but falls one shy of tying the NFL all-time record.
- Andrew Luck had a great day rushing-wise. He ran for 49 yards, but if the Colts hadn't kneeled the ball down to end the game he would have had a career high of 51 yards. Either way, he was very effective with his legs.
- Donte Moncrief saw a lot of playing time today, and that's always a good thing.
- Dan Herron looked good today and surprisingly saw quite a bit of action. The only negative was that he put the ball on the ground twice, losing one fumble. He needs to get better at that, but I do think he did some good things.
- Adam Vinatieri is absolutely money. He has hit 31 field goals in a row. He made all three of his attempts today, bringing him to a perfect 25-for-25 on the season.
- T.Y. Hilton had a big day, including a 73-yard touchdown catch. When he scored, he celebrated with a tribute to his newborn daughter, born early this morning, by cradling the football like a baby. It was perfect.
- After a very sloppy first half, I'll take a 20-point win over the Jaguars. The second half was much better, and overall the Colts improve to 7-4. With the Texans losing to the Bengals, the Colts retake a 2.5 game lead in the division. The Colts have won 11 games in a row against AFC South teams.