When you're 0-2, a matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars is just what the doctor ordered. The Colts had lost to the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles in the first two weeks, and that made this week a must-win. Luckily for the Colts, they traveled to Jacksonville to play the 0-2 (and perhaps worst team in the league) Jaguars.
The first thing you need to take care of as a good team is winning the games you're supposed to win. The losses to the Broncos and the Eagles were both expected and overall understandable. To the Jaguars, it wouldn't have been. But the Colts took care of business and rolled to a 44-17 victory over the division rival. Andrew Luck led the way in a very impressive overall performance by the Colts.
Let's look at today's game notes:
- The Colts dominated the first half, outscoring the Jaguars 30-0. Luck threw for 244 yards and 3 touchdowns in the first half while completing 22 of 27 passes. The Colts out gained the Jaguars 330-55 in terms of total yardage and 18-2 in terms of first downs. It's hard to imagine the team having a better half.
- Andrew Luck was nearly flawless today. He completed 31 of 39 passes (79.5%) for 370 yards (9.5 yards per attempt), 4 touchdowns, and no turnovers while adding 15 yards rushing on three carries. His passer rating of 140.4 is a career-high for him. Great day for Luck.
- Coby Fleener dropped a wide open touchdown. He had two drops today. He did some good things, but those drops are still disappointing.
- T.Y. Hilton (ankle) and Andy Studebaker (hamstring) both left with injuries and didn't return. It's not yet known the severity and whether the reason they didn't return was because the Colts were up by so much. Stay tuned for updates.
- It was great to see the Colts get Donte Moncrief involved today. He caught 4 passes for 55 yards, including a phenomenal sideline 22-yard catch. He also had one run for seven yards. Moncrief is a great talent and him getting involved is a good sign, even if it comes largely because Hilton was out.
- Hakeem Nicks also had a good day, catching 4 passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. That's his second touchdown in three games this season - in other words, two more touchdowns than he had all of last year with the Giants.
- The playcalling for the Colts was much better today, though there were still some play calls that I didn't like. But overall, it was much better than last week.
- Chuck Pagano can't win with Colts fans. There were many on twitter bashing him for going for it on 4th and 1 from the 5 yard line later in the game, but I liked the decision. He wants to play a 60-minute ballgame, so getting conservative wouldn't fit that. I like the decision. The play call? Not so much, but I like the decision by Pagano. I try to be fair. I liked the decision to go for it.
- Blake Bortles didn't look that great today (he did throw two touchdowns, though), but he was easily better than Chad Henne. Yeah, that's the state of the Jaguars. They're bad. Bortles does have a lot of potential, however.
- This was Darius Butler's third straight game against the Jaguars forcing a turnover.
- The Colts had gotten just one sack all year and zero last week. They got four today. Thank you, Jaguars. That said, Bjoern Werner still didn't look great.
- Pat McAfee had a great day today, though not having to do much. He punted only twice but both of them were pinned inside the 20, including one downed at the 3.
- Adam Vinatieri also had a great day, hitting on all 3 of his field goal attempts and all 4 of his extra point attempts. Vinatieri hit two kicks from over 40 yards today, including one from 48.
- Those CBS announcers today, Adam Archuleta and Tom McCarthy, were awful. Sorry to all of you who had to listen to them constantly get players wrong.
- Vontae Davis made a nice pick along the sideline on a play where he had great coverage. Another good game from Davis.
- Greg Toler had an easy interception but then a terrific return to take it back 47-yard for a touchdown. Great runback by Toler.
- Ahmad Bradshaw just brings so much to the table for this offense. He had 9 carries for 65 yards and 2 catches for 18 yards and a touchdown. He's easily the best fit for this offense and has done a great job. He has three receiving touchdowns in the last two games.
- That said, Trent Richardson looked pretty good today, compared to in the past. He had 57 yards on 14 carries, including a nice 27-yard run, and also caught 3 passes for 23 yards.
- Did I mention that Andrew Luck guy is pretty dang good? He certainly was today.
- Great, great win for the Colts. Yes, it was against the Jaguars, but it was much needed. Credit to the Colts for playing a good game and doing what they needed to do.