With 1:11 left in the second quarter, the Indianapolis Colts led the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-3 and had the ball at the Jaguars 34 yard line looking to turn it into a convincing halftime lead on the road against a division opponent. Instead, The Jaguars recorded a strip-sack of Matt Hasselbeck, Andre Branch picked it up and returned it for a 49-yard touchdown. Even though Jason Myers missed the extra point, it turned a potentially huge halftime lead into just a 13-9 halftime lead for the Colts.
From there, it was all Jaguars. They outscored the Colts 42-3 in the second half and finished the game on a 48-3 run, an embarrassing effort by the team. The first half was a very nice defensive performance by the Colts, causing the Jaguars offense to be ineffective, but the offense wasn't abel to take advantage of it. The Jaguars are a dangerous offense who can score points, so we knew that the offense would have to put up some points. They didn't, and as many figured the Jaguars got things going in the second half offensively.
To be honest, in the past two weeks the defense has given up a ton of points, but it has been the offense that has been more concerning. In the last two weeks, the Colts have put up just 16 points - and against two defenses that will give up points. The Jaguars defense has been pretty bad recently, yet they held the Colts to just 9 points (the other 7 came via the defense). That's unacceptable.
Really, that's the entire theme for today's game for the Colts: unacceptable and embarrassing. The Jaguars are a better team (namely a better offense) than most will give them credit for, but the way they dominated the Colts in the second half of this game is unacceptable for any team, much less a team like the Colts who are fighting for a division title. It's embarrassing and pathetic how one-sided the second half was. The injuries caught up with the Colts today, as they desperately need Andrew Luck back (Matt Hasselbeck had a rough day), but they also need Anthony Castonzo back (the offensive line was a mess today as well). Last week, the Colts lost 45-10 to the Steelers. Ok, that was bad - but they got to play the Jaguars the next week. Today, the Colts lost 51-16 to the Jaguars. It was an absolutely pathetic and embarrassing showing by the Colts today - there's no way to sugarcoat it.
The Colts are now in a lot of trouble, as if the Houston Texans win tonight they would take over first place in the AFC South. And it sets up next week's game against the Texans as even bigger than it already was. The Colts have to hope that Andrew Luck can get back, but a report this morning from CBS' Jason La Canfora said that Luck is expected to be questionable for the game and more likely to return in week 16. Another question is about the health of Matt Hasselbeck, who was injured last week and then injured twice today. If Luck can't go next week, the Colts will need a healthy Hasselbeck. Even though he hasn't played well the past two weeks, he's still the best backup option they have.
The Colts' NFL record streak of 16 wins in a row against the division came to an end in embarrassing fashion as the Colts fall under .500 once again at 6-7. And coming off of two really bad losses, the Colts will need to rebound for a massive home game against the Texans next week - and depending on what happens tonight, Houston may be leading the division when they enter the matchup.