As part of our look back at the 2016 season for the Indianapolis Colts, we’re taking a look at each game the team played this season. We know that won’t be the most fun experience for Colts fans, but we’re taking a look back at each game within the context of the entire season. Today we continue the series with the week seventeen win over the Jaguars:
The Colts entered week 17 already eliminated from playoff contention, meaning that all they were really playing for was pride, Chuck Pagano, and a worse draft pick. At 7-8, the Colts needed to win their regular season finale against the Jaguars to finish .500 on the season so that people could talk about them still not having a losing season under Chuck Pagano, but the game didn’t start off too promising for Indianapolis. The Jaguars started the scoring with a field goal and then followed that up with a Blake Bortles touchdown pass and a long Corey Grant touchdown run. All of the sudden, with just a few minutes left in the second quarter, the Colts were down 17-0 at home. But the Colts then mounted a huge drive to at least get three points, as Adam Vinatieri hit a 45-yard field goal with less than three minutes remaining in the first half, and the Colts entered the break trailing 17-3. The third quarter belonged to the Colts, as Robert Turbin scored on a touchdown rush and then Andrew Luck hit Dwayne Allen for a score to tie things up entering the fourth quarter. After going most of the quarter without any points, the Jaguars finally broke the tie with a 41-yard field goal with 1:33 left - but that was still too much time on the clock for Andrew Luck. Not including two spikes, Luck completed all six passes on the drive for 70 yards and, with nine seconds remaining, the game-winning one-yard score to Jack Doyle. Final score: Colts 24, Jaguars 20.
Ultimately, today’s result shouldn’t impact what Jim Irsay decides to do with this team, because if the previous 15 games (and really the previous five years) haven’t been enough, there’s no reason why this meaningless game between two bad teams would sway things. Now, we just wait and see whether the Colts will really make any changes or not.
What We’re Saying Now:
As you can tell from the quote above, the feeling about this game from Colts fans was something like this: it’s cool they won, but it doesn’t really matter. In fact, some fans were upset about the win because it meant a worse draft position. Within the whole context of the season, there wasn’t a more meaningless game for the Colts than this one, because they were already eliminated from the postseason. And just like we’d seen so often, it wasn’t a particularly good performance from the Colts. The defense gave up 470 yards to the Jaguars, including 182 on the ground, and it goes down as the second-most yards allowed in a single game last year by the Colts. The offense was clearly the better unit on the day, but they had some similar problems too as they struggled for part of the game. In the first half, the Colts had four straight three and outs, an interception, and a missed field goal on their first six drives. That’s not good. But they put things together in the second half, and they emerged victorious. It’s unclear whether this was the win that saved Chuck Pagano’s job (though let’s just hope that wasn’t the case), but either way he’ll be back next year. And if the Colts hope to go where they obviously want to go, they’ll have to hope that Pagano’s team takes some pretty big steps forward next year - because even in some of their wins, the Colts didn’t look all that great.