clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Happy Friday the 13th from the Colts’ House of Horrors: Jacksonville

I know it’s painful, but it seems fitting to relive the past nightmarish decade in Jacksonville on Friday, October 13th, just ahead of the Colts’ 2023 trip to Duval County. 

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Do we have any masochists here in the Stampede Blue community? I know it’s painful, but it seems fitting to relive the past nightmarish decade in Jacksonville on Friday, October 13th, just ahead of the Colts’ 2023 trip to Duval County.

After all, as the old saying from philosopher George Santayana goes, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” For the Colts, as we noted earlier this week, their recent history includes eight straight road losses to the Jaguars, including one defeat in London.

Before we dig up the past, let’s note that there are plenty of reasons for the Colts to be optimistic as they head to their house of horrors once again on Sunday.

The Colts would of course prefer to deploy the services of their talented franchise quarterback Anthony Richardson, but backup Gardner Minshew has been plenty competent in relief duty this season. Oddly enough, Minshew, a former Jaguar, is partially responsible for two of the Indianapolis losses during this dreadful streak at Jacksonville. Minshew was nearly perfect in the 2020 Colts-Jags matchup, completing 19 of 20 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns. He also guided Jacksonville to a win over the Jacoby Brissett-led Colts in 2019. Maybe it won’t hurt to start a QB who has some winning experience at EverBank Stadium.

Minshew’s backfield mates also figure to be key assets on Sunday. Spearheaded by Zack Moss’ career-high 165-yard performance, the Colts rushing attack totaled 193 yards against the Tennessee Titans’ vaunted run defense last week. The Jags will present another challenge on the ground with their fifth-ranked rush defense (81.6 yards/game), but with an expected workload increase for Jonathan Taylor this week, the Colts may have a 1-2 punch up to the task.

Finally, and maybe most helpfully, Sunday’s game will be Jacksonville’s first on U.S. soil since Week 3. Teams often opt to take a Bye Week after a game in London. The Jaguars head into the Week 6 matchup with the Colts after two consecutive games overseas without a break… A heavy-travel induced hangover could be in play.

OK, we delayed the pain enough, let’s take a look back on this streak of misadventures:

Colts at Jaguars, 2015-2022
2015 Jaguars 51, Colts 16
2016* Jaguars 30, Colts 27
2017 Jaguars 30, Colts 10
2018 Jaguars 6, Colts 0
2019 Jaguars 38, Colts 20
2020 Jaguars 27, Colts 20
2021 Jaguars 26, Colts 11
2022 Jaguars 24, Colts 0
*Game in London

Jaguars 51, Colts 16
Jaguars QB: Blake Bortles
Colts QB: Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst

It’s never a good sign when you see Clipboard Jesus’ name in the box score. Even more jarring was the Jacksonville point total. The Jags put up an incredible 51 points, a franchise record that still stands today. The Colts defense got roughed up and so did starting QB Matt Hasselbeck who left the game early with a rib injury. Hasselbeck, 40-years old at the time, filled in heroically throughout the 2015 season for Andrew Luck (shoulder plus abdomen injuries), but the Colts missed the playoffs with an 8-8 record.

Jaguars 30, Colts 27 (at Wembley Stadium in London)
Jaguars QB: Blake Bortles
Colts QB: Andrew Luck

Later this season the Colts will play in Europe for the second time in franchise history in a Week 10 matchup with the New England Patriots in Frankfurt, Germany. The franchise’s first international game was this 2016 loss to the Jags in London. Luck tried to engineer a late comeback, cutting the Jaguar lead to 3 with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Philip Dorsett with 3:10 left in the game, but the final Colts drive died with a Dwayne Allen drop on a fourth-and-1.

Jaguars 30, Colts 10
Jaguars QB: Blake Bortles
Colts QB: Jacoby Brissett

A bad Colts team was swept in 2017 by, objectively, one of the most successful Jacksonville teams ever. The Jags finished the season 10-6 and advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the second time in franchise history (1996) before falling to the Patriots. The Colts finished 4-12 and missed the postseason for the third consecutive year.

Jaguars 6, Colts 0
Jaguars QB: Cody Kessler
Colts QB: Andrew Luck

Even more shocking than giving up 51 points in 2015 was losing 6-0 in 2018 with Luck at the helm. The Colts had a strong team in 2018 - Luck’s last run before his retirement - finishing 10-6 and advancing to the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs, which makes this result all the more baffling in hindsight. Some explanation comes from three failed fourth-down conversion attempts by the Colts in Jaguar territory, including one from the 1-yard line. These would not be the last of Head Coach Frank Reich’s fourth-down woes in Jacksonville…

Jaguars 38, Colts 20
Jaguars QB: Gardner Minshew
Colts QB: Jacoby Brissett

Rookie Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew lit up his future team with 295 yards and three TDs on 27-of-39 passing with one interception. Marlon Mack fought for 77 yards and two scores, but ultimately the Colts (7-9) ended their season with a whimper.

Syndication: Indianapolis Jenna Watson/IndyStar, Indianapolis Star via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Jaguars 27, Colts 20
Jaguars QB: Gardner Minshew
Colts QB: Phil Rivers

The Colts offense hit the ground running to kick off the Phil Rivers era with a 7-play, 63-yard drive culminating in a Nyheim Hines TD. Unfortunately, that early momentum slammed to a halt as Drive No. 2 ended with a failed fourth-and-1 rush attempt from Hines at the Jaguars 3-yard line. The Colts battled throughout, but two Rivers’ interceptions and a missed Rodrigo Blankenship field goal proved costly. Minshew was magical once again, totaling three TD passes including the go-ahead score on a 22-yard completion to Keelan Cole in the fourth quarter.

Jaguars 26, Colts 11
Jaguars QB: Trevor Lawrence
Colts QB: Carson Wentz

Should we just skip this one? It’s easily the worst loss on this list, and likely one of the worst losses in franchise history. The final game of the regular season, the Jags entered at 2-14, needing a loss to secure the No. 1 overall draft pick. The Colts, huge betting favorites, simply needed a win against the league’s worst team to make the playoffs. Inexplicably, the Colts gave their worst performance of the year. The entire team played badly, but the loss specifically sealed Carson Wentz’s fate. He was traded two months later. Owner Jim Irsay was just as shocked and hurt as every Colts fan… It was enough to make you wonder if curses are real…

Jaguars 24, Colts 0
Jaguars QB: Trevor Lawrence
Colts QB: Matt Ryan

Nine months after the embarrassment of Week 18, the Colts headed to Jacksonville with a new quarterback, determined to break this nonsensical losing streak at TIAA Bank Field. They didn’t even score. It was the first step in the Colts’ season from hell that is all too fresh to relive here. The Jaguars, on the other hand, were ascendant, eventually winning their first AFC South title since 2017.