JAGUARS DEFEAT COLTS: 5 THINGS
1. The Colts are bad, but the Jaguars played great.
The Colts are a bad football team. They have a below average offense and a very poor defense. Despite Jacoby Brissett's best efforts, their passing game is inept without Andrew Luck. Their rushing attack struggles to get anything going. Their offensive line can't matchup with most NFL defenses. Their defense, while normally average against the run, is horrid against the pass.
Yes. The Colts are a a bad team.
But the Jaguars played great today. Their pass rush was unstoppable. The run defense was sound. The rushing attack, even without Leonard Fournette, was fantastic for much of the game. The passing attack flourished for one of the first times in 2017. The Jaguars played a complete game. This is the fourth time in 2017 that the Jaguars have completley dominated their opponent.
2. The Jaguars pass rush is on a truly historic pace.
The Jaguars have 33, yes 33, sacks in 7 games so far this season. They're on pace to break the all time sack record. Heading into week seven the Jaguars had 23 sacks, three more than any other team in football - After week seven, well, let's just say their lead grew by quite a bit. The Jaguars took down Jacoby Brissett TEN times on the day. Yannick Ngakoue got 2.5 sacks, Calais Campbell - 2, Dante Fowler Jr. - 1.5, Malik Jackson - 1.5, Sheldon Day - 1, Myles Jack - 1, Eli Ankou - .5. Calais Campbell now leads the NFL in sacks, while Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler are putting up Pro Bowl type numbers through seven games.
That marks the second time in 2017 that the Jaguars have recored 10 sacks in a single game. The Jaguars pass rush is something special and will be a lot of fun to watch for the rest of the 2017 season.
3. Is TJ Yeldon back?
TJ Yeldon made his first appearance in 2017 and had his best game as a pro. It's starting to become a trend - Jaguars runners having career days against the Colts. Corey Grant recorded the only 100 yard game of his career against the Colts at the end of the 2016 season, but this felt a little different. TJ Yeldon looked like the second round pick that he was in 2015. He picked up 122 yards on the ground on just nine carries. He scored a 58 yard touchdown and regularly showed incredibly burst (something I've given him a ton of credit for in the past), but also showed power, vision, and speed. Yeldon may never regain the role that he had in his first two years with the Jaguars, but he proved that he is a guy that can get the job done in the NFL. Will he be active for the Jaguars next contest? That remains to be seen, but he made the most out of his opportunity today.
4. The Jaguars might be the best team in football with a lead.
The Jaguars have been a juggernaut with the lead in 2017. Every game they've won has been in blowout fashion. The beat the Texans 29-7, the Ravens 44-7, the Steelers 30-9, and the Colts 27-0. When the Jaguars gain the lead they are able to pin their ears back and attack the QB with theipass rush. They've also been able to dominate on the ground throughout much of the season. The Jaguars will struggle to come back against good teams in 2017, but if they are able to get an early lead they're nearly unbeatable. If the Jaguars can script a couple of nice drives to start most games from here on out then they'll be a lock to make the playoffs.
5. The Jags control their own destiny in the AFC South.
But for the Titans barely beating the regularly hapless Browns in overtime, the Jaguars would have the AFC South division lead all by themselves. For now they'll have to settle for a share of the division lead. The Titans are 4-3 and so are the Jaguars. The Texans, who are on a bye in week seven, are 3-3, while the Colts fell to 2-4. The Jaguars control their own destiny and will play each of their division rivals one more time in 2017. Going into their week eight bye the Jaguars should be feeling very, very good about themselves. But they need to remain focused and prepare for a Bengals team that presents a great threat in week nine.
Bonus Thing 1: The Jaguars newly signed place kicker Josh Lambo was superb. He hit both of his field goal tries and made all three of his PAT attempts. It's early, but the move to release Jason Myers and replace him with Josh Lambo is looking good.
Bonus Thing 2: Not to put a damper on the post game party, but the Jaguars lost their rookie left tackle on this first drive of the game. We don't yet know what type of injury Cam Robinson sustained or how serious it is, but the Jaguars will certainly be much better equipped to succeed in 2017 if Robinson is able to come back in a timely fashion.
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