The Jaguars were able to easily handle the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The game resulted in the Jaguars earning their eighth win of the season and their first season sweep of the Indianapolis Colts since 2012.
A lot went right for the Jaguars as they cruised to a 30-10 victory in front a raucous crowd at EverBank Field.
Here's what we saw:
1. Blake Bortles was fantastic.
For the second time in as many games, the Jaguars offense was able to move the ball consistently against the Colts defense. For only the third time this season the passing offense shone bright.
Blake Bortles had what was easily one of the best games of his career. Going 26/35 (74%) on the day, Bortles also tossed two TD passes. He didn't throw a single interception and played like an elite QB. Bortles also rushed the ball three times for 27 yards including a 20 yard scamper. His performance helped the Jaguars to go 9-15 on third down, an area where the team has struggled in 2017.
2. Bortles wasn't the only player in the Jaguars passing attack that had a big bounce back effort.
The Jaguars WRs have struggled as of late. When you're missing two of your top three targets due to injury, it's hard to maintain a consistent level of play. But on Sunday the Jaguars WRs were electric. Marqise Lee, who has received his fair share of criticism this season for leading the league in dropped passes, had his best game in some time. He hauled in 7 catches on 10 targets for 86 yards and a TD, making a couple seemingly impossible catches. Keelan Cole, who has also been letting the ball hit the ground far too often, showed why he was a training camp star. He was able to haul in three passes on three targets and scored the first regular season TD of his NFL career. Dede Westbrook continued to show why he was the most dangerous receiver in college football last year, hauling in 6 catches for 78 yards. Marcedes Lewis had a bounce back effort catching four passes on five targets.
The Jaguars were one of the most potent and efficient passing offenses in the NFL in week 13. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. This passing attack that has struggled for much of the season - its 's area of the Jaguars offense that needs to show consistent improvement over the next several weeks. It was a solid effort, but it came against the Jaguars whipping boy - the Colts. Let's see what the Jags are able to do through the air when the Seahawks come to town next week.
3. The running game is still dead in the water.
Leonard Fournette still isn't showing the same burst that he did earlier in the season. Fournette carried the ball 20 times for 57 yards - an average of just 2.8 yards per carry. Chris Ivory carried the ball just four times for 12 yards, while TJ Yeldon didn't carry the ball once on the day.
Since suffering an ankle injury in week six against the Rams Leonard Fournette has only put up one 100 yard rushing day. It's no coincidence that the offensive line has struggled to open up big holes for the rookie running back as several starters along the line battle through injuries.
The Jaguars best aspect of their offense isn't working right now. Until it does the Jaguars will have a tough time competing with the better teams in the NFL. But for at least one week the Jaguars lack of a consistent running game didn't matter.
4. The Jaguars run defense came back down to earth.
Since adding Marcell Dareus to the Jaguars defensive line during the bye week, the Jaguars run defense had been one of the best in football. But against the Colts the run defense struggled. Despite being down for the entire game the Colts ran the ball quite effectively. As a whole they rushed for 141 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per attempt.
What went wrong for the run defense?
Not having Telvin Smith played a major role. Smith is still in the concussion protocol, but will have a good chance to play for the Jaguars in week 14 against the Seahawks. In addition to not having Smith, the Jaguars defense also appeared to be geared up to stop the pass. Even though the Colts were able to run the ball well, they struggled to pick up first downs due to the Jaguars dominant pass defense. The Colts went just 5-15 on third down and their QB Jacoby Brissett threw two interceptions.
It seems more likely that this was a flukey rushing performance by the Colts than it was a cause for concern for the Jaguars, but the rushing defense is something to monitor to moving forward.
5. Paul Posluszny is still a baller.
Paul Posluszny was an absolute beast for the Jaguars on Sunday. With Telvin Smith out Poz played every snap for the Jaguars defense. He recorded an eye popping 14 tackles, and 1.5 sacks. The aging veteran may not have a huge role with the Jaguars on a weekly basis, but he proved he can still bring it for the team when the coaches call his number. He'll be an invaluable asset for the Jaguars the rest of the season.
Stay tuned for more Jaguars coverage!
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