Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Jaguars Continue Mastery of Colts in Jacksonville

todaySeptember 18, 2022


By Hays Carlyon

We’ve waited and hoped for the Jaguars to just be average for a long time.

On Sunday, they were perfect.

The Jaguars owned AFC South rival Indianapolis for 60 minutes, shutting the Colts out 24-0 at TIAA Bank Field. It was the eighth shutout in franchise history and the eighth straight victory over the Colts in Jacksonville.

This was a sensational afternoon.

Significant defensive contributions were being made by several players.

There were sacks, interceptions and a forced fumble.

I promise we’ll get to them all.

But this day was about the franchise quarterback.

Trevor Lawrence was decisive, accurate, efficient and clutch throughout the game. The second-year veteran enjoyed his best day as a pro, completing 25 of 30 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers for a passer rating of 121.5. The completion percentage (83.3) and passer ratings are career highs for Lawrence.

Lawrence endured a rough opening game in a loss to Washington last week when he missed on a few key throws. The performance led to some speculation that maybe this wouldn’t be the season Lawrence takes a massive step forward.

His play against Indianapolis will certainly calm those fears.

Lawrence found receiver Christian Kirk for a 10-yard touchdown pass on third-and-4 to start the scoring. He later connected with Kirk on a 5-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-1.

Lawrence was impressive enough to wonder if this team can be capable of contending in what could be a weak AFC South. The Jaguars are after all in first place at 1-1 as of 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The Colts are 0-1-1 with games coming up against Kansas City, Tennessee and Denver. The Titans lost their opener at home to the New York Giants and play at Buffalo on Monday night. The Texans likely aren’t a threat.

The thought of contention is fortified not only by Lawrence, and the so far brilliant coaching of Doug Pederson, but a defense that has playmakers rising to the occasion.

The Jaguars forced three turnovers on Sunday, intercepting Indianapolis quarterback Matt Ryan three times. They have now forced six takeaways in two games this season after forcing an inexplicable nine all of last season. That ranked last in the NFL – by five.

Rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker has shown he can make plays. He had a sack and an interception in the loss to Washington. Cornerback Tyson Campbell also had a pick against the Commanders.

Many others stepped up Sunday. Safety Rayshawn Jenkins intercepted Ryan on the first possession of the game. Rookie inside linebacker Devin Lloyd got a pick when defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi deflected a Ryan pass. Safety Andre Cisco intercepted Ryan when defensive tackle Adam Gotsis applied pressure.

Gotsis also had a sack. He wasn’t alone. Outside linebacker Josh Allen had two, stripping Ryan on the first one. Defensive linemen Arden Key and Roy Robertson-Harris also sacked Ryan.

The Jaguars did an outstanding job shutting down standout Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. He had 4 yards on five carries in the first half, as the Jaguars built a 17-0 halftime lead. Taylor finished the game with 54 yards on nine carries.

Every facet of the game complimented the other. That’s what good teams do.

They also win division games. The Jaguars got a huge one on Sunday.

A franchise quarterback, a playmaking defense and a Super-Bowl winning coach.

That’s a strong recipe. And they’re remarkably healthy thus far.

Go make a run at a division title, fellas. After two weeks, you aren’t looking up at anyone.

(You can email Hays at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon).

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