Choosing studs and duds is a weekly column around here, but how in the world could I pick any duds from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 24-0 win Sunday?
The Jaguars methodically picked apart the Indianapolis Colts defense on lengthy touchdown drives, forced five turnovers (three interceptions and two on downs), and recorded their first shutout in four years.
So here’s an all-studs edition with the five players who stood out most in the dominant victory:
QB Trevor Lawrence
The Jaguars’ second-year quarterback had a day to forget last week with missed opportunities and an awful turnover to end the game. But against the Colts, Lawrence looked every bit like the player the Jaguars hoped to get when he was drafted in 2021.
Lawrence completed 25 of his 30 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
There weren’t many chances taken by Lawrence, who mostly dinked and dunked his way down the field on long drives, but he was quick with his decision making and he was laser accurate with his passes.
OLB Josh Allen
Allen was overdue for a “y’all must’ve forgot” performance and he delivered Sunday with two sacks of Colts quarterback Matt Ryan.
The first was a strip sack that could’ve easily been a turnover, but was finally recovered by the Colts after bouncing through several pairs of hands. Regardless, it resulted in a big loss and set up Indianapolis with a third-and-long that it couldn’t convert.
Allen’s second sack was another drive killer as it came on third down with the Colts right around mid-field.
The two-sack performance moved Allen up to eighth in franchise history.
WR Christian Kirk
The Jaguars gave Kirk a lot of money in the offseason. More than anyone expected he’d get and more than enough to earn the Jaguars a lot of criticism.
But it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t been a fantastic addition to the offense. After a 117-yard performance in his Jaguars debut. Kirk followed it up Sunday with a team-leading 78 yards and two touchdowns.
Kirk offers mismatches aplenty from the slot and is an easy target for Lawrence if a defense is foolish enough to try to cover him with a linebacker.
LB Devin Lloyd
Lloyd got the first takeaway of his career when a tipped ball fell right into his lap, but his more impressive play was a batted ball that he nearly intercepted in the end zone.
With the Colts nine yards from erasing the Jaguars’ shutout in the fourth quarter, Lloyd showed off his athleticism by reaching back across his body to get one hand on a ball that would’ve been an easy touchdown for Michael Strachan.
After an up-and-down first game, Lloyd looked like a rangy, athletic linebacker worthy of a first-round pick.
DE Roy Robertson-Harris
Any of the three starting Jaguars defensive linemen could’ve earned a spot here after holding the reigning NFL rushing champion, Jonathan Taylor, to 54 yards.
Robertson-Harris had one of the toughest tests on the left side of the line as he had to deal with three-time All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson. He didn’t seem to have much trouble, as the Colts found little running room and couldn’t keep pass rushers off Matt Ryan.
The Jaguars finished with five sacks, including one for Robertson-Harris when the Colts were threatening to score in the fourth quarter.