The last time the Indianapolis Colts won a game in Jacksonville, the Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Blake Bortles saw his first NFL action. Jacksonville’s head coach at the time was Gus Bradley, who is now the Colts defensive coordinator, and Reggie Wayne was still catching passes from Andrew Luck.
In the eight years since that 2014 win for Indianapolis, the Jaguars are a combined 36-91 with one trip to the playoffs. Yet, year in and year out the Colts have lost their annual trip to TIAA Bank Field. It’s enough to at least raise the question about whether or not the team is cursed in Duval County.
“You can believe in curses or whatever, but it is weird,” Colts center Ryan Kelly told The Athletic.
Last season, the Colts only needed a Week 18 win in Jacksonville against arguably the worst team in the NFL to make the playoffs. But the Jaguars smothered the visitors in a 26-11 win, securing the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and booting Indianapolis from playoff contention in one fell swoop.
“Yeah, interesting,’’ Colts coach Frank Reich said Monday. “Every year is a new year. So, this means something different to every person on the team.”
Neither the Colts nor the Jaguars are putting too much stock in past results, and why should they? A significant amount of players on both rosters weren’t playing in that Week 18 game last season, let alone earlier games between the AFC South rivals.
But the streak hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
“To get to new levels, you gotta face — and beat — some new devils,” Colts running back Nyheim Hines told The Athletic.