Colts-Jaguars: What we learned

Danny Aller, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Indianapolis held the unenviable honor of being one of two teams to lose to Jacksonville last year during the Jaguars' franchise-worst 2-14 season.
And with the Jags appearing to be headed for a similar record -- or possibly worse -- Andrew Luck and the Colts ensured there would be no encore Sunday.
Riding the momentum of last week's road win at reigning NFC champ San Francisco, Luck threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns, and running backs Trent Richardson and Donald Brown took advantage of the NFL's last-ranked rushing defense, piling up 154 yards on the ground in a 37-3 rout of the Jags (0-4).
"Overall, it was a great team win," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "(My guys) never let off the gas."
Richardson, in his second game with the Colts since being traded two weeks ago by the Cleveland Browns, finished with 20 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown, while Brown tallied three rushes for 65 yards, including a long of 50. Veteran wideout Reggie Wayne started his 186th straight game -- the second-longest active streak in the NFL -- and was Luck's favorite target once again, catching five passes for 100 yards, including 5-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.
"We just stayed focused. We were playing at their place and they were playing tough as they always play us. We knew we had the opportunity to have a really good defense and they are displaying it right now," Wayne said.

What the Colts said
"We sort of woke up in the second half." -- Quarterback Andrew Luck

What the Jaguars said
"There is lot of good taking place -- a lot of small victories, as I've said before. But I think there are some things we have to be stubborn on -- I really do. There are a lot of things that have been really positive with our culture and I'm going to stay strong on that. I'm going to stay stubborn to protect that, but there has to be flexibility. We can't keep banging our head against the wall in some other areas." -- Coach Gus Bradley.

What we learned about the Colts
1. Wide receiver Reggie Wayne is showing no signs of slowing down. After 13 years in the NFL -- all with Indy -- Wayne, who hasn't missed a game since his 2001 rookie season, continues to be one of the best there is at the position. He tallied 100 yards and a touchdown on five catches Sunday in a 37-3 win against the Jaguars, and in the process he added to his consecutive start streak with his 186th straight game -- the second-longest active streak to Washington LB London Fletcher (244). What's scary is that Wayne could've had even bigger numbers if not for a controversial replay ruling that overturned a 37-yard catch in the second half and another replay that showed his toe was barely on the back line during what appeared to be a third-quarter touchdown catch. Wayne made up for it a few plays later, hauling in a five-yard score from Andrew Luck.
2. Andrew Luck is only getting better. With players like 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III, who beat out Luck for the award last season, appearing to regress in his sophomore season, Luck continues to improve after going 22 of 26 passing for 260 yards, two scores and one pick Sunday. He already has a 92.6 passer rating through four games to go along with a completion percentage of 65. He continues to master the Colts' offense -- and show exemplary decision-making -- in just his second year, and continues to impress everyone, especially his head coach. "The sky is the limit (for Luck)," said Chuck Pagano after Sunday's win. "He did get off to a slow start, but he is an even-keeled guy. We go back to the process: 60 minutes, one play at a time and judge. He is one of those guys who can put things behind him and move on. Talent, combined with that kind of mindset, the sky is the limit."

What we learned about the Jaguars
1. Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny continues to produce like the Jaguars' best player. The seventh-year star out of Penn State entered Sunday tied for the NFL lead with 31 tackles and added nine more to that total in the 37-3 loss to the Colts. And while Posluszny is part of one of the worst defenses statistically in the league -- the Jags' rushing defense is ranked dead last -- he continues to exemplify the "fighting spirit" that Jacksonville first-year head coach Gus Bradley eludes to after each of the team's first four losses. One play Sunday demonstrated that more than most when Posluszny stuffed what looked like a sure touchdown run in the third quarter by slamming strong Colts RB Trent Richardson to the ground just short of the goal line, bringing a huge cheer from the Jags' bench on a day when there weren't very many positives.

2. The Jaguars are an incredibly inefficient first-half team. Jacksonville scored just eight total points (two field goals, one safety) in the first halves of their four games. And had it not been for an Andrew Luck interception in the first quarter that set the Jags up on Indy's 35-yard-line, that figure might be lower. After the pick, Jacksonville's offense managed just six yards in three plays had to settle for a 53-yard Josh Scobee field goal on fourth down. The Jaguars' first-half output is the lowest, by far, in the NFL this season.

3. Justin Blackmon's return will not be enough to turn around the Jaguars' season. Blackmon, who was suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, returns for Week 5 at St. Louis, but even something close to the team-high 865 yards and five touchdowns he accounted for last year likely won't help improve Jacksonville's 29th-ranked passing attack. Add in that QB Blaine Gabbert is struggling worse than any of his other previous three seasons -- he has a 45 percent completion rate with no TDs and five interceptions in two games this year -- and Blackmon's return might not even be noticeable at the rate this offense is going.

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