Luck runs out for Colts as Jaguars shut out division rival

CB D.J. Hayden managed to pick off Andrew Luck on the first drive of the game. Photo: James Crichlow/Jacksonville Business Journal. See the full gallery here.

By Dustin Fletcher |

Luck Finally Shut Out

This year, Andrew Luck has been on a tear. He’s firmly put himself in the pole position to take the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. He had thrown three touchdowns in six straight games to catapult the Indianapolis Colts from a 1-5 start into Wild Card contention with five straight victories.

Then, he arrived in Duval County.

Against the Jaguars on Sunday, Luck was not able to consistently move the ball throughout the game. The Colts were not able to convert on any of their fourth down opportunities. This Colts team was able to expose some flaws in the Jaguars zone coverage system in their last meeting, with Eric Ebron accounting for three touchdowns on four total touches. This week, the Jaguars matched up with Ebron in man coverage and responded by shutting him and the rest of the Colts offense down. Jalen Ramsey was able to shut down superstar receiver T.Y. Hilton as well.

Sacksonville is Back

The Jaguars, who were the losers of the past seven games, finally were able to get an increase in their left hand column. One thing that has been missing from the team this year has certainly been turnovers, but there were multiple turnovers forced with D.J. Hayden picking off Andrew Luck on his first drive, and Telvin Smith forcing a fumble in the second quarter which was recovered by Myles Jack on fourth down. The defense, which was known for its huge sack numbers last year, had not been up to par in that department either. The Jaguars totaled three on Sunday. Another sack could have been recorded by Yannick Ngakoue along with a forced fumble, but it was called back for a penalty in the first quarter. Jacksonville also forced two turnovers on downs over the course of the game. The Colts offense was held to just 265 total yards. The defense was finally dominant again.

Offense Underwhelms Again

Blake Bortles was benched last week for his backup, Cody Kessler to start. Kessler threw 24 passes, 18 of which were completed for a total of 150 yards. His favorite receiver was T.J. Yeldon, who led the team with seven receptions for 49 yards. The running game was also ineffective with 41 yards on 16 attempts. This came for a grand total of 2.6 yards per carry. In total, the team had 211 yards on 54 plays. It came out to 3.91 yards per play. This was an abysmal showing by the offense, but they didn’t have any quarterback-forced interceptions at the very least.

Prediction: Colts 31- Jaguars 10

Boy, was I off again. This Jaguars team finally proved me wrong, but in a good way. It reinforced the offensive issues I figured the team would be plagued by. However, the defense was a pleasant surprise with the first shutout of Andrew Luck’s career.

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