Four takeaways: Stunning win to end a disappointing season for Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) (Stephen B. Morton, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars shocked the NFL world with a 26-11 win over the Indianapolis Colts to wrap up the season. The Jaguars ended the year with a record of 3-14. Here are my four biggest takeaways from the game:

Trevor’s best game

Lawrence started the game by completing 11 straight passes. He was sharp. The plays were creative and, at least in the first half, the Jaguars’ receivers caught the ball for the most part (Lawrence’s first incompletion was a drop by Laquon Treadwell). Lawrence finished the game 23 of 32 for 223 yards and two touchdowns.

It was his first multi-touchdown game since Week 2. It’s the kind of performance I expected to see from Lawrence more often than not this season. Sunday’s game also offers a glimpse into what the Jaguars should expect from the quarterback in his second year in the league — one that should offer less drama than his rookie season.

Sacks, turnovers and domination

Aside from the Jaguars’ 9-6 win over the Bills, there hasn’t been much in the way of dominating, dynamic performances from the defense. But on Sunday against the Colts, the Jaguars harassed Carson Wentz with six sacks. They forced three turnovers and nearly had two more.

The Jaguars came into the game last in the league in forcing turnovers, but they flipped the script against Indianapolis. The Jaguars dominated in the trenches, limiting Jonathan Taylor, the league’s leading rusher, to just 77 yards and they made a pair of fourth-and-1 stops, including one at the goal line in the fourth quarter that basically took away any chance the Colts had to mount a comeback. The star of the game was linebacker Damien Wilson, who recorded a sack, forced fumble and had an interception.

Clown report

In the week leading up to the game, there was a social media movement among some Jaguars’ fans to attend the game in clown costumes, to show their displeasure with the direction of the franchise, specifically, the retaining of general manager Trent Baalke.

While the number of clown outfits in the stands appeared to be something around 100, there were several, “Fire Baalke” chants heard during the game. During a timeout, one fan was asked a trivia question on the scoreboard. She chose to respond “Fire Baalke” to the question, eliciting a reaction from the crowd at TIAA Bank Field.

Also of note, the large canopy tent over the pavilion in the south end zone side of the stadium was missing the signage that was previously on the roof of the tent. The company filed suit against the Jaguars this week.

What’s next?

The offseason is here and the Jaguars have to first find their new head coach. Shad Khan must decide (or announce his intentions) to retain or fire Baalke and then the Jaguars will turn their attention to free agency and the draft. The Jaguars will select first in the draft in April for the second consecutive year.

The Jaguars would have clinched the top pick with a loss, but after beating the Colts, they needed a win by the Lions to clinch the top spot. Detroit topped Green Bay 37-30 to finish the season 3-13-1.

About the Author:

Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.