JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars grinded their way to a 6-0 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday to snap Jacksonville’s seven-game losing streak and end the Colts’ five-game winning streak. Here are my four takeaways from the game:
The quarterback change and the new play-caller didn’t make any difference
Not only was the Jaguars' offensive output subpar, but the offense didn’t look much different than it did without running back Leonard Fournette. With quarterback coach Scott Milanovich calling plays instead of Nathaniel Hackett, the Jaguars still didn’t get the ball to the wide receivers often, didn’t pass protect well and didn’t sustain enough drives. Both Hackett and benched quarterback Blake Bortles deserve some criticism, but they weren’t the only problems with the offense, and Cody Kessler and Milanovich aren’t magic pills to cure the team’s struggles.
The defense has the Colts figured out
After giving up 29 points in the first half against the Colts three weeks ago, the Jaguars shut out Indianapolis in the second half. On Sunday, the Jaguars pitched a shutout against Andrew Luck and company for all 60 minutes. The Jaguars also got pressure on Luck. In the Colts’ previous seven games, Luck had only been sacked twice. On Sunday, the Jaguars got to him three times.
The Jaguars rookies are going to get chances in the final month of the season
Rookie safety Ronnie Harrison got the start at strong safety for the Jaguars and Taven Bryan saw extensive playing time on the defensive line. With wide receiver DJ Chark injured, the Jaguars will be looking at as many of their young players as they can. They need to know if they can count on the 2018 draft class to play larger roles in 2019. Harrison was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct call and recorded a sack on a fourth down play later in the game. Bryan was called for roughing the snapper on a field goal attempt. The jury is still out on both young defensive players.
An ugly win is a beautiful
The Jaguars had lost seven straight games. If you are a fan of defense, the win was a thing of beauty. If you like offense, it was tough to watch for most of the game. Either way, the Jaguars players, coaches and staff have been so hungry for a win, or, more directly, starving to not lose, that even a 6-0 decision is better than any loss.
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