What a ride! The Colts pull out a stunner at Lucas Oil on the backs of Matt Ryan, Michael Pittman, Jr. and rookie wide receiver Alec Pierce.
Lead by another offensive line shuffle, the team finally got it right. It paid off in a big way as the Colts routed the Jaguars in a 34-27 win. The offense was humming, and it was great to see after the defense faced some early woes. Let’s recap the highlights of the game.
First Quarter: Jaguars 7, Colts 0
The Colts’ staff put out a new offensive line to start the game: Raimann-Nelson-Kelly-Pryor-Smith. Very quickly it worked, and Matt Ryan came out firing with quick up-tempo throws, a good sign of things to come. Despite the drive ending in a punt, the team was encouraged. However, within the next breath, the Jaguars attempted a shakedown. Etienne gashed the Colts for 48 yards and if not for a timely Deforest Buckner sack, the score could have been much higher.
The offense could not convert on the next drive, leaving time for the defense to be gashed more. Lawrence and company marched down the field and punched it in from 1 yard out. Trevor Lawrence snuck right in, to the shock of the entire Colts defense.
It looked like QB sneak to everyone but the Colts defense. #Colts#ForTheShoe#Jaguars#DUUUVAL#JAXvsIND pic.twitter.com/ZszcGR0TyA — Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 16, 2022
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Second Quarter: Jaguars 14, Colts 13
The team ended the previous quarter driving the ball down the field, but once again, the offense could not convert. Chase McLauglin trotted on the field to tack on three points. The defense responded wrell and showed some promise, but the drive that ended with a massive 61-yard touchdown by the Jaguars. Ouch.
The teams then traded back to back drives where neither bunch had anything to show for it. However, Jacksonville’s defense was gutted by Deon Jackson as the Colts moved with haste. To add insult to injury, Parris Campbell (remeber that guy?) capped the drive off with his first touchdown of the season. At halftime, the Colts were in striking distance.
Touchdown Parris Campbell#Colts#ForTheShoe#Jaguars#DUUUVAL#JAXvsIND pic.twitter.com/09NYDqMc0Y — Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 16, 2022
Third Quarter: Jaguars 21, Colts 19
The distance then unexpectedly grew further. The Jaguars, with help from a terrible Facyson penalty, marched down the field again. It was another Trevor Lawrence touchdown. At this point, the defense was completely shredded and needed the offense to find something. Matt Ryan answered the call.
A strike of 17 yards to Kylen Granson was a great sight to see and seemed to be the only mentionable highlight when the Jaguars were called for roughing the passer, extending the drive. Then, Michael Pittman and Deon Jackson went to work, grabbing chunk plays to take the Colts to the red zone. ”Neon Deon” punched it in for a tough three-yard touchdown. The Colts attempted to score a two-point conversion, but it was incomplete, leaving the score at 21-19, in favor of the Jaguars.
Of course, this would mean the Colts defense, who had been eviscerated all day, would have to find something to stop the damage the run was doing. The chance came when the Jaguars inexplicably got creative on a critical fourth down play. Travis Etienne was stopped in the backfield by E.J. Speed, a massive boost for the Colts who ended the drive moving the chains.
EJ SPEED. #ForTheShoe 📺: #JAXvsIND on CBS 📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/8OM0dwdXrB pic.twitter.com/ugargKxtW1 — NFL (@NFL) October 16, 2022
Fourth Quarter: Jaguars 27, Colts 34
When Matt Ryan had to have it, he showed up huge. The offensive line bought him time and ”Matty Ice” made several throws to Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman. A costly Shaq Griffin pass interference penalty set the Colts up for a Jelani Woods touchdown. For the first time in what feels like a lifetime of quarters, the team had a lead over Jacksonville. It was poetry and a score of 25-21, in favor of the Colts.
The Jaguars took exception to score and answered with their own. Aided by penalties on Stephon Gilmore and DeForest Buckner, the team cut up the Colts’ defense on 18 plays. The drive culminated with Christian Kirk in the end zone. The Jaguars had the lead again after a failed two point conversion of their own, 27-26.
The @Jaguars take the lead after an 18-play TD drive! #DUUUVAL 📺: #JAXvsIND on CBS 📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/8OM0dwdXrB pic.twitter.com/pXyKWntTjZ — NFL (@NFL) October 16, 2022
With 2:44 on the gamecock, did the Colts offense have the ability to win the game? The law offices of Pierce and Pittman had something to say, unraveling the secondary of the Jaguars for whatever they wanted. The case was closed when Alec Pierce brought in his first NFL touchdown under tight press coverage, proving he is, in fact, “HIM”. The team was feeling so confident, they tacked on a two-point conversion with Phillip Lindsay. Dagger.
With 17 seconds left, the Jaguars were in desperation mode, and it showed. They attempted to lateral pass their way up the field, but Tyquan Lewis forced a Christian Kirk fumble that was recovered by rookie safety Nick Cross. Game. Set. Match.
Ladies & gentlemen, @AlecPierce. 📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/A9tN0XeiCv — Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 16, 2022
Lost in the madness: no sacks, no interceptions, no fumbles by Matt Ryan and the offensive line. During the game, the team swapped out Raimann for Dennis Kelly and it worked. The line, with even decent play, was the difference maker. (Indy Intercept predicted that). This allowed the offense to step up when the defense didn’t have it for most of the game. This is what good teams do; they find a way. The Colts will need more of that play as they head to Nashville next week to take on Ryan Tannehill and the Titans.
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