JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser, senior correspondent Brian Sexton and team reporter Kainani Stevens offer quick thoughts on the Jaguars’ 37-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in a 2023 Week 6 game at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville Sunday
John Oehser, Jaguars Senior Writer…
- This was a "flex." Call this another in a series of impressive recent Jaguars victories. They seemed to find a new identity during victories in London the last two weeks – and from this view, Sunday's victory played to that theme. The Jaguars not only beat the Colts for a ninth consecutive time at home, but they also took control of the AFC South by taking sole possession of first place at 4-2 with a season sweep of the Colts. They also did it after hearing all week about a possible jetlag letdown following 10 days overseas. "Huge," tight end Evan Engram called the victory. "It was a little trap game. They [the Colts] have been playing really well the last couple weeks. We were coming back from London; we didn't let that be an excuse. It was a good day for us." Sunday wasn't overly spectacular. It wasn't a career day for any offensive player, and there wasn't a slew of memorable plays. Instead, it was exactly what the Jaguars needed: A solid, comfortable division home victory on a day when the Jaguars established themselves as the AFC South's team to beat. "It's expected," Engram said of the Jaguars' first-place status. "We expected this. We worked for this. The season didn't start out like we wanted it to. Three straights [victories] in this league is hard. We have to continue to do what we need to do and even take it to another level to keep it up."
- The Jaguars are a good defense. This has been debated all season. The thought here is it's time to stop debating, because the Jaguars through six games consistently have shown they are a good defensive team – maybe very good. The defense through six games has allowed 21 or fewer points five times, and perhaps most significantly they have continued the trend that defined the defense last season. That's the ability to force turnovers. The Jaguars on Sunday forced four Colts turnovers, bringing their season total to 15. They are 4-1 in games in which they have forced at least two turnovers. Much has been made of what this defense isn't, and whether the unit needs to add a pass rusher. The thought here remains that it's long past time to focus on what the defense is, which is a unit that has played winning football in five of six games this season and which is a big reason the Jaguars lead the AFC South in mid-October.
Brian Sexton, Jaguars Senior Correspondent …
- I'll take that! Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II was offering up souvenirs all afternoon. Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen's strip sack was the first, but the hits kept coming. Safety Andre Cisco, safety Rayshawn Jenkins and cornerback Darious Williams all made plays with the ball in the air for interceptions – and linebackers Foye Oluokun and Devin Lloyd both should have had interceptions. The Jaguars finished plus-three on the afternoon, which is exactly what you should expect for a defense that has 15 takeaways and at plus-seven will be at or near the top of the league in turnover margin at the end of Week 6. It's also what you can expect from a backup quarterback who has to throw 55 times. The defense has performed well above expectations this year, and on Sunday was the reason they clobbered the Colts.
- Take that! The Colts marched right down the field on the game's opening drive with a 16-play, eight-minute drive that showed off Minshew's skill set. But they only managed a field goal and that told the story of the day as much as anything. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence put together a nice answer with a 13-play, seven-minute drive that ended with running back Travis Etienne Jr. in the end zone and a 7-3 lead. It was a critical answer for an offense that has played well at times this season but hasn't found its stride. The Jaguars were good Sunday and opportunistic, but they weren't off-the-charts great. That made their first drive of the game so incredibly important. They needed a statement win and that statement drive propelled them to it Sunday.
Kainani Stevens, Jaguars Team Reporter/Producer ...
- Home sweet home. The Jaguars got back on track during their time in London, but it took until Sunday to get their first "true" home win of the season. A quick start allowed the fans to get involved early and often. It was a beautiful day in Jacksonville, coming after two brutally hot games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans in September. It was a truly dominant day for the home team. Jaguars' fans deserved this one.
- Is this a run-first team? Etienne continues his tremendous start to the season. He scored the team's first two touchdowns of the game in a span of 16 seconds. The passing game continues to be a work in progress, but Etienne is taking over as the workhorse until everything comes together. This team will always run through Lawrence, but having Etienne in the backfield is more than a solid consolation prize.
Check out the beautiful scenes in The Bank at the Jaguars Crucial Catch game during their Week 6 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts 🏈