JACKSONVILLE – The start was sort of listless, sort of weird and sort of not really inspiring at all. That changed.
Boy, did it change.
It changed in a hurry – and in overwhelming fashion.
The result was a Jaguars victory that was not only big, but as decisive, complete and significant as any for the franchise in recent memory: 51-16 over the two-time defending AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts in front of 62,372 at EverBank Field.
The Jaguars trailed 13-3 before outscoring the Colts 34-3 over a span that began late in the second quarter and ended early in the fourth. That gave the Jaguars a 37-16 lead with 12:53 remaining.
The Jaguars added two more fourth-quarter touchdown, meaning they outscored Indianapolis 48-3 to end the game.
The Jaguars' 51 points were a franchise record for points in a regular-season game.
Quarterback Blake Bortles completed 16 of 30 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns, and also rushed for a touchdown. The Jaguars also got a touchdown defensively from end Andre Branch and on special teams from rookie wide receiver Rashad Greene.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson, tight end Julius Thomas and wide receiver Allen Hurns also caught touchdown passes for the Jaguars – and a Jaguars defense that was maligned much of the week turned in one of its best games of the season.
The Jaguars (5-9) entered the game having lost two consecutive games to slip two games behind the Colts (6-7) in the AFC South. They now have won four of eight games since starting the season 1-5.
The Colts entered the game needing to beat the Jaguars and the Houston Texans next week – and have the Texans lose to New England Sunday night – to clinch a third consecutive division title.
The Jaguars, after trailing 13-9 at halftime, took control of the game's momentum with an early second-half flurry, a flurry that that began when Bortles found Hurns for an 80-yard touchdown and a 16-13 lead with 13:33 remaining in the third quarter.
The play was the longest of the season for the Jaguars and the longest of their careers for both Bortles and Hurns. It also gave Bortles a touchdown pass in the first 13 games this season.
One possession later, Greene's 73-yard punt return gave the Jaguars a double-digit lead. Greene scored untouched through a gaping hole. That made it 23-13, Jaguars, and 11:49 remained in the third quarter.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri's 32-yard field goal on the ensuing possession cut the lead to 23-16 with 7:38 remaining in the third quarter, but Robinson's eight-yard touchdown reception from Bortles on the ensuing series capped an impressive drive to give the Jaguars a two-touchdown lead with 4:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Bortles passed three yards to Thomas early in the fourth quarter to push the Jaguars' lead to 37-16. Denard Robinson's 1-yard run made it 44-16 with 5:59 remaining in the fourth quarter and Bortles' 1-yard sneak late in the game ended the scoring.
A first half of offensive struggles ended with a bizarre defensive flurry.
First, Colts veteran defensive end Robert Mathis fell on a botched shotgun snap between Jaguars center Stefen Wisniewksi and Bortles. On 2nd-and-5 from the Jaguars 10, Wisniewski's snap came in fast and Bortles couldn't handle it, with Mathis falling on the ball in the end zone for a 13-3 Colts lead with1:56 remaining in the half.
The Jaguars drove into Colts territory on the ensuing possession, but safety Mike Adams stripped Bortles at the Colts 37 and safety Clayton Geathers returned the fumble to the Jaguars 34.
But Jaguars defensive end Andre Branch stripped Hasselbeck of the ball on the ensuing play. Branch picked up the fumble on the run for a 49-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 1:01 remaining in the second quarter.
The Jaguars moved 52 yards on the game's opening possession, taking a 3-0 lead on a 46-yard field goal by Jason Myers. Yeldon rushed four times for 30 yards on the drive.
Vinatieri tied it with a 25-yard field goal in the ensuing possession. A 57-yard pass from Hasselbeck to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton to the Jaguars 11 set up the score. Vinatieri's 21-yard field goal two possessions later made it 6-3, Colts, with 13:47 remaining in the second quarter.
Jason Myers missed the ensuing extra point to keep the Colts' lead at four entering the half.
Gameday images from the Jaguars Week 14 matchup against the Colts.
Player of the game
Blake Bortles, quarterback.This was a complete victory with touchdowns from the offense, defense and special teams. But after a slow start, Bortles threw three touchdown passes, getting Thomas, Hurns and Robinson involved. He also ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
The Jaguars, after a slow start, were efficient in the second half as they pulled away. They scored three second-half offensive touchdowns and produced 251 second-half yards. The Jaguars had 129 yards total offense in the first half.
The Jaguars allowed 322 total yards and Branch's sack/fumble/recovery touchdown was perhaps the game's key play. The Colts had 193 yards offense in the first half, but the Jaguars – after entering the game 31st in the NFL in red zone defense – held Indianapolis to two first-half red-zone field goals. The Colts' lone offensive touchdown in the first half came on Mathis' touchdown.
Myers missed his lone extra point of the first half. He now has missed an NFL-high seven extra points this season, including four in the last three games. Myers converted his lone field goal and converted five second-half extra points.
*Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon left briefly in the second quarter with an ankle injury but returned on the next possession. He then left the game with a third-quarter knee injury. …
*Wide receiver Marqise Lee sustained a first-half quad injury and also returned, and cornerback Davon House (ankle) also returned after an injury. …
*Jaguars starting middle linebacker Paul Posluszny was among seven Jaguars players made inactive an hour and a half before kickoff Sunday. He had been ruled out with a fractured hand Friday. Second-year veteran Jordan Tripp started in his place.
*Defensive end Ryan Davis (knee), wide receiver Bryan Walters (back) and tight end Nic Jacobs (hamstring) also were inactive Sunday. Healthy Jaguars inactives: wide receiver Rashad Lawrence, cornerback Demetrius McCrary and center Luke Bowanko.
*Yeldon rushed 11 times for 62 yards before leaving with a knee injury in the third quarter.
*Robinson rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
*Hurns caught three passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
*Safety Johnathan Cyprien returned an interception 48 yards to the Colts 1 late in the fourth quarter.