Senior writer John Oehser examines five key plays that shaped the Jaguars' 28-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in the 2020 regular-season finale in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday:
1.Taylor 50-plus run. This game seemed like a mismatch from the start, with the Colts needing a victory to clinch a playoff spot and with the Jaguars entering the game with a franchise-record 14 consecutive losses. The Colts' first drive did nothing to change that perception, with rookie running back Jonathan Taylor establishing the game's tone with a 56-yard run to the Jaguars 11 on Indianapolis' third offensive play. The run came on 2nd-and-10 from the Colts 33, with Colts quarterback Philip Rivers throwing six yards to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton three plays later to give Indianapolis a 7-0 lead with 10:16 remaining in the first quarter. Taylor finished the first quarter with 106 yards rushing and finished the game with 253 yards rushing. Indianapolis held a 173-32 total-yardage advantage entering the second quarter and led by 10.
2.Leonard sack/fumble. The Colts' running offense dominated the first half and eventually the game, but that wasn't Indianapolis' only strength Sunday. The Colts' defense helped them establish control early, holding the Jaguars to 59 yards before a late first-half drive that resulted in the Jaguars' first points. Colts Pro Bowl linebacker Darius Leonard keyed that effort, and his sack of Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon early in the second quarter further solidified Indianapolis' early advantage. The sack came on 3rd-and-6 from the Jaguar 45, forcing a fumble that cornerback TJ Carrie recovered and returned to the Jaguars 15. Taylor scored on a one-yard touchdown run three plays later gave the Colts a 17-0 lead with 11:40 remaining in the half. The Colts registered three sacks in the first half and six for the game.
3.Shenault's second- and third-quarter touchdowns. The Colts dominated the first half, holding a 250-136 advantage in total yards at halftime. But the Jaguars showed the same fight and grit that they showed in many games during a season-ending losing streak, driving 75 yards to cut the lead to 13 late in the second quarter. Glennon completed seven of seven passes for 75 yards on the drive, throwing nine yards to rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. with :27 remaining in the half to cut the Colts' lead to 20-7. Shenault's nine-yard reception from Glennon capped the Jaguars' first drive of the second half cut the lead to 20-14, with Glennon completing six of six passes for 49 yards on the drive.
4.Wingard third-quarter interception. The Jaguars' rally stalled after Glennon's second touchdown pass to Shenault, with the Jaguars punting to end their next four possessions. But credit the Jaguars' defense for keeping the Colts' lead at six during that span. The Jaguars, after allowing points on four of the first five Colts possessions, held Indianapolis scoreless on its next six possessions – with the key defensive play during that stretch coming when second-year safety Andrew Wingard intercepted a deep pass from Rivers to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Wingard caught the pass and fell into the end zone, then returned it to the Jaguars 13 late in the third quarter to keep the Colts' lead at 20-14.
5.Taylor 45-yard run. The Jaguars' defense recovered admirably from a rough start, keeping Taylor out of the end zone despite significant yardage – and holding the Colts scoreless for the first 26 minutes of the second half. The Jaguars, after trailing 20-0 midway through the second quarter, had four consecutive possessions trailing 20-14 with a chance to take the lead. But those four drives ended in punts, and Taylor's 45-yard run on 2nd-and-5 from the Jaguars 45 with 3:44 remaining gave the Colts a double-digit lead and secured the victory. Rivers' two-point pass to Hilton capped the scoring.