INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – This one got away in a hurry.
Because it did, the Jaguars didn’t get anything close to the result they wanted as a healthy team coming out of the bye week.
Nick Foles made his first start in two months at quarterback for the Jaguars, but he and the offense struggled mightily after the first quarter. The Jaguars’ defense struggled to pretty much the same degree, and the Indianapolis Colts pulled quickly away in the second half for a 33-13 victory in front of 61,986 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“Ultimately we have to execute more and we will,” Foles said.
The Colts, after leading 10-7 at halftime, scored touchdowns on their first three second-half possessions to take a 31-7 lead with 12:42remaining.
“I wouldn’t say the sky is falling,” wide receiver Chris Conley said. “This was a high-stakes games that we needed. We didn’t perform today. That’s it, point blank … period. We have to elevate our game, to a man. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, ‘What could I have done better today?’’’
The Jaguars (4-6) lost a second consecutive game, and a second consecutive game in the AFC South; they lost in similarly one-sided fashion in their last game, 26-3, to the Houston Texans.
The Colts (6-4) snapped a two-game losing streak.
“I’m not worried about the team,” Head Coach Doug Marrone said. “I told them, ‘I’m not worried. You’ll get a lot of questions about where you are and all that stuff.’ I’m really not [worried].
“What I’m really focused on is, ‘How do I get this team to perform better on Sunday?’ That’s what’s getting me. Because obviously I’m responsible for that and I’m not getting that right now.”
Foles, making his first start since sustaining a Week 1 broken clavicle in a loss to Kansas City, completed 33 of 47 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns with an interceptions. His first-quarter touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. gave the Jaguars a 7-0 lead, but Foles had 81 yards passing in the second and third quarters after having exactly that many and a touchdown in the first quarter.
“I think he’s going to get better each week,” Marrone said. “That’s what we expect from Nick.”
The Colts’ running offense defined the game, with two running backs – Marlon Mack and Jonathan Williams – both rushing for more than 100 yards. Mack rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries before leaving with a hand injury and Williams rushed for 116 yards on 13 carries.
It was the third game this season the Jaguars have allowed 200 or more yards rushing, and the Colts’ 264 yards as a team was the second-most yards rushing allowed by the Jaguars this season. It also marked the first time in Colts history they have had two players run for more than 100 yards in a game.
The Colts outgained Jacksonville, 389-308.
“We got outplayed up front physically on both sides,” Marrone said. “We’ve got to put our guys in better position and get better at it. It’s performance. It goes back to me.”
The Jaguars registered three sacks Sunday, with rookie edge defender Josh Allen, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback D.J. Hayden all registering one.
Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett completed 15 of 24 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown with an interception.