JACKSONVILLE – This was familiar, and familiar was good and convincing.
Really good and really convincing.
Trevor Lawrence threw two touchdown passes, Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for two for a second consecutive game, and the Jaguars' defense was opportunistic and stout – mostly – for a third consecutive game. Those elements keyed a 37-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday at EverBank Stadium in front of 64,851 that moved the Jaguars into sole possession of first place in the AFC South.
"This is where we want to be," Lawrence said. "We're getting better every week and that's the most exciting thing."
Lawrence, the Jaguars' third-year quarterback, sustained a knee injury with 3:04 remaining. Head Coach Doug Pederson said he expected an update on the situation Monday, with Lawrence walking from the field after the injury and walking without a brace to his post-game media availability.
The Jaguars play the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans Thursday night.
"I'm feeling OK," Lawrence said. "I'm going to get it checked out tonight and see kind of what's going on. I feel pretty good. I'm walking around all right. I can't really say much now. I want to make sure everything's checked out."
The victory was the third in as many weeks for the Jaguars. They led throughout the second half in all three victories.
"It's a glimpse of what we can be," Pederson said. "There are still some areas that we have to clean up, obviously, but the team in these last three weeks has kind of figured some things out as far who we are as a football team.
"That's exciting to see. They really embraced that."
Etienne's touchdowns came in a 16-second span in the second quarter, with the Jaguars taking control of the game in that period on the way to their ninth consecutive home victory over the Colts. The Colts last won in Jacksonville in 2014.
The Jaguars led 14-3 after Etienne's second touchdown run with 14:01 remaining in the first half. They led 21-3 at halftime and 31-6 entering the fourth quarter, with the Colts cutting the lead to 31-20 before a late Jaguars field goal.
"I'm never going to be too disappointed in a win," Lawrence said. "It's hard to win in this league, especially division games. That's a good team."
The Jaguars moved to 4-2 with their third consecutive victory, with the Colts – who entered the game in a two-way tie for first with the Jaguars – dropping to 3-3. Sunday's victory also completed a season-sweep for the Jaguars over the Colts, with Jacksonville winning in Indianapolis, 31-21, in Week 1.
"We know the key to getting homefield advantage and all those things is to win our division," safety Andre Cisco said. "A win like this, a win at home – which we hadn't done this year – was big."
Lawrence completed 20 of 30 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, including a second-quarter touchdown pass to Christian Kirk that was part of the team's most one-sided first half of the season.
"We're playing complementary," Lawrence said. "We've done that for the last three weeks now. We've won all three of those games. It definitely ties together."
Etienne rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II, starting for injured starter Anthony Richardson, completed 33 of 55 passes for 329 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions.
The Jaguars registered three sacks and four takeaways Sunday, with outside linebacker Allen's second-quarter sack/fumble that led to an early touchdown his team-leading seventh sack of the season. Outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson's third-quarter sack was his second of the season, and defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris and outside linebacker Travon Walker combined for a fourth-quarter sack.
The Jaguars have 15 takeaways and 12 sacks this season, with Cisco intercepting Minshew at the Jaguars 14 in the second quarter and safety Rayshawn Jenkins intercepting him to start the third quarter. Cornerback Darious Williams' end-zone interception ended a Colts drive early in the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars are 4-1 when forcing two or more turnovers this season.
"The defense sometimes doesn't get enough credit for that," Pederson said. "The takeaways are something that we as a team talk about. They talk about it as a defense. It was just a great team effort on defense to play the way they did today."
Step by step:
- Matt Gay's 28-yard field goal capped an extended game-opening possession for a 3-0 Colts lead with 6:27 remaining in the first quarter; the Colts used 16 plays to drive 65 yards.
- Etienne's two-yard run with 14:17 remaining in the second quarter capped 75-yard, eight-play drive on the Jaguars' first possession of the game; the Jaguars converted 4th-and-1 from their 45-yard line with a seven-yard run by Etienne and a 17-yard pass from Lawrence to tight end Brenton Strange came one play before Etienne's touchdown. Etienne's 22-yard touchdown run came seven seconds later, and followed Allen's sack/fumble on Minshew that came on the first play after Etienne's first touchdown run. Lawrence extended the lead to 21-3 with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Kirk with 1:40 remaining in the second quarter. Gay converted a 56-yard field goal with :06 remaining in the second quarter to cut the lead to 21-6.
- Brandon McManus' 48-yard field goal pushed the Jaguars' lead to 24-6, coming four plays after Jenkins intercepted Minshew on the Colts' first drive of the second half. A 10-yard pass from Lawrence to tight end Brenton Strange with 3:51 remaining in the third quarter pushed the lead to 31-6.
- Minshew passed two yards to wide receiver Josh Downs to cut the Jaguars' lead to 31-13 with 14:14 remaining, with running back Zack Moss' three-yard run with 7:14 remaining making it 31-20. McManus' 49-yard field goal with 4:50 remaining pushed the lead to 34-20 and his 51-yard field goal with 3:00 remaining pushed it to 37-20.
- Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd started after missing two games with a thumb injury, with left guard Walker Little (knee) and wide receiver Zay Jones (knee) among the Jaguars' four inactive players. Also inactive for the Jaguars Sunday: Running back JaMycal Hasty and rookie outside linebacker Yasir Abdullah. … Lawrence on Sunday moved past Byron Leftwich for fourth-place on the Jaguars' all-time passing yards list. …
- Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell sustained a hamstring injury in the second quarter and did not return.
- Right guard Brandon Scherff sustained an ankle injury and did not return.
Check out the beautiful scenes in The Bank at the Jaguars Crucial Catch game during their Week 6 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts 🏈