LONDON – Senior writer John Oehser examines the Jaguars' 30-27 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday with an eye on wide receiver Allen Hurns' late 42-yard touchdown reception
"HE'S A PLAYMAKER"
Allen Hurns was targeted four times Sunday.
For most of the game the third-year wide receiver was less of a factor in the Jaguars' offense than T.J. Yeldon, Marqise Lee and even second-year tight end Neal Sterling.
That Hurns still found a way to make the biggest play of the Jaguars' 2016 season to date under those circumstances surprised wide receiver Allen Robinson not a bit. As Robinson sees it, that's what Hurns does.
He did it in a big way at a clutch time Sunday.
"He's a playmaker," Robinson said after Hurns' 42-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Blake Bortles with 5:03 remaining helped secure the Jaguars' 30-27 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Wembley Stadium in London.
"From the first day he stepped into this building he's come through when his number was called."
Hurns, who caught 10 touchdown passes for more than 1,000 yards last season, had been quiet by comparison through three games this season. With the Jaguars' offense struggling, he had 13 receptions for 179 yards and no touchdowns in Weeks 1-3.
He had one reception for five yards Sunday until Bortles found him on the sideline on 2nd-and-4 from the Colts 42. The Colts had rallied from a 23-6 deficit and trailed just 23-20. Momentum hung in the balance, and possibly the Jaguars' season.
Hurns caught the pass and evaded a tackler near the sideline. He then cut back toward the middle of the field and outran the Colts' defense for one of the most important Jaguars touchdowns in recent memory.
"I don't think a lot of people expected him to break it like that, but that's just him making a play," Robinson said.
The Jaguars' registered a season-high six sacks Sunday after entering the game with six sacks for the season. Rookie Yannick Ngakoue had one, as did defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, defensive end Tyson Alualu and defensive end Chris Smith. Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny had 1.5 sacks and cornerback Josh Johnson had 0.5. Marks' sack late in the game helped secure the victory. "We're jelling together," Marks said. "We have two young guys [Ngakoue and second-year end Dante Fowler Jr.] who understand the game and are willing to listen. You see them all the time trying to understand what we're trying to get done and they do get it done. You've got to give them credit." Fowler's early pressure/batted pass led to an interception by Ngakoue.
… ALSO NOTABLE
The Jaguars committed 11 penalties for 145 yards Sunday and have committed 41 penalties for 392 yards in four games this season. Penalties hurt Sunday, with interference penalties on strong safety Johnathan Cyprien and cornerback Davon House leading to the Colts' two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Rookie linebacker Myles Jack made his first career start Sunday. The second-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft started at Otto linebacker for injured Dan Skuta, who missed with a hip injury. Jack spent much of training camp and the early season learning the middle and weak-side linebacker positions but worked at Otto this past week. "He had a crash course playing Otto this week," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said. "I told him this was his day. We were coaching him up during the week, but today: 'Go play.' For a short period of time getting ready to play a new position he did well." Jack had four tackles and a pass defensed Sunday.
"It was extremely big. More so because it was an AFC South game. That's our goal, to win out in the division."
"We talk about the character of this team and how well it stays together and it showed."
"We think every victory is important. Obviously with the circumstances of this one it's good. We'll celebrate it."
---Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles