Jaguars middle linebacker Mike Peterson played the respect card.
"You watch the highlights," Peterson said, claiming the Jaguars would get limited time from their 37-17 pasting of the Houston Texans on Sunday. "If we do, we'll be the last team they show; not Jags win, Jones-Drew had a big day. That's the way we like it, though; under the radar. By the time teams realize we're playing football down here, it'll be the third week of the playoffs."
Well, Mike, there's a chance you blew your cover this week. The combination of Jones-Drew's highlight-reel runs and catches, a controversial call by referee Walt Coleman, the obligatory "Sportscenter" hype for a Monday Night Football game to be played on ESPN next week, and a made-for-TV pass reception by Jaxson de Ville are certain to put the Jaguars in the spotlight this week.
Who are these Jacksonville Jaguars? We're gonna find out in the next eight days.
"Right now, we're underdogs. We know what we have in this locker room. We know what we're building," Peterson said.
Yeah, the Jaguars are likely to be made underdogs against the undefeated Colts, in a game that will be trumpeted as an early-season showdown for the AFC South lead. Or will they be underdogs? Let's wait on that one.
"The table's set. What else needs to be said?" Peterson said.
Through most of the first half of Sunday's game against the Texans, it appeared as though the Jaguars would be eating off the floor against the Colts. The table was not only not being set, it was being turned upside down. Fortunately for the Jaguars, the Texans committed as many goofs as the home team.
The biggest goof of the game belonged to Texans wide receiver Andre Davis, who was about to cross the goal line with a touchdown pass that would stake the Texans to a 10-0 lead in just the Texans' second offensive possession of the game. Davis, however, made the mistake of trying to reach the ball across the goal line. He could've just tucked it away and run across the goal line.
Originally, Davis was ruled to have scored, but Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio challenged the call and, after further review, Davis was ruled to have had the ball knocked out of his hands by safety Sammy Knight before it crossed the goal line. The ball then bounced through the end zone and out of bounds, which resulted in a reversal call of touchback.
Houston took a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter, but that's when the Jaguars' new star, quarterback David Garrard, took control of the game. Garrard drove the Jaguars 76 yards in 13 plays, completing a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end George Wrighster to give the Jaguars a 7-6 lead.
Referee Walt Coleman made a stunning reversal of an offensive pass interference call that originally nullified Wrighster's touchdown catch. Coleman was interviewed by pool reporter Vito Stellino of "The Florida Times-Union" following the game and the transcript of Coleman's explanation appears in a separate jaguars.com account.
"David played again very, very good football. I can't say enough about the way he's playing. The passing game is coming," Del Rio said of his quarterback.
Garrard completed 22 of 34 passes for 221 yards, two touchdowns and a 102.7 passer rating. He has a 104.7 passer rating through five games and remains one of only two quarterbacks in the league who have yet to throw an interception. Garrard also became the first quarterback in Jaguars history to reach the 100 mark in passer rating in four consecutive games.
As if a 13-play drive wasn't impressive enough, Garrard put together a 14-play, 81-yard touchdown drive to start the second half. It was the kill shot.
Jones-Drew stole Garrard's thunder by running through the Texans, flattening defenders along the sideline on a couple of occasion. Jones-Drew concluded his game-ball performance with a 57-yard touchdown dash that capped a 125-yard rushing effort.
"You've got to deliver the blow. You don't ever want to accept it," Jones-Drew said. "The Colts are playing great. They still didn't pick me in the draft so I'm still upset about that. It's going to be a fun game; give everybody a great show."
"This guy is a real champion. He's a treat to coach," Del Rio said of Jones-Drew.
"The way things started off, I didn't know if that was going to happen," Garrard said of the win, "but the guys stuck with me and allowed me to make a few mistakes. As the game progressed, my passes got a little better and we started running the ball better so, overall, I would have to say it was a great job by our guys."
The Jaguars are 4-1 and a game behind the 5-0 Colts in the AFC South. The Titans, 3-2, lost to the Bucs on Sunday. The Texans fell to 3-3.
"They're undefeated; they're getting ready to play us," Del Rio said of the Colts, who had a bye on Sunday. "It sets up as a genuine opportunity to challenge them for the early division (lead)."