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Jaguars Josh Allen Shines with Three Sacks in 31-21 Victory Over Colts | Game That Was

Game That Was

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Josh Allen liked what happened Sunday.

He liked what he saw around him, too.

Allen, the Jaguars' veteran outside linebacker, registered a career-high three sacks in the 2023 regular season opener. That was a key part of a clutch defensive effort in a 31-21 come-from-behind victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"I had that feeling that we won the battle up front," Allen said.

Allen, the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, also registered 10 tackles – second to linebacker Foye Oluokun's 12 – with two quarterback pressures. The Jaguars registered four sacks as a team, with outside linebacker Travon Walker also registering a sack.

The Jaguars forced three takeaways – an interception by cornerback Tyson Campbell and two fumble recoveries – and stopped the Colts on four of five fourth-down conversion attempts.

"I saw some great things," Head Coach Doug Pederson said of the defense. "We knew coming in that this quarterback – [Colts rookie] Anthony Richardson – is a big, strong, powerful guy. He showed that a little bit today, but I thought our defense really held in there, did a nice job getting him off the field on third down."

Pederson said the defense "really kept us in this football game the whole day," adding that Allen "really came into this game focused, energized, ready to get the season off the right foot for himself."

"He played well," Pederson said. "It was good to see from him. He's a leader of the football team and the defense and we were just pleased how he performed."

Richardson, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, made his first NFL start in his first game. He ran for a first-half touchdown and threw a 39-yard screen pass for a touchdown to wide receiver Michael Pittman with 11:25 remaining in the third quarter.

The Jaguars' defense held the Colts to 27 yards after that until a drive in the final minutes with the Jaguars leading by the final margin. Campbell's fourth-quarter interception led directly to running back Travis Etienne Jr.'s 26-yard game-clinching touchdown with 4:08 remaining.

"He had a couple good runs with the first touchdown," Allen said of Richardson. "That allowed them to get going. They tempoed it up a little but once we put that to bed, I think we had a great opportunity to go out there and do what we do."

Added Allen, "It starts up front and goes to the back end. If everybody's on one chord, we can go out there and perform at a very high level. Up front, I believe we dominated. I did what I was expected to do for this defense, and everybody did their part.

"If we continue to do that, continue to grow, continue to get better, I think we can be a hell of a team this year. Now, we have to win Game Two."



  • Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley caught eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown Sunday in his debut with the team, which also marked his first game since October 21. The veteran was acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons last November, missing the '22 season because of an NFL suspension. Ridley was key for the Jaguars early Sunday, catching four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown on a first-quarter drive that gave them an early 7-0 lead. "I was pretty calm," Ridley said. "I was relaxed. I felt I was pretty relaxed." Ridley added the first quarter start and his final statistics meant little compared to the victory. "I just love this team," he said. "I worked so hard with them. I just want to win with them. I want to play meaningful games. I think we're going in the right direction, and I just think that's the most important part."
  • Said quarterback Trevor Lawrence, "It was great, not a surprise to me. I don't think it was [a surprise] to anybody, but he played great. It was cool to see him, obviously, on his first came back. I'm sure he was amped up and ready to go, just to play well and make some huge plays for us. It was awesome."


  • Lawrence: "We just got sloppy in that second and third quarter. Even at the beginning of the fourth, we just got sloppy. I think we could've taken advantage of more things out there and really put ourselves in an even better position going into the end of the game just put them away. We didn't do that. But it's hard. They're not going to lay down. They have the same job we do and, and they're going to make it challenging for us. It's a good football team, so it was a good game and obviously it's better when you can win."

What we've all been waiting for 🐆 In game is full of ACTION and you don't want to miss out on these top shots throughout the Jaguars vs. Colts game!

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