INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Another game away from Jacksonville, another one-sided victory.
That has become a trend following a 27-0 Jaguars victory over the Colts Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, and it's a good trend for the Jaguars as they enter the 2017 bye week.
They now are 3-1 away from EverBank Field this season, with one-sided victories over the Houston Texans (29-7, Week 1), the Baltimore Ravens (44-7, Week 3 in London), the Pittsburgh Steelers (30-9, Week 5) and Indianapolis (Week 7).
The Jaguars' lone loss away from EverBank Field? A 23-20 overtime loss to the Jets in Week 4.
Sunday followed a familiar formula to previous Jaguars victories. They took an early lead, and dominated defensively throughout with suffocating coverage complementing a swarming pass rush.
This one had the added positive for the Jaguars of one of the best games of quarterback Blake Bortles' career; it came without rookie running back Leonard Fournette, and that's a good sign.
The Jaguars are 4-3 entering the bye week. They are assured of a first-place tie in the AFC South. There's a deserved good feeling around this franchise right now. The season is off to a good start. It's all out in front of this team. Stay tuned.
Let's get to it …
Brian from Round Rock:
I think we can be a balanced offense. Do you? Most importantly, does Doug?
John: The Jaguars' offense indeed was balanced against the Colts Sunday – and if anything, it leaned toward a passing game that had struggled as often as not early this season. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone has nothing against a balanced offense. While he tongue-in-cheek suggested this summer that his ideal offense is to never throw a pass, he knows well the importance of a passing offense to get defenders out of the box. And yes – I think you'll see more balance offensively from the Jaguars moving forward.
Miguel from Hamilton, Canada:
Hey, O: Remember when people said that Blake Bortles was a dysfunctional quarterback? Doesn't look like that right now ... go jags!!
John: Whoa there, Miguel. Bortles was very, very good on Sunday. It was an encouraging effort. It's probably a little early to get cocky.
Alton from Melbourne, FL:
What if miraculously Bortles reverts to the form of his second year? I know he had a lot of "garbage" stats but he made some great throws that season. Just some food for thought.
John: I got more than a few of these emails Sunday, which wasn't surprising considering Sunday was one of the best games of Bortles' four-year career. Bortles' future won't be determined based on Sunday. Could the view of him change if he plays like he did Sunday a bunch more times the rest of the season? Of course. We're a ways from that. Let's let him put together a few games before we dig deep. I do think he'll be allowed to throw downfield more as the season continues. We'll see if all that adds up to a different second-half storyline. Anything's possible.
Johnny from Mexico, NY:
After today's first half there will probably be silence from all the Bortles haters. (Crickets chirping in background) How 'bout one for BB5!
John: background) How 'bout one for BB5! Hey, one fer Bortles! But I don't think we'll hear crickets for long. Fans gonna fan.
JT from Rosamond, CA:
John, have you ever covered or seen a team as inconsistent as the Jags are week to week? A win does feel good, though.
John: I'm not as big on the inconsistency theme as many Jaguars observers. I actually think this team has been very consistent this season in that it has played really good defensively pretty much every game – with the notable exception of the last quarter or so against Tennessee. When it turns that level of defense into an early lead, it has proven to be a tough team to beat. When the offense doesn't pull away or when special teams commits errors as it did last week against the Los Angeles Rams, the story is different. The offense pulled away early on Sunday and the defense made it difficult for the Colts to function. That has been the formula pretty consistently when this team has won.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
It seems like the key to success is getting an early lead so they can run the ball and unleash the pass rush. This team doesn't play well when they have to play from behind.
John: Ya think?
Jeremy from Dodge City:
Fournette's out ... we lost!! Dumb decision!
John: This wasn't actually the much-anticipated, much-ballyhooed email of the game Sunday because it came before the game. Either way, I didn't quite get it. I assume it was meant to critical. Who knows? Who cares, really?
David from Denver, CO:
I feel like that fumble was the direct result of Cam Robinson going out of the game. But it clearly means that Bortles is awful.
John: You kid … but do you?