JACKSONVILLE – This was an impressive victory – an important one, too.
The Jaguars on Sunday afternoon beat the Indianapolis Colts in workmanlike fashion at EverBank Field, taking an early lead and controlling a 30-10 victory after that.
It was a cool, gray day at EverBank Field. Fans got to feel for the first time in a long time what it is to cheer for a competitive team in December. They got to celebrate a relatively easy home victory and they got to see the Jaguars assure themselves of a .500-or-better record for the first time since 2010. They got to see the Jaguars win in the division and remain in a tie for first in the AFC South. They got to see the offense play well – and they got to see the defense play well, too.
Mostly, they saw the home team take care of business and beat a team most observers expected them to beat. That sounds easy. It's not. In the NFL, nothing is easy.
Sunday wasn't thrilling. It wasn't spectacular. It was workmanlike.
And when you're in the postseason chase in December, there's nothing wrong with that.
Let's get to it …
Hillary from Orlando, FL:
That free-throw celebration was awesome.
John: You're talking about the celebration following rookie running back Leonard Fournette's five-yard third-quarter touchdown run. Fournette after the touchdown flipped a "free throw" over the goalpost as linemen and tight ends "boxed out" for the rebound. Yes, Hillary, it was awesome. Celebrations are cool. Players like them. And fans do, too.
Gary from St. Augustine, FL:
Impressive game from Bortles. Where did that come from?
John: Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has been playing better of late than many observers realized. He played well Sunday, too. A big difference early Sunday? He got time to throw and his receivers made plays. That had been missing too often in recent weeks.
Chris from Jacksonville:
OK, so there was the bad snap on the extra point. Hell of a job reacting by Josh Lambo and Brad Nortman. That block by Lambo was beautiful, and Nortman gave it a good try, but unfortunately took a big hit. Still, it was good heads-up play. One for our kickers!
John: If you insist.
Bradley from Carson City, NV:
What would help this offense is an elite pass-catching tight end. Unfortunately, they ain't easy to find.
John: Elite players at any position aren't easy to find, but could the Jaguars use more of a receiving threat at tight end? Yeah, no doubt. Credit to Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis for Sunday, though. He caught four passes for 46 yards and also had a reception for a two-point conversion,
Josh from Pensacola, FL:
Should we be concerned about Telvin Smith? The defense is a lot different without him. How long do you think he will be out?
John: I'd be surprised if he misses more than one game. That's not based on inside information. It's pure speculation. But that's my speculation.
Tom from Davenport, IA:
What I'm seeing in Blake's mobility and subsequent ability to extend plays, is making it harder for me to envision Eli Manning being the starting quarterback for this team next year.
John: Fair point.
Paul from Jacksonville:
They need to figure a way to keep Poz on the field more.
John: This also is fair point, but I doubt that will happen once Smith returns. The way to get Posluszny on the field more is to play him more in nickel situations. That would mean taking Myles Jack and Smith off the field in those situations and you don't want to do that.
JT from Rosamond, CA:
John, this is what drives me crazy about Bortles. He looked great out there today and then he looks bad in other weeks. We just need this Bortles more often. Very proud of this Jags team though. Cheers to the fans today also because the stadium sounded loud on television.
John: Bortles with a few exceptions has been playing better for much of the last month. He played very well Sunday and looked as poised and as in control in the pocket as I ever have seen him look. I would argue that Sunday was the best I've seen Bortles because of his command in the pocket, decision-making, poise and accuracy. I don't know what that means for his future. I don't know if he will do it again. I know he sure looked good doing it Sunday.
Einston from Duval:
There is good Bortles and bad Bortles. Good Bortles has been showing up more often lately and it really is making things more difficult in a very positive way.