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O-Zone Late Night: Jaguars 31, Colts 21


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Good teams win weird, tight road games.

That's simplistic. Like many generalizations, it doesn't always hold true. But it's true comparatively often, and it fit the Jaguars' 31-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2023 regular-season opener at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday afternoon.

This was weird and not at all easy. The Jaguars' offense wasn't clean and made too many mistakes. The Colts scored on a bizarre defensive touchdown. The Jaguars' offensive line struggled at times – and for a while, the Jaguars couldn't pull away from a young team that believed it could win.

Then, the Jaguars made multiple key plays with the game at stake to win and rallied from a four-point fourth-quarter deficit to win. Road division games are rarely easy. Neither are Week 1 games. The Jaguars won both on Sunday and that's all that mattered.

Let's get to it …

Zac from Austin, Tejas

It's exhausting when you're right.

This presumably referred to me saying throughout the week the Jaguars' 2023 regular-season opener would be more difficult than many fans expected. While I do revel in being correct, this was not particularly difficult to foresee. It was Week 1 playing against team with a new head coach and rookie quarterback on the road. While the Colts likely will struggle this season, they entered Week 1 with great belief and an experienced defensive coordinator in former Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley. I thought the Jaguars on Sunday did a nice job grinding through the first half, overcoming a few tricky situations and inching into a 14-7 halftime lead. I thought they did a nice job again methodically taking a fourth-quarter lead and forcing a turnover that led to a game-clinching interception. It would have been easy for the Jaguars to lose Sunday. They earned their way out of that with a clutch fourth quarter. All in all, well-handled.

Dan from Munich

Zone can you please confirm that the TV crew gets taken care of by the home team. For crying out loud, we thought that Anthony Richardson is the next Peyton Manning for the Colts.

It seems people on television praised the Colts and their young quarterback, Anthony Richardson. I don't care much about what people on television say about the Jaguars. I understand if fans feel differently. I can't do much about those feelings or the people on television.

Tim from Ortega

Hey o-man, is it just me, or does Lucas Oil Stadium look like a barn as much in person as it does on TV?

It's a monstrous, big, expensive barn. But a bit "barny" nonetheless. That's fair.

Jim from Jagsonville

Not that I'm any kind of football expert but I think this Calvin Ridley kid might be pretty good.

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley caught eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in his first game with the Jaguars, his first game in nearly two seasons. He hasn't looked rusty since he arrived in Jacksonville and darned sure didn't look it in Week 1. He wasn't even spectacular Sunday and he mattered a lot. Spectacular's coming soon from this source. He's special.

Jim from Jagsonville

The Real Josh Allen has arrived! Let's go Jaguars!

Jaguars outside linebacker Allen had three sacks Sunday. He also had 10 tackles. He looked like the best defensive player on the field much of the game, certainly for the Jaguars. It's a darned good start.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

We made this game much closer than it should have been. I know it's a divisional game, but we made a lot of mistakes.

The Jaguars did make a lot of mistakes Sunday. That often happens in Week 1 in the NFL. Reducing those mistakes will be a priority.

Andrew from Los Angeles

Bigsby must grow up. He is having an awful game. He must be in bench a couple of games to get used to NFL speed.

This was written before Jaguars rookie running back Tank Bigbsy made a really impressive physical run one play before his one-yard run that was the game-winning touchdown.

Tim from Fort Wayne, IN

The offense didn't look like a smooth second-year unit. Is it the defense? Is it first-game-of-the year rust? Is it Taylor calling plays instead of Doug? To what do you attribute their struggles?

The Jaguars' offense scored 31 points Sunday. It wasn't perfection, but it wasn't awful. I expect they will look smoother as the season continues. I expect Head Coach Doug Pederson's decision to have offensive coordinator Press Taylor call plays to be a topic this week, and I expect those suspect of the decision won't care that Taylor called the plays in the second half of games last season. I expect we're in a new era of Jaguars football when 31 points – the most ever scored by the Jaguars in Indianapolis are "struggles."

CouchCoach from LivingRoom

Any chance Doug takes back play calling after this?

This week? No. Ever? I still doubt it.

Big Jags Fan from Jacksonville

The doubters piled on you all week long. You said strange and crazy things happened in Week 1. You said it would be a close game until mid-fourth quarter and it was until the Jags went ahead with two quick scores. It was ugly, but 1-0 is 1-0. Oh when will they ever learn?

Doubters pile on. Fans fan. It's what they do.

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