JACKSONVILLE – Even before Sunday, he felt good about the play. Really good.
Jaguars running back Travis Etienne in fact had no doubt what the result would be when he lined up for a direct snap early in the second quarter Sunday.
"I knew when I ran it in practice, I was going to score," he said.
How right he was.
Etienne on Sunday was a critical part of the Jaguars' highest-scoring game of the season, with his two second-quarter touchdown runs setting the tone for a four-touchdown game from the offense in a 37-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Stadium.
"Offensively, we were able to do our thing and then just kind of keep feeding off each other," wide receiver Christian Kirk said.
The Jaguars' offense was stronger in the first half than the second, with three of its four touchdowns coming in a span of 12:41 in the second quarter. They leaned heavily on the defense during this stretch, with two of the three second-quarter touchdowns coming off turnovers.
Etienne scored twice during the span, capping a 75-yard drive with a two-yard run then giving the Jaguars a 14-3 lead with a 22-yard run immediately following a sack/fumble on Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew by outside linebacker Josh Allen.
Etienne lined up directly behind center on the play, with quarterback Trevor Lawrence wide left. Etienne faked to running back Tank Bigsby running left, then ran right and was touched by just one defender before scoring.
"I already knew it was getting called," Etienne said. "It's a nice-red zone play. We had run it in practice and the defense gave me a nice, good look."
Etienne said while the defense knows "something's up" with Lawrence wide, "They still have to respect him being out there because we can do a pop pass to Trev and he can do what he does."
"It was a good misdirection, me just potentially faking the handoff to Tank," he said. "I can give it, so they've got to respect him also. Just giving me space with the offensive linemen in front of me, I like the odds."
- The Jaguars' victory Sunday not only marked their ninth consecutive home victory over the Colts, but it also marked their first victory at EverBank Stadium this season. They beat the Colts in Week 1 in Indianapolis before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans in Jacksonville in Weeks 2 and 3 and beating the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills in London in Weeks 4 and 5. "It's big for us," Kirk said. "We were obviously disappointed with the two previous home games that we had and the performance that we put on. That was a point of emphasis. For us, coming back from London, being back in front of our fans and showing off for them at home, it was a big-time win for us."
- Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen registered a sack/fumble Sunday for his team-leading seventh sack of the season. He has had a sack/fumble in two of the last three games. Allen also had a sack negated last week because he was called for unnecessary roughness for helmet-to-helmet contact with Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen. "My thing is to be consistent, always," Allen said. Allen is currently playing in the final year of his contract, having been the No. 7 overall selection by the Jaguars in the 2019 NFL Draft. Head Coach Doug Pederson on Sunday called Allen the "heart and soul" of the defense, with quarterback Trevor Lawrence saying: "He's a huge part of this team. He just brings a lot of energy. Has that intensity, that look in his eyes every day, whether it's practice, Sunday, whenever. He just brings a lot of energy to our team, to the defense. He's playing great right now. You need guys like that, especially pass-rushers, guys on the D-line. He's bringing that for us."
- Lawrence: "This is where we want to be. We're getting better every week. I think that's the most exciting thing. We're getting closer. I feel like the momentum and the energy is really rolling for us. We have to keep that going every week. Now, especially it's a short week on the road [with a game at the New Orleans Saints Thursday], so it's the same mindset. We have got to make sure we dial in on all the details, get our bodies back for this game coming up on Thursday. Now it's three, four days away. We have to get ready for that one."