The teams:Jaguars versus Indianapolis Colts.
The date:December 13, 2015.
The site:EverBank Field, Jacksonville.
The setup:The Jaguars and Colts both entered the game with postseason hopes – that despite the Jaguars entering at 4-8 and the Colts entering at 6-6. All AFC South teams had struggled in 2015, and the Colts and Houston Texans had entered the day tied for first place in the division. The Colts also entered the game on a 16-game AFC South winning streak and had won six consecutive meetings against the Jaguars.
The gist:The Jaguars struggled much of the first half before turning in the biggest victory of Head Coach Gus Bradley's tenure – and one of the most stunning halves in franchise history. The second half was all Jaguars, with quarterback Blake Bortles' 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Allen Hurns starting a six-touchdown second-half that included a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown by Rashad Greene Sr., touchdown passes by Bortles of four yards to wide receiver Allen Robinson and three yards to Julius Thomas, a one-yard touchdown run by Denard Robinson and a one-yard touchdown run by Bortles for the final touchdown just after the two-minute warning. The result was the highest-scoring regular-season game in Jaguars history.
Quotable I:"It feels good to not have a one-possession game. We earned that. We've been talking about it all week: Can we put a complete game together? We did that in the second half. We've got to bottle that up and keep rolling." – Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis
The clincher:The Colts were within two scores with a chance at a comeback when they punted to the Jaguars with just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Jaguars secured the victory with an 11-play 69-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to Julius Thomas.
Quotable II:"It was beating a division opponent – and beating them in a very dominant fashion. It was an awesome experience." – Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny.
Quotable III:"We started off a little slow, but we came back and very efficient. I was really pleased with the defense. I thought how the defense played they felt ready to go, they were prepared, I felt their energy was high level. There were a couple of busts where they had some explosive plays, but overall, one of our cleaner games." – Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley.
The statistics:Jaguars – Bortles (16-30 passing, 250 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions), Robinson (14 carries, 75 yards rushing, one touchdown), T.J. Yeldon (11 carries, 62 yards rushing, one touchdown), Hurns (three receptions, 105 yards, one touchdown), Thomas (five receptions, 54 yards, one touchdown); Colts – Matt Hasselbeck (18-35 passing, 252 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions), Frank Gore (16 carries, 60 yards, zero touchdowns), T.Y. Hilton (four receptions, 132 yards, one touchdown), Donte Moncrief (three receptions, 52 yards, zero touchdowns).
Quotable IV:"I think they felt like, 'OK, you know what, we weathered the storm, we didn't play very well and we're capable and better.' The defense was playing pretty well. Offensively it felt like let's just go do the things that we're capable of doing. You could feel it from them they knew it, they had great confidence, and nothing really needed to be said too much. I thought we went in there and said here's how we're going to go about it and we talked about it. I think we just challenged each other as a team, and they did well." – Bradley
The key series:The Colts took a 13-3 lead when defensive end Robert Mathis recovered a fumble in the end zone on the first play after the first-half's two-minute warning, but defensive end Andre Branch turned in the biggest play of his Jaguars career with a strip-sack fumble recovery for a 49-yard touchdown with 1:01 remaining in the half.
Quotable V:"I thought the guys did really good job of not folding to adversity and coming out in the second half and responding offensively. We were shooting ourselves in the foot and it wasn't really anything they were showing us. It was obviously the worst half of football we played [in 2015], but I thought the guys did a really good job responding in the second half. I definitely thought it was a complete win." -- Bortles