INDIANAPOLIS--The following are notes from the Jaguars' 43-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts Monday night in the RCA Dome.
Hardy Nickerson moved from middle linebacker to outside linebacker, replacing Lonnie Marts, and rookie T.J. Slaughter took Nickerson's place at middle linebacker. Slaughter had two tackles in a limited role, since the Jaguars played "nickel" coverage much of the night.
An auto race that attracted 250,000 fans in Indianapolis forced the Jaguars into lodging in Muncie, Ind., where the power went out briefly on Sunday night. The Jaguars made an hour-and-twenty-minute bus ride to the RCA Dome Monday afternoon. The awkward arrangements were the result of what most believe is a scheduling mistake by the NFL.
The Jaguars used their five-wide-receiver formations on several occasions, unproductively.
Rookie first-round draft choice R. Jay took over the punt-return chores from Reggie Barlow, and Soward returned two punts for 21 yards, with a long return of 16 yards.
For the second consecutive game, the Jaguars had a call reversed for a touchdown. This time, wide receiver Jimmy Smith was ruled to have gotten two feet down in the end zone on a nine-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter that tied the game at 7-7.
The Colts were not as fortunate. Replay supported a ruling that running back Edgerrin James did not display possession of a pass in the end zone in the second half.
Smith caught nine passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns, despite missing a portion of the first half after being kneed in the head as he made a juggling, diving catch in the middle of the field. Smith was woozy and spent the time pacing the sideline while under the observation of Dr. David Murray, who carried Smith's helmet.
Barlow tipped a ball from the end zone to the Colts two-yard line, where it was downed.
The Colts offensive line committed three false starts in the first half, which brought up the matter of the Raiders having picked off the Colts' line-of-scrimmage numbering system in the previous game. The Colts had a bye week to help them install a new numbering system for Monday night's game.
New addition Anthony Johnson was used in the backfield on passing downs, and Johnson set up the Jaguars' first touchdown when it was ruled that safety Jason Belser had interfered with Johnson on a pass along the sideline.
The Jaguars are paying Tony Brackens in excess of $6 million a year to rush the passer, but he was used in pass-coverage on several occasions Monday night.
Blitz or not blitz? In the second half, Nickerson blitzed from the left side and Kevin Hardy from the right side. Peyton Manning handed off to James up the middle for a significant gain.
Manning's 440 yards passing is the most ever allowed by the Jaguars, and is the most ever by a Colts quarterback.
The Jaguars have the eighth-ranked offense (24th in rushing and fourth in passing), and the 22nd-ranked defense (seventh against the run and 27th against the pass).
Mark Brunell is the AFC's seventh-ranked passer at 84.6. He's thrown seven touchdown passes and five interceptions.
Smith easily maintained his NFL receptions (36) and receiving yards (516) leads.
No Jaguars players appear among the leaders in punt returns, kickoff returns or sacks.