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View from the O-Zone: Wow. Just wow


JACKSONVILLE – Goodness gracious. And this, too: Wow.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

How else to describe what happened at EverBank Field Sunday? How else to describe Jaguars 51, Colts 16? How else to describe a 48-point second/third/fourth-quarter onslaught that turned "Here We Go Again …" into "Whoa, whoa, whoa …?"

You wanted a complete game from this team? You got it – and you just may have gotten a game that sets a tone for the franchise's future.

"I definitely thought it was a complete game," Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said.

Yeah, pretty much.

A sack/fumble/fumble return touchdown by Andre Branch. A 73-yard punt return for a touchdown by Rashad Greene.

Three touchdown passes by Bortles – and a touchdown run by Bortles for good measure. A touchdown each from Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Denard Robinson and Julius Thomas.

By the time it was over, it was easy to forget the Jaguars trailed 13-3 at one point – and that that point was after the two-minute warning in the first half.

All of that happened Sunday. Because it did, the Jaguars stormed well past turning in the most complete game of the Gus Bradley era and instead turned in a game so one-sided that it was at once cathartic, emotional, exhilarating, stunning, record-setting, historic, perspective-changing …

Yeah, this one had it all, and the fact that it dealt a tough blow to the playoff hopes of a rival that had been dominating your division pretty much since it was a division?

Well, it was a fun day at 'the Bank. At last.

"To score that many points, that's pretty ridiculous," tight end Julius Thomas said.

And make no mistake:

After the week that was – after the criticism this team, this coaching staff, this defense took … yes, this one mattered. The Jaguars' defense took deserved heat all week for its performance in a 42-39 loss at Tennessee last week. The criticism was felt by players – and coaches, too.

"I told them in the locker room I'm feeling more grateful more than anything," Bradley said. "It is tough what we went through last week, to come in and kind of get punched … I think that's what I'm more appreciative of – just being grateful of our team, players, how they responded and how they competed.

"I'm more pleased and excited for them to have something all come together like this."

How well did they respond? How about historically well?

How about a franchise-record for points in a regular-season game?

How about beating the Colts when no team in the AFC South had done that in the last 16 games, a streak that dated to December 2012?

The Jaguars' victory was about as complete as a victory gets in the NFL. Little wonder with four minutes remaining linebacker Telvin Smith and teammates were standing on the sidelines and saying, "This … yes, this is what we can be."

"We're all looking at each other like, 'This is what we're supposed to be doing,''' Smith said. "You start to ask the question, 'Why isn't this being done every single game?'''

Gameday images from the Jaguars Week 14 matchup against the Colts.

Smith went on in that vein, about how this can be what the Jaguars can be – and how it could have been what the Jaguars have been all season. But you know what? That's a topic for another day. For Sunday, for these players, this feeling was too good for what ifs and what might have been.

"The fact that we went out and did what we did, it was fantastic," Smith said.

Nose tackle Roy Miller, the defense's emotional leader and a team spokesman after so many excruciating losses this season, dressed by his locker moments later.

"It felt great," Miller said. "On the other hand, I think we can do this more often. We have a lot of potential. We've always known that. To see it come together is a beautiful thing, but I think this is something we can make normal for us.

"This is something we can become. It's encouraging for our future. For this young group of guys, a lot of times they've got to see it to believe it."

Don't discount that last quote, because in the end, that's what this game must be about. The Jaguars on Sunday won a game that may be a turning point. They beat a division rival that was playing for a division title, a team they hadn't beaten since 2012. They beat them badly, and dealt their playoff hopes a severe, severe blow.

It was sweet – oh, was it sweet. For so, so, many reasons.

Maybe it set the tone. It felt like one of those games, felt like something turned for the better.

But for that to be so, for Sunday to matter, this can't be an aberration. It must be the start of something. Maybe it will be. We won't know for a while. What we know for now is that what we saw was so complete, so cathartic, so memorable that for a glorious half and change Jaguars followers and players collectively went, "Wow, wow, wow."

And goodness gracious, did that make for a fun day at the 'Bank.

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