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Five Things Learned: Colts/Jaguars (Week 7)

Posted Oct 23, 2017

Intro: What were the main takeaways from Sunday’s 2017 Week 7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars? Here are Five Things Learned, presented by McDonald’s.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts fell to 2-5 on the season on Sunday with their 27-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts were outmatched by their AFC South Division rivals from the start, and by halftime, found themselves in a 20-0 hole. Although the Jaguars (4-3) only outscored the Colts 7-0 in the second half, seven Jacksonville sacks in the final two quarters all but sealed the final outcome.

“Couldn’t protect. Couldn’t stop them. Couldn’t get off the field on third down. Didn’t play well in the red area. Gave up big plays,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. “There’s a lot to fix, obviously. Again, this falls squarely on my shoulders and obviously I didn’t have this team prepared and ready to go.”

Here are the FIVE THINGS LEARNED from Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars:

• TOUGH START: Without star rookie running back Leonard Fournette — the league’s second-leading rusher who was inactive on Sunday with an ankle injury — the Jaguars were still able to get off to an ideal start by instead utilizing their passing attack, which came into the game ranked 29th in the NFL. On Jacksonville’s opening drive, it found the end zone via one-yard touchdown run by Chris Ivory, but Blake Bortles was able to complete 4-of-5 passes for 41 yards, leading the Jaguars to a 12-play, 75-yard drive that took 5:30 off the clock. The Jaguars, who also converted all three of their third-down attempts on the opening drive, used that momentum for the rest of the first half, scoring another touchdown and kicking two field goals to get a 20-point lead by the two-minute mark of the second quarter. For the Colts, it was the first time in six games they did not go into halftime with a lead.

• TOUGH FRONT: The Jaguars came into Sunday’s game boasting the league’s best pass rushing attack. They left Lucas Oil Stadium boasting a second 10-sack performance of the season. Jacksonville had three first-half sacks, but with a 20-plus-point lead throughout the entire second half, its defensive front really opened the floodgates, sacking Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett seven times in the final two quarters. Eight different Jaguars defenders earned at least a half-sack on Sunday, including Calais Campbell, who had two sacks to push his NFL-leading total to 10. After the game, both Brissett and the Colts’ offensive linemen took their share of the blame for what transpired — now the only thing they can do is learn from it and move on prepare for another tough defense in the Cincinnati Bengals, their opponent on Sunday in the Queen City.

• TOUGH INJURIES: As if being shut out by a division opponent — the first time Indianapolis has been shut out in the regular season since Dec. 26, 1993 — wasn’t enough, the Colts also saw several key players exit Sunday’s game with injuries, a couple of which seem very concerning. First off, No. 2 cornerback Rashaan Melvin suffered what was eventually diagnosed as a concussion during the Jaguars’ first drive of the game, and now enters the league’s protocol. Then, rookie safety Malik Hooker — the team’s first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft — suffered what looked like a serious knee injury in the second quarter. That was followed up by a stinger to outside linebacker John Simon, and then a hamstring injury to center Ryan Kelly. Asked about Hooker’s injury specifically, Pagano said he would have an MRI and the team would know more on Monday.

• BRIGHT SPOTS: The Colts did have a few positive results in Sunday’s game, primarily on the defensive side of the ball, where they were able to win the turnover battle, 2-0. Defensive end Henry Anderson was first to strike in the second quarter, when he was credited with a sack/forced fumble on Bortles, sending the ball forward 15 yards to the Indianapolis 15, where safety Darius Butler picked it up and returned it 32 yards to the Indianapolis 48-yard line. Then, safety Matthias Farley had a nice effort in the third quarter, when he stripped Ivory of the football and fell on it himself, earning his first-career forced fumble and fumble recovery.

• MILESTONE WATCH: On offense, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was able to reach a couple milestones with his first catch of the day, a 10-yard grab from Brissett at the 4:55 mark in the first quarter. With that reception, he reached 400 for his career, becoming only the sixth player in franchise history to accomplish that feat. Also, that catch gave him one reception in 39 consecutive games, which tied Bill Brooks for the 10th longest streak in franchise history.

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