JACKSONVILLE – For the first time in more than a 1,000 days, someone in the AFC South beat the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts (6-7) first AFC South loss in 17 divisional games came in a contest that churned rather rapidly on Sunday afternoon.
A 13-3 late first-half lead for the Colts evaporated quickly, and what followed was the Jaguars dominating every facet of the game's final 30 minutes.
With a chance for the Colts to take a possible three-score lead into halftime (and get the ball to start the third quarter), the Jaguars (5-8) seized full control with back-to-back-to-back big plays.
Three Jaguars touchdowns in 4:22 of game action led to the Jaguars outscoring the Colts 48-3 the rest of the way.
"One strip/fumble returned for a touchdown and the momentum turned right there," Pagano said of how fast things changed on Sunday afternoon.
"This one's tough because we started how we wanted to start. We had things going the way we wanted it to go, but it then got out of hand. It just got away from us."
Leading 13-3 late in Sunday's first half, the Colts were once again in Jaguars territory after a Mike Adams forced fumble.
Instead of potentially punching one in for a significant halftime lead, the game changed when Jaguars defensive end Andre Branch got to Matt Hasselbeck.
Branch beat rookie right tackle Denzelle Good and his strip/sack of Hasselbeck was made even worse for the visitors when the defensive end picked up his own forced fumble and went 49 yards the other way for the score.
The halftime lead was now 13-9 and the Jaguars would then score on plays of 80 (Allen Hurns touchdown's reception) and 73 yards (Rashad Greene's punt return) to start the third quarter.
From there, the Colts could not get things calmed down and the result was a 51-16 loss with the Jaguars setting a club record for most points scored.
"Someone needed to rise up and make a play," Pagano said of the Jaguars building their lead through the second half.
"The only way you are going to be able to stop the bleeding is you've got to make some plays. You've got to answer and we didn't answer."
The lack of answers resulted in the Jaguars scoring touchdowns on all five of their second-half possessions.
Insult to injury for the Colts came when Matt Hasselbeck was forced to exit the game after a fourth-quarter scramble. A hit from Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith sent Hasselbeck into the Jaguars bench where he eventually emerged holding his left arm.
Backup Charlie Whitehurst would enter for Hasselbeck and play the final three series.
According to Pagano, it's "still basically the ribs" injury for Hasselbeck and the quarterback will be further evaluated on Monday. Pagano had no update on Andrew Luck's status for next week.
The health of the Colts quarterbacks and left tackle Anthony Castonzo (has missed the past three weeks with a sprained MCL, but has Houston next week targeted for his return) will be major storylines for the Colts heading into the biggest game of their season next Sunday.
Houston (6-6) will arrive to Lucas Oil Stadium in a game the Colts almost have to have if they will be playing meaningful football in January.
"Must-win situation next week," T.Y. Hilton said after the Colts second straight road loss.
"Got to win. Got to have it."
Photos from the week 14 game in Jacksonville.