Before Sunday’s 44-17 win at Jacksonville, it was tight end Dwayne Allen’s turn to inspire. And it evidently worked.
“Yeah, he definitely had a strong message before our prayer and I give him credit for putting that together and inspiring the team,” outside linebacker Erik Walden said Monday of Allen. “Coach (Chuck Pagano) kind of just fed off it and I think that kind of gave us that mojo, that energy we needed before we walked out of that tunnel.”
The Colts outscored the Jaguars 30-0 in the first half. Walden had a second-quarter sack and Allen added a 1-yard TD catch before intermission.
“Yeah, that’s something coach Pagano talked about, that we need to come out with energy,” said quarterback Andrew Luck. “There (was) a lot of sense of urgency all week to come out and do well. I thought guys played with great energy the first snap and then the last snap, every snap in between, and I think it showed up on the field and on the scoreboard.”
Redding, a 12th-year pro, reiterated the importance of every game, especially after an 0-2 start.
“Every game is big,” he said. “Guys, we don’t play over 100 games like baseball and basketball. It’s 17 weeks of this junk, and if you’re blessed and fortunate enough to get in the playoffs, that’s four or five more games. Every game is crucial, I can’t stress that enough. It’s a winning mentality, it’s a winning streak mentality. It is a ‘Get on this train and don’t stop going forward’ kind of mentality from this point forward. We have to win every game and that’s our mindset.”
Neither issue was thought to be serious — Hilton exited in the second quarter with an ankle injury and Studebaker departed with a hamstring problem in the second half.
“T.Y. came in, ankle’s not that bad. He may be a little bit limited, maybe Wednesday I don’t know, maybe one day. But he was in today. He’s doing pretty good,” Pagano said. “Studebaker will be day-to-day with the hamstring. So we came out pretty clean.”
Turnovers times three
A Colts defense with only one takeaway in two games got three against the Jaguars as linebacker D’Qwell Jackson forced a fumble that cornerback Darius Butler recovered while cornerbacks Greg Toler and Vontae Davis each had interceptions.
Toler zig-zagged through Jaguars to return his interception 47 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown. It was the third time Toler has scored on a pick-six in his six-year career.
It’s also the third consecutive game at Jacksonville when the Colts have returned an interception for a touchdown. Butler did it each of the last two years.
The Colts finished plus-3 in takeaways/giveaways.
The Colts’ 529 net yards marked the 10th-highest total in a single game in team history. It’s the most yards since 567 at Tennessee on Dec. 5, 2004.
Thirty first-half points were the most scored in the opening two quarters since Dec. 9, 2007, at Baltimore, when the Colts led 37-7. The last time the Colts scored 30-plus points and shut out an opponent in the first half was Dec. 14, 1997, against Miami (34-0).
Jacksonville’s 22 first-half passing yards was the lowest total for a Colts opponent in the opening two quarters since Sept. 19, 2010, against the New York Giants (11).
The last time the Colts allowed two or fewer first downs in a first half was Dec. 28, 2008, against Houston, when the Texans had only one first down.
Andrew Luck’s 31 pass completions enabled him to pass Jim Harbaugh (746) for sixth on the Colts’ all-time completions list. Luck now has 768 completions. Luck’s 140.4 passer rating was the highest of his three-year NFL career.Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.