Erik Walden leads sack celebrations

Colts outside linebacker had first of team's four sacks, and could have been credited with another in lopsided victory.

Erik Walden started the Indianapolis Colts’ sack onslaught Sunday.

By the end of a 44-17 win at Jacksonville, safety LaRon Landry, linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and rookie defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles also had sacks.

The Colts entered with only one sack in the previous two games. Quarles was just signed off New England’s practice squad. Landry and Jackson got sacks off blitzes. Jackson also had a forced fumble that teammate Darius Butler recovered.

“We’ve just got to remain consistent week-in, week-out; pressure, quarterback hits, whatever it may be to be disruptive,” said Walden, who has two sacks this season. “Also with that, stopping the run and getting off the field on third down.”

Pagano praised Walden, signed before 2013 from Green Bay, who began this season with 12 sacks in his six-year career. His next sack will tie his career best for a season, set in each of the previous four seasons.

“He’s playing well,” the coach said. “No. 1 criteria for those outside guys is setting the edge in the run game. He’s as good as there is in the National Football League at doing that. He’s a tough cookie. His pass rush has improved. His numbers are going up.

“Probably should have had another one yesterday. Looking back at the film, we didn’t get the replay in time. I think he had the quarterback on the ground. In the second half when (Blake Bortles) threw that ball away, it looked like on the tape his knee was down. Before I was going to do anything, you’ve got to get the replay and didn’t get it. He probably would have had another one, but he’s doing a great job.”

Second-year outside linebacker Bjoern Werner would have also notched his first sack of the season, which initially gave the Colts a safety, but it was negated by a defensive penalty.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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