Sunday's 51-17 loss for the Jacksonville Jaguars was something that they don't want to re-live or ever mention. They were injured, but still outplayed in every phase of football by a better team.
The good news is that was last week and the team has another game on Sunday.
The better news is that the Jaguars can take over first place in the AFC South with a victory over Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
Colts quarterbacks have a Jaguars nemesis ever since the AFC South was formed back in 2002. Peyton Manning dominated the division and then in Manning's injury-filled 2010 campaign, the Colts moved seamlessly to Andrew Luck.
We don't need to rehash what Luck has done against the Jaguars, as he's been pretty domanant. For the record, he has a 17-2 record against the AFC South.
“I hesitate to say I’m 17-2; I think the Colts in the last couple of years have obviously had a decent record," Colts quarterback Andrew Luck explained. "It really doesn’t mean anything to this year. You can’t look back and compare year to year so we know it’s a new year, we were fortunate to get a win this past weekend, we know it’s going to be a tough Jaguars team coming into our house per se and we will have to take care of business.”
It might be a little different this time around as the Jaguars have their best roster in the last few seasons.
On top of that, Luck is nursing an injured shoulder.
“He has a sore shoulder," embattled Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said in a conference call with the Jacksonville media Wednesday.
Luck has struggled this season throwing just five touchdowns against a league-high seven interceptions.
Is the shoulder soreness the reason for his struggles?
Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley doesn't think so.
"It just seems like at times some teams have gotten some pressure on him," Bradley explained. "No, I see him making some of the same throws that he made last year and his poise and things like that. Just some overthrows and some tipped balls that were interceptions. That’s a little bit different but the throws that he’s making look very similar to last year.”
If there's any thoughts about Luck missing Sunday, that's not likely to occur.
“I hesitate to go into details about what happened but it happened in the past game," Luck said. "Again, it wasn’t feeling as good as I would have liked today but continue to improve during the week and get ready to go.”
Gus Bradley may have a point about the throws Luck is making look similar to last year. It's not a popular statistic, but Luck has more turnovers since the beginning of the 2014 season than anyone in the game. The media-appointed future Hall of Famer still has to do a better job of taking care of the football if he's going to carry this team to the next step, which would be a Super Bowl berth.
If the Jaguars can find a way to pressure Luck, he has proven that he's a different quarterback than when he has time to scan the pocket. In the last few years, the Jaguars have struggled getting consistent pressure on any opposing quarterback.
Former second-round pick Andre Branch could be back for Sunday's game and although he's not a Pro Bowler, his presence would certainly help the pass rush.
“It would be good," Bradley said of a potential Branch return. "Right now Skuta is getting some reps in there so Clemons and Skuta and Chris Smith. With Branch in there it just helps us even more to keep those guys fresh.”
The Colts have weapons all over the perimeter and the best running back they've had since Edgerrin James in Frank Gore. The Jaguars need to find a way to hit Luck on that injured shoulder to have their best chance for success.
If they can do that, they will have a chance to end the Colts' 14-game winning streak against AFC South opponents.