What We Learned Against Indianapolis

At look at what happened in the Jaguars / Colts game, and what didn't.

Five most important things by the Jaguars:

    1. Score early. The Jaguars didn't do that. The entire purpose of scoring early was to take the crowd out of the equation and not be forced into being one dimensional. The Colts scored the first 14 points of the game thanks to an early turnover followed by a big play after help from the "12th man."

    2. Take what you want. The Colts knew the Jaguars were going to try and run the football, and the Jaguars ran it anyway. 168 yards on the ground and a 10+ minute time of possession advantage are usually enough to get the job done.

    3. Make Peyton Manning move his feet. Manning had to move around occasionally, but the Jaguars never really sustained any pressure on the Indianapolis signal caller. This led to the Colts unbelievable 10/13 on third down conversions.

    4. Keep Addai under 70 yards rushing. Check. The Jaguars held the star running back to just 67 yards on 21 carries.

    5. Make some plays. The Jaguars made a few plays on defense, but not nearly enough. The offense played well, well enough to win, but the defense couldn't get off the field nearly enough.


What to look for:

    1. Look for the Jaguars to come out firing. Jacksonville was balanced offensively early on, and a passing play led to Indianapolis' first score on a sack/forced fumble by defensive end Robert Mathis.

    2. Look for the Colts to attack the middle of the field. The Colts attacked pretty much the entire field against the Jaguars maligned pass defense. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark had huge days, and even backup tight end Ben Utecht got in the mix.

    3. Look for David Garrard's first interception. That happened, on a tipped ball. Garrard played a magnificent game even with the tough luck pick, and he's taking strides toward being one of the elite quarterbacks in the game.

    4. MJD for 6. That happened as well. Jones-Drew was solid, gaining 50 yards on just 12 carries, and scored on a two-yard touchdown run.

    5. Peyton Manning will score a touchdown on the ground. Not so much. Manning did throw for 288 yards and four touchdowns, however.

When looking at the keys to victory in this game it certainly seems like the Jaguars did enough to win. 8 penalties, 2 turnovers, and a missed field goal led to their defeat, as well as some egregious calls by the men in stripes. When the Jaguars look back on what happened Sunday they'll see that they are talented enough to play with teams like Indianapolis, and if they can cut down on the mental mistakes, they can beat one of the elite teams in the league.



Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, and Sportsillustated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer.

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