Bernstein Blog: All About Indy

The Jaguars are finally better than the Indianapolis Colts. That's a true statement for the first time since the 1999 season. What was being billed in the preseason as a battle for AFC South supremacy turned out to be little more than a matchup between two very average football teams, with big hype.

Make no mistake about it folks, these were two very average teams and this game said much more about the Colts than it did the Jaguars.

Indianapolis is a much, much different team with the absence of Bob Sanders. The Colts run defense was nearly every bit as weak as it was in that legendary 2006 game when the Jaguars tallied 375 yards against them, which was coincidentally also without Bob Sanders. Indy simply looked soft on defense, as their small, fast defensive line was mauled all day long by the dominant Jacksonville line. When the Colts weren't getting blown off the ball, they were getting run over by Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, as that was one of the worst displays of tackling in the history of the league.

The Colts defense often guesses in terms of personnel, and even when they guessed right, they were too small and too soft to make plays. Every team now has a clean blueprint on how to dominate time of possession and the football, and opposing offensive coordinators and opposing offensive lineman have to be "licking their chops."

Indianapolis can normally make up for their defensive shortcomings with one of the most explosive offenses in football, but with three starters missing from the offensive line, protection and timing were huge issues, and will continue to be. For the first time in years following a Jaguars game, Peyton Manning is probably waking up sore this morning. The Jags defensive line, which couldn't normally get pressure against a college offensive line, was in the backfield all day long and made Peyton Manning spend plenty of time on the turf.

As poorly as Indianapolis tackled, and as poorly as their offensive line played, the Jaguars needed a gift pass interference call on fourth down on the final possession to keep their final drive alive and eventually pull off a victory. This could be just what the Jaguars needed to propel them to some on-field success, but make no mistake about it, the Jaguars didn't defeat a legitimate Super Bowl contender, they defeated a shell of the formerly elite Indianapolis Colts.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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