Jaguars Clawed the Colts 38 - 20

Jaguars Clawed the Colts 38 - 20

Grant Flood December 31, 2019  Comments

The Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars would both end there mediocre 2019 seasons with a Jaguars 38 - 20 win in Week 17. It started off great for the Colts, their offense was clicking and Marlon Mack was dashing through the Jaguars defense ending with 77-yards and two touchdowns. In the first half, Jacoby Brissett was playing conserivive ball by not pushing anything down field with no turnovers. However, it was a whole different Colts team during the second half with Brissett causing two fumbles in the fourth quarter that sealed the win for the Jaguars. The Jaguars offense didn't play terribly in the first half but they lit up the dark Jacksonville sky in the second half, Gardner Minshew II went on two touchdown scoring drives and the defense did the rest for the Jaguars to end the season on a high note.

To begin the game, the Colts marched down the field with an immediate red zone opportunity, the Jaguars defense was up to the challenge of preventing the Colts from scoring a touchdown from the 5-yard line and the drive ended with a Chase McLaughlin 20-yard chip shot to make it 3 - 0 Colts. Keelan Cole would get the Colts kickoff and returned it for 59 yards as he broke through tackles sprinting down the left sideline. Minshew II would throw a right on the money throw to Dede Westbrook that went for 13-yards for a first down, it looked like it was going to be a shootout. The Colts must have learned from the Jaguars defense as they stopped them in the red zone that resulted Josh Lambo to kick a 20-yard chip shot field goal to tie the game at 3. On the second Colts possession, it would be another five plus minute drive as the Jaguars defense could not stop multiple third downs. The drive ended with a Marlon Mack 5-yard rushing touchdown giving the Colts the lead. To begin the second quarter, the Jaguars were roaring down the field but only to be stopped on 3rd and 7 which led Lambo to a 53-yard field goal to cut the Colts lead to four. It looked as if the scoring would never stop after Brissett completed a pass to Marcus Johnson for 15-yards but the Jaguars forced a three and out which led to the first punt of the game. The Jaguars would go 90-yards on the next drive with Minshew II connecting to Cole from 14-yards out for the touchdown. Ashton Dulin returned the kickoff for 46-yards putting the Colts around midfield as they would pick up a couple of first downs before the Mack finished the job with an 8-yard rushing touchdown for a 17 - 13 lead. The Jaguars would try to add more points before halftime but that quickly diminished as Minshew II threw an interception to Darius Leonard. The Colts tacked on another field goal as McLaughlin banged one through from 50-yards. On a 3rd and 2 just outside of field-goal range, Minshew II ran for a 3-yard run which was just enough for Lambo drill a 56-yard field goal to reduce the Colts lead to four at halftime.

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The Jaguars got the second half kickoff and they stormed right down the field as Minshew II threw a 3-yard touchdown to Ryquell Armstead for a Jaguars lead along with a two-point conversion caught by Westbrook to make it 24 - 20. Then the game took a sudden halt with four straight drives ending in punts, I’m sure the fans were scratching their heads wondering what happened to both offenses?  With 10:30 left in the fourth quarter, the Colts had the ball hoping to take the lead once more but Yannick Ngakoue punched the ball out of Brissett’s hands, scooped by Calais Campbell for the defensive score. On their next  drive, Brissett would have the ball punched out of his hands once again, this time by Taven Bryan which was recovered by Dawuane Smoot. The Jaguars would end it with Minshew II tying his career high touchdown passes with three as he hit Westbrook for an 18-yarder with under five minutes to go. The Colts would end their season with a four and out with the Jaguars clinching victory.

Maybe this win convinced the Jaguars organization not to fire head coach, Doug Marrone? The way the Jaguars have played in the second half of the season was just outright terrible, the only positive for this team was the performance of Gardner Minshew II. For a sixth-round rookie, he has developed into a capable NFL starting quarterback. Now, what should the Jaguars do with backup Nick Foles? Do you keep him? Do you trade him at the draft? Do you release him? As for the Colts, head coach, Frank Reich will most likely stick around unless the Colts struggle again next season. He might have been lucky as his team started off the year 5 - 2, tied with the Texans for the AFC South lead but how can the team finish with a 2 - 6 record down the stretch? One thing is for sure, the Jaguars and Colts can only watch as their division rival Titans and Texans will be playing in the postseason.

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