Jags choke, Colts close in on another AFC South crown

Here are five quick-hit observations on the AFC South following the Jaguars’ 20-17 overtime loss to the Redskins and the Colts’ 31-26 win over the Raiders on Sunday.

1. How the South can be won.
If the Colts beat the Titans next Sunday, they’ll have 10 wins on the season. If the Jaguars beat the Texans next Sunday, they’ll have nine wins. Quick math tells me that the Colts would therefore have more victories than the Jaguars and they would win the AFC South. So the mission is simple for the Colts next week: Just win baby. If the Colts lose to the Titans and the Jaguars beat the Texans, they they’d both finish at 9-7 and Jacksonville would win the South because they would have the better division record (4-2). But none of this matters because Peyton Manning isn’t losing at home next week to a team that has nothing to play for. Sorry Jacksonville, but you screwed the pooch last week when you could have won the division then.

2. What a horrendous effort by the Jaguars against the Redskins.
I know Maurice Jones-Drew is Jacksonville’s best player and essentially their entire offense, but seriously? That’s the best you got, Jaguars? Your season is on the line and you can’t muster a win at home against the Redskins? Unreal. Washington went four-of-15 on third down and still won. Jacksonville committed seven penalties for 66 yards, had punts bounce off their own players and turned the ball over twice. The second interception couldn’t have come at a worse time, as David Garrard was picked off on the Jags’ first offensive possession in overtime. The interception put the Skins in field goal position and they eventually won when Graham Gano hit a 31-yarder. The Jags were able to rack up 336 yards on Washington’s miserable defense, but they reached the red zone just twice and failed to score once. Just a bad, bad day all the way around for the men in teal.

3. The Colts’ run defense steps up.
For the second week in a row, the Colts held a quality running team in check. Oakland managed just 80 yards on the ground and even though they made things interesting throughout, Indy was able to come away with a victory. They also managed to stave off disaster when Jacoby Ford returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. The Colts couldn’t have asked for a worse start, but they settled in and Manning eventually started to pick the Raiders apart. The Colts even ran the ball for more than 150 yards in consecutive games for the first time since 2006.

4. Jim Caldwell – the onsides kick killer.
Last week in Indy’s game against the Jaguars, Caldwell called a timeout right before a Jacksonville onsides kick attempt and Tyjuan Hagler wound up recovering the kick and returning it for a touchdown. On Sunday, Caldwell again called a timeout right before an onsides kick attempt and the Colts managed to recover the ball sans touchdown. Instead of icing kickers on field goal attempts, Caldwell has figured out a way to ice kickers on onside kick tries.

5. The Jaguars needed to have better offensive production.
Not to beat a dead horse, but how do the Jags only manage to score 17 points against a decimated Washington defense? Not having MJD really hurt, I get that. But Garrard’s two interceptions were killers and Josh Scobee missed two field goals that could have had a huge impact on the game. Garrard didn’t have a running game to work with and he did manage to complete 22-of-38 passes for 299 yards and a touchdown. But his two picks proved to be the difference in the game, as the Redskins turned his first interception into a touchdown and subsequently, a 10-0 lead. It’s just flabbergasting that a team with so much on the line could come up so short on the offensive side of the ball,

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>