Colts establish blueprint for success in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–The Colts didn’t waste any time in their third game of the season against their division rival in Jacksonville.
Each and every drive in the first half was rewarded with points. Out of six drives there were three field goals and three touchdowns. In the midst of dominating offensively, the defense took care of business staging a first-half shutout.
“We wanted to make sure we scored every possession we had,” said tight end Dwayne Allen, who was responsible for a second quarter touchdown. “We knew we were in a position where we could create mismatches and we were going to capitalize and execute on them. That was the most important thing today.”
Andrew Luck had a career-best performance in Jacksonville, posting a quarterback rating of 140.4 and his highest completion percentage of 79.5. He did that by connecting 31 of 39 passes for 370 yards and four touchdowns.
“I just think our guys ran nice, crisp routes. They did a great job when it was zone finding that hole and when it was man of running away from guys,” said Luck. “There was firm protection up front and that always helps when you can get those defensive linemen’s hands down and I think we had a good tempo.”
In total, Luck got the ball into the possession of nine of his offensive weapons, taking advantage of running backs, tight ends and receivers.
“There are so many playmakers,” continued Luck. “The ball needs to be in their hands, not mine.”
Luck is known for shying away from the spotlight, although, with a performance like that, it’s tough for him to stay out of it.
“That’s Andrew,” said head coach Chuck Pagano. “We all know what he’s capable of and now we need to keep building.”
Pagano also spoke very highly of the offensive line. He noted their chemistry and continuity as strengths and said their good health has a lot to do with that because they’re able to play together without interruption. Ahmad Bradshaw, who chalked up 83 total yards against the Jaguars, agreed.
“My hat goes off to my o-line. They do a great job executing up front and studying every week to prepare for every game and tonight they did a great job getting us free,” said Bradshaw.
Hard work on both sides of the ball paid off for the defending AFC South champions Sunday. They move to 1-2 on the season and 1-0 in the division.
“If you want a blueprint, that’s how we need to play week in and week out,” said defensive end Cory Redding. “That’s what we expect out of ourselves. We put it on tape one time and we can do it again.”
Next up are the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sept. 28.