The Jacksonville Jaguars forced five fumbles in the first half, setting a franchise record in process, but didn't score points off of the opportunities afforded by the turnovers. Instead the team floundered all game offensively, and when the Indianapolis Colts finally started scoring, it came all at once and ended with a 23-3 landslide in favor of the home team.
While Chris Clemons tied the franchise-record for sacks in a game with three (and he did so in about 14 minutes), rookie quarterback Blake Bortles had arguably his worst game as a pro.
Before a couple garbage time drives allowed Bortles to get over 100 passing yards in the fourth quarter, he had just 39 yards through the first three. At day's end, he was 15-of-27 for 146 yards with an interception. For perspective, Andrew Luck picked up 73 of his 227 passing yards in one play when he hit T.Y. Hilton streaking down the right sideline.
With the loss, the Jaguars are tied with the Oakland Raiders for ownership of the NFL's worst record at 1-10 and are locked in a tie for rights to the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The tiebreaker awards the pick to the team with the lower strength of schedule, and thanks largely to the record of the Tennessee Titans, the Jaguars are currently ahead of the Raiders in that regard.
Three things we learned
1. The defense is getting better: If afforded enough opportunities, eventually Andrew Luck and the Colts are going to score some points. All things considered, it was a very, very good showing by the Jaguars defense which certainly played well enough for a competent offense to take advantage and build a huge early lead. Clemons and Sen'Derrick Marks were dominant in the early going and consistently made plays in the backfield, keeping Luck uncomfortable.
2. The offense is getting worse: I'd love to see Bortles get better in the final five games of the season, but frankly, I don't expect it. The only thing that's going to make his performance improve at this point is time and an offseason to improve his worsening mechanics. But even beyond Bortles, there are significant issues with the offense, as the offensive line struggled to do much of anything on Sunday. Also, the return of Marcedes Lewis was supposed to fill the void of safety valve after Allen Robinson was placed on injured reserve. That wasn't the case.
3. Special teams is still bad: The Jaguars have had worse games on special teams, but Sunday was more of the same in the category. Joshua Cribbs gashed the Jaguars on multiple occasions and even returned a punt for a touchdown, although it was called back for a touchdown. Also, the only points of the day for the Jaguars came on a field goal that was blocked and went in anyway.