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Jaguars Playbook: How Jacksonville dismantled the Colts in Week 2

Detailed look at how the Jaguars dominated the Colts during last season’s week 2 contest

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

This series will analyze the 2022 Jacksonville Jaguars offense. We’ll create weekly play call sheets to see how one of the best offensive coordinators in the NFL, Doug Pederson, calls a game. Next up: Week 2 vs Indianapolis Colts

The Jacksonville Jaguars found their footing after dismantling the Indianapolis Colts during last season’s week 2 victory. After letting a winnable game week 1 slip away, the Jaguars did not make the same mistake this time around.

Everything relayed to Trevor Lawrence’s earpiece worked. A play callers dream at football’s highest level.

While it seemed like Doug Pederson’s wizardry was on full display, the reality was the Colts defense played a bigger part. Primarily staying in a three deep zone, the defense left a lot of space open underneath. Lawrence took advantage to the tune of 25-30, 235 YDS, 2 TDs.

A big theme to start the game was how the Jaguars mirrored their passing game. Meaning both sides of the formation ran the same concept. This allowed Lawrence to scan the field pre-snap and pick whatever matchup he liked best.

Mirroring works best against zone defenses because it allows receivers to find the soft spots. A shorter drop for the quarterback helps get the ball out quicker. And if the quarterback and receivers are on the same page it spells trouble for a defense.

When there’s almost a lack of pre-snap disguise, as was the case with the Colts, it makes it an easy game of pitch and catch. Hard to tell looking at the call sheet, but one thing you’ll notice is how little MOFO (middle of the field open) coverage the Colts used.

Player spotlight: Trevor Lawrence

The second year signal caller was as decisive and accurate as you could be. And he torched the Colts defense all day long.

His first touchdown on the day was a schematic beauty. With the ball spotted at the 10 yard line, Pederson knew a variation of man coverage was coming. Pre-snap movement for Christian Kirk had him settle in the backfield. That’s a tough position to be in on defense with Kirk’s athleticism. As the defender sat back waiting, Kirk ran an angle route out of the backfield. Lawrence hit him instantly allowing Kirk to ramble in for a touchdown.

Trevor Lawrence knew exactly where he was going with the ball pre-snap. Defensively, underneath was so wide open and all he needed to do was deliver it on time. And he did.

It may be subtle, but Lawrence knowing exactly why the play is drawn up signifies how him and Pederson are on the same page. Many offenses in the NFL aren’t as in sync.

During a plays installation, as a play caller, you want to teach your quarterback the “why.” This puts a play caller and quarterback on the same page.

Lawrence’s day could have been even better too. His best throw came as he stepped up in the pocket and threw a bomb to Jamal Agnew in the end zone. It fell right through Agnew’s hands and hit the ground. Two plays later the Jaguars had to settle for a field goal.

Drive starters (Possession & 10)

The first play of a drive is extremely important because it’s a great barometer of how a drive will end.

Here are the Jaguars drive openers and their results:

Jaguars Openers - Week 2

Drive R/P Pers Form Play Play Result Drive Result
Drive R/P Pers Form Play Play Result Drive Result
1 R 12 Z Lt 2x2 Zone R 3 TD
2 R 11 Y Rt 2x2 Counter R -1 Punt
3 P 12 1x3 (PA) || Peel Flat-Cross-Post *Cov 3* 13 TD
4 P 11 Y Rt F Jet 2x2 || HB Screen *Cov 3* 14 FG
5 R 12 1x3 Outside Zone R -1 Punt
6 P 12 Y/F Lt 3x1 (PA) Cross-Post-Shallow || Corner *Cov 3* 12 TD
7 R 13 Y Short 2x2 Counter R -1 Punt
8 R 12 Z Lt 2x2 Zone R 1 Punt
9 R 11 Y Rt F Jet 1x3 Jet Sweep R 2 Punt
10 R 12 Z Rt 2x2 Zone L -1 TD

As you can see, a good first play of the drive saw the Jaguars ending it with points. While Pederson did a great job of mixing up the run/pass ratio keeping the defense guessing, the Jaguars execution was what helped them gain momentum.

One thing to lookout for in the 2023 season is how often Lawrence and company can over come a not so great first play. The great offenses in this league often overcome negative plays. Can the Jaguars join that group?

Next up: Week 3 vs. Los Angeles Chargers