Jaguars vs. Colts, 10 Observations: JAX produces first shutout since 2006, Bortles efficient in win

The Jaguars played a nearly perfect game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Jacksonville's defense produced its first shutout since 2006 and collected a franchise record-tying 10 sacks. The Jaguars' offense put up over 500 total yards and created several big plays on the ground and in the air.

It was quite the showing for Doug Marrone's crew.

The 27-0 blowout win offered a lot to talk about, so here are 10 immediate observations from the game:

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1. Jaguars produce 10 sacks for the second time this season

On Sunday, the Jaguars produced double digit sacks on Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Seven different defenders were able to take Brissett down. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue produced 2.5 sacks and veteran Calais Campbell collected two of his own.

The Jaguars' pass rushing depth showed against the Colts. Backup defensive tackles Eli Ankou and Sheldon Day picked up their first sacks of the season. 

This group has several players that can get to the quarterback. The starters are producing sacks at an alarming rate.

Campbell already has a new career-high of 10 sacks through just seven games. Defensive end Dante Fowler has already surpassed his sack production from last year. 

The secondary is shutting down superstar wide receivers like T.Y. Hilton and forcing quarterbacks to hold onto the ball. The pass rush is taking advantage with its talent. 

2. Bortles has one of the best games of his career

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles takes on a lot of (deserved) criticism for his inconsistent, turnover-prone play. On Sunday, he was fantastic.

Bortles was accurate, took shots downfield and moved the ball consistently. He led five scoring drives, including each of the first four offensive series. He set his receivers up for big plays throughout the first half, which led to a blowout through the first two quarters.

His 52-yard toss to rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole was impressive. His jump ball to tight end Marcedes Lewis was perfectly placed for the mismatch in coverage.

Bortles completed 18-of-26 passes for 330 passing yards and a touchdown, but his performance out-shined his box score numbers.

3. Colts' wide receivers turned into afterthoughts against Ramsey, Bouye

The Jaguars' dynamic cornerback duo continued its dominance against the Colts. Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye held wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief to a combined four catches for 57 yards. Brissett targeted the two receivers 12 times. 

Ramsey and Bouye are helping the defensive line get to the quarterback by shutting down opposing wide receivers. While they failed to produce interceptions, the duo basically destroyed the Colts' ability to throw the ball.

4. Jaguars finally get something out of the receiving game

Wide receivers Allen Hurns, Keelan Cole and Marqise Lee produced 11 receptions for 237 receiving yards. That's a lot of production.

Hurns and Lee have struggled to find consistency this season and Cole had yet to stand out.

Against the Colts, the trio proved they have the upside to make things work without Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson. 

All three had plays of 45 or more yards. 

5. Offense overcomes losing three of its best players

If you asked a hardcore Jaguars fan to name the team's three best offensive players, you'd probably hear a response like "Leonard Fournette, Leonard Fournette and Leonard Fournette." That person would be wrong because - despite popular belief - Fournette doesn't count as three players.

The proper response - humor aside - is probably "Leonard Fournette, Cam Robinson and Brandon Linder." The Jaguars' offense was missing all three of those players within three plays of the game against the Colts.

Backup center Tyler Shatley and swing tackle Josh Wells did very well in relief of Robinson (ankle) and Linder (undisclosed illness). Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon (more on him later) and Corey Grant picked up the slack for Fournette (ankle). 

The Jaguars weren't prepared for Robinson's absence, but Wells' performance kept the offense on point. 

Good teams need to be able to win with injuries. The Jaguars didn't just win on Sunday. They were dominant.

6. Yeldon deserves a lot of credit

Yeldon was an afterthought during the first six games of the season. He was a healthy inactive until this week.

On Sunday, he made his season debut and he made it count. He produced a career-high 122 rushing yards on just nine carries. He also scored on a 58-yard run in the second half.

While trade rumors have swirled around Yeldon, he showed why the Jaguars haven't traded him.

It'll be interesting to see how he will be used moving forward. The Jaguars have the bye week to re-evaluate.

7. The offensive line holds firm despite changes

While Wells and Shatley deserve credit for their performances, Patrick Omameh, A.J. Cann and Jermey Parnell should be praised as well.

The offensive line has dealt with injuries and made things work. The Jaguars produced 188 rushing yards and a lot of that success came from the blocking upfront. Bortles was only sacked once.

Cann and Parnell were critical during Corey Grant's 28-yard gain on a screen pass from Bortles. That play led to the team's first field of the game. Overall it was a sound performance for the group of five.

8. Lambo perfect in his debut

New Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo made the most of his chances on Sunday. He was 2-of-2 on field goals and 3-of-3 on extra points against the Colts.

It was a strong debut for the former professional soccer player. With the offense and defense dominating, Lambo would have stood out like a sore thumb if he missed an attempt or two. Consistency will be the key moving forward for Lambo.

9. Lewis is a red zone weapon

The Jaguars need help in the red zone and tight end Marcedes Lewis may be their best option within the 20-yard line. His jump ball catch was impressive and he and Bortles seemingly have some chemistry down there. Lewis leads the team with four receiving touchdowns. 

Fellow tight ends Ben Koyack and James O'Shaughnessy should receive some looks there as well.

10. The Jaguars are 4-3 entering the bye week

The Jaguars can still control their own destiny entering the week off. Jacksonville is tied at the top of the AFC South with the Tennessee Titans (4-3) at this point.

If the Jaguars continue to win games and the Titans continue to struggle against teams like the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville will have a shot at the division crown.

The Houston Texans (3-3) are on the bye this week and the Colts' loss to the Jaguars drops them to 2-5 on the season.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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