Neither team seemed to be able to get their footing, literally and figuratively in the first half at Wembley. The field was “heavy” and slick and the offenses of the Jaguars and the Colts couldn’t find a rhythm. For the Jaguars, a blocked pass by Dante Fowler fell into the arms of Yannick Ngakoue for a turnover deep in Colts territory. Blake *Bortles followed that with a TD pass from 3 yards out to Allen Robinson to take a 7-0 lead.
Even though the Jaguars had the lead, midway through the second quarter the Colts dominated the time of possession, kicked two field goals and stayed in the game. Neither quarterback could get untracked with their combined total being less than 100 yards passing. In fact, the Jaguars had more penalty yards than offensive yards.
Things changed as the Jaguars started to run the ball. With both T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory available, the offensive line got comfortable and started opening up holes on the inside. That made the Colts respect play action and Bortles started to find open receivers. He scored on a little bootleg to make it 14-6 The Jaguars had 80 yards rushing in the first half with Bortles hitting six different receivers.
A nice drive at the end of the half resulted in a FG. Bortles threw it short with just :07 on the clock and Jason Myers kicked it for a 17-6 halftime lead.
For the first time in recent memory the Jaguars scored on the drive at the end of the half and the opening drive of the second half, opening up a 20-6 lead after another Myers field goal. The defense continued to hold the Colts in check throughout the 3rd quarter when Myers added another FG to make it a three score game 23-6. The Jaguars had 9 penalties for 116 yards through three quarters but also had 128 yards rushing.
Starting the 4th quarter the feeling in the stadium was that the Jaguars had control of the game but couldn’t let up. The Colts couldn’t win the game without help from the Jaguars. That’s when Indy scored their first TD against a soft zone to pull within 23-13. And they did it again with the help of a pass interference call against Devon House making it 23-20. House has been picked on all year and Sunday was no different. Aaron Colvin is eligible next week so it’ll be interesting if they give him a shot at the corner spot. Josh Johnson saw a lot of action there against the Colts.
For the first time this year the Jaguars responded to a score in a critical situation. Bortles hit Yeldon a couple of times in the flat for first downs then threw it to Hurns on a simple out route that looked like another first down. Instead, Hurns broke a tackle, cut inside, picked up some blockers and ran for a 42 yard TD to take a 30-20 lead with 5 minutes to play.
In the four years the Jaguars have been here, their fan base has grown, especially at the games and the knowledge of the European and UK fans has expanded. When Hurns scored, the place erupted like a home game. They used to get excited about FG’s and punts but the locals have gotten used to the game.
It’s been a while since the Jaguars answered an opponent’s score late in the game but they did just that on the next drive. After a couple of balls in the flat to T.J. Yeldon, Bortles hit Allen Hurns on an out route but instead of running out of bounds, Hurns cut inside, picked up blockers and scored from 42 yards out to give the Jaguars a 30-20 lead.
Not being able to stand prosperity, there was a mix up on third down in the defensive backfield and Andrew Luck threw a 64 yard TD with 3 minutes to play to cut the lead back to just 3. That’s the kind of thing that just can’t happen in that situation. Whether it was Jalen Ramsey or somebody else, you can’t give up the big play there.
It looked a felt like the Green Bay and the Baltimore games in the last two minutes with the Jaguars holding on by their fingernails. But this time the defense, maybe more specifically Josh Johnson made a play on 4th down to let the Jaguars eventually run out the clock. Indy got the ball back but couldn’t do anything with it. Sen’Derrick Marks had a big sack of Andrew Luck and the Jaguars win 30-27.
It wasn’t pretty but maybe with a taste of winning and a week off, the Jaguars will go into the next part of the season with some confidence.