The Jacksonville Jaguars caught Indianapolis at the wrong time. With the playoffs in sight and something still to play for in the way of seeded and a potential bye week, The Colts showed they may be the hottest team in the AFC and are “sleeper” team no one will want to play.
Indianapolis finished strong in the final week of the regular season with a 30-10 win at home.
Andrew Luck and his Colts scored on four of their six offensive series. The Jaguars, for a team that finished the second half of the season 4-4, looked like the team that played the first half of the season lost and unaware they needed wins.
To give you some idea of how huge the game was for the Colts, wide receiver TY Hilton had 11 catches for 155 yards at one point. Jacksonville had 129 yards in total offense. That, my friends, is domination.
The Jaguars did score late to make the final look more tasteful, but there is an overall feeling this was a game much like the one played in the first half of the season when the Jaguars lost on their own turf 37-3. The same point total and basically the same game.
Here is what we learned from this game.
Hilton is a stud
First there was Marvin Harrison, then there was Reggie Wayne and now there is TY Hilton. While he did not score against the Jaguars, he certainly broke the secondary in every way. Ironically, Johnathan Cyprien Hilton’s teammate at Florida International had the task of covering his friend all day. It fair to say Hilton won the battle.
Hilton will more than likely be the lead receiver for the Colts offense next season. Wayne has been injured the second half of the season. Whether he makes a return to the team and can produce the way he has in the past is still unknown.
Tough against the run
Both teams looked like they were consumed with stopping the running game. Indianapolis stopped Donald Brown and Trent Richardson where the Colts rushed for 80 yards on 28 carries. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, both running backs scored from inside the 10 yard line.
The Colts were equally tough in stopping Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman when they were handed the pigskin. Jaguars runners had 42 yards on 16 carries all day long.
The lasting impression the Colts left with the Jaguars in the final game of the season may have been Robert Mathis making his presence known. Mathis, who has become one of the best pass rushers in the league, notched two more sacks during the contest. That gave him 18.5 for the season. Mathis showed a burst off the snap and made easy work of the Jaguars offensive line.
The Jaguars will undoubtedly be a team that will make wholesale changes on this roster. There are 15 players who are currently on the roster who were not on the roster in Week 1. That is huge. The image I will remember from this game was at the end of the game when Brad Meester was congratulated by his teammates for the 14 years of service to the Jaguars. Meester, a second round pick from Northern Iowa, was never a Pro Bowl player, but he was steady and played 210 games for the Jaguars, more than any other player in team history.
Third in the Draft
The Jaguars, by virtue of losing, will pick third in the May 2015 Draft. Houston picks first and needs a passer. The Rams could look to Jake Matthews, an massive tackle from Texas A&M. Could Jadeveon Clowney fall to the Jaguars at No. 3?
Let the clock start ticking.