The 2013 Indianapolis Colts (11-5) regular season is in the books. They finished the season on a high note, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12) 30-10. While it's sad to say goodbye to the regular season, it's time to get excited about not only the playoffs, but a Colts home playoff game.
But before we start getting you ready for Colts/Chiefs round 2, here's your final report card of 2013 and the regular season.
We’ve complained about slow starts on offense for most of the year. Fortunately, it was quite different against the Jaguars. Even after big drops by Fleener and Whalen, the Colts still managed to score their first TD of the game on a one-yard carry by Donald Brown. 7-0.
The Colts’ second series was even better than their first. After a 26-yard catch by Fleener, the Colts soon faced a fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line. Pagano decided to go for it and Trent Richardson delivered the Colts’ second TD of the game. 14-0.
Jacksonville’s defense finally slowed the Colts down, at least enough to make them to settle for a FG. A gorgeous 37-yard pass from Luck to Hilton set up the kick. 17-0.
For the remainder of the half, the Colts punted twice but were able to score one more FG. 20-3.
The Colts started the second half as good as they did in the first half. They entered Jaguars territory after a 41-yard catch by T.Y. Hilton. One more catch by Hilton, this time for 19-yards, put the Colts inside the Jags’ 10-yard line. Luck finished the drive with a 7-yard TD pass to Griff Whalen. 27-3.
After two straight drives without throwing a single pass and with the game all but won, Luck was pulled for Matt Hasselbeck. Without Luck, the Colts still scored one more FG. 30-3.
The offense was unstoppable in the first quarter. Their first two drives were beautiful. The Colts were really aggressive early and it paid off.
Throwing to T.Y. Hilton (11 catches for 155 yards) helped a lot for some damn reason.
Just like last week, Whalen scored a TD and finished with four catches for 32 yards. He also had a big drop in the end zone early in the game.
Richardson and Brown combined for 56 rushing yards on 20 attempts but they scored one TD each.
Coby Fleener had just one catch. That’s, amazingly, one more than last week. Colts will need a lot more from their TE next week against KC.
As exciting as the first quarter was, the second quarter wasn’t as good. Play calling was much more conservative and they only scored one FG. They started the second half aggressively again and it paid off once more. Hopefully the coaches learned the lesson and they’ll let us see more of that aggressiveness in the playoffs.
Offensive player of the game: T.Y. Hilton
He didn’t score, but Hilton finished with 11 catches for 155 yards, including catches for 41, 37 and 19 yards. It’s funny how well the offense plays when they involve T.Y.
Want a strong start? Jerrell Freeman, the AFC defensive player of the week in Week 16, forced a fumble on the second play of the game. Darius Butler recovered the fumble.
Freeman didn’t slow down for the Jags’ next series, as he batted down two passes. Robert Mathis would force the 3-and-out by sacking QB Chad Henne.. Jacksonville’s next drive ended in a three-and-out too.
With the aid of an out-of-bounds kickoff by Pat McAfee, the team with the ugliest helmets in the history of football were able to get their only points of the first half on a 37-yard FG by Josh Scobee. 17-3.
Right before the half, the Colts forced one more turnover. This time, it was Bethea who intercepted Chad Henne after Henne’s throw was slightly tipped at the line of scrimmage by Fili Moala.
After a punt and a turnover on downs, Henne was sacked twice (Freeman, Mathis) and the Jags had to punt once again.
The Jags still scored a TD right before the end of the game to make the scoreboard look a bit nicer for them. 30-10.
In the last three games, the Colts surrendered just 20 points (13 if you don’t count the Jags’ last TD in garbage time), forced eight turnovers (five INTs, three forced fumbles) and recorded 12 sacks. Obviously that stretch included two games against mediocre AFC South rivals.
Jerrell Freeman is on fire. He finished with five tackles, a sack, a forced fumble (his THIRD straight game forcing a fumble) and a couple of passes defended.
As good as Freeman has been the last few weeks, Robert Mathis is still the Colts’ best defensive player. His two sacks yesterday just extended his regular season record to 19.5. Hopefully both Freeman and Mathis can keep it up for the playoffs.
Defensive player of the game: Robert Mathis
#98 finished the game with four tackles and a couple of sacks (19.5 for the season). He’s the heart and soul of this defense and he definitely deserves to win the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Other than a bad out-of-bounds kickoff by Pat McAfee and a David Reed impersonation by LaVon Brazill, it was a quiet day for the STs.
McAfee also punted the ball five times, three of those inside the 20.
Adam Vinatieri was perfect, finishing 3/3.
Can't argue with any of that. I think the score not only dictated the conservative play calling as the game went on, but also the two ST miscues. I doubt McAfee tries to coffin corner a kickoff in a real close game. And I HOPE that Brazil doesn't gamble taking the ball out of the endzone when he's 9 yards deep either. You can do those things when your defense is dominating their offense in a meaningless game.
@smonroeI had the same feeling. Clearly if the team COULD run well, it should and would. So once they had the lead, I think they experimented with running the ball again. It took time off the clock and gave them a chance (I believe) to see the O-line's run blocking on tape. Had they passed and run the shotgun all game, they would have no game tape on improvements needed for the run game with this set of linemen.