Colts Had a Change in Plans Against Jaguars

QB Peyton Manning (Al Messerschmidt/Getty)

There was plenty of talk last week about Jacksonville's rushing attack and how they had embarrassed the Indianapolis Colts with 375 yards on the ground last year. But the Colts defense was the dominant force on the field on Monday night as Indy posted a 29-7 win over the Jaguars.

"Don't expect what happened last year to happen this Monday night, because there's definitely going to be a change of plans right now."

That's what strongside linebacker Tyjuan Hagler said as we wrapped up our interview this past week leading up to the Colts big matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had rushed for 375 yards against the Colts last December.

And he was right. In addition to walking away with a 29-7 victory, the AFC South-leading Colts completed a clean-sweep of away games against their three division opponents with their convincing win in Jackonville on Monday night.

The Indianapolis defense descended upon the Jaguars with a disciplined fury, staying on assignment and leveling blows on ball carriers throughout the matchup. Later this week, after watching the game film and what the Colts did on Monday night to them in front of a national audience, it's not likely that the word "finesse" will come out of the mouths of the Jacksonville players in the near future when discussing their division arch rivals.

The Colts are now 6-0 as they prepare for a matchup this Sunday against the 4-2 Carolina Panthers.

Game Notes

  • Dwight Freeney scored a safety for the team with a blindside sack of backup quarterback Quinn Gray in the Jacksonville end zone. That was the Colts' first safety since the 2000 season and just the 26th in the franchise's history. Defensive end Chad Bratzke was the last Colt to perform the rare feat. In addition to the safety, Freeney had two sacks, two quarterback hits and two forced fumbles.
  • While some wondered how Joseph Addai would do after just coming off a shoulder injury and facing a strong Jacksonville run defense, he answered the challenge well. Averaging 5.3 yards per carry, Addai ran for 85 yards and tacked on another 22 yards on four catches. Kenton Keith rushed for 56 yards on 15 carries (3.7 avg.) and caught two passes for 16 yards.
  • The Jaguars kept wide receiver Marvin Harrison in check with just three catches for 16 yards, but the heavy coverage he was drawing helped open opportunities for Reggie Wayne who caught nine passes for 131 yards. Both figures are season-highs for Wayne, who has nine or more catches in just eight games since breaking into the league as a rookie back in 1991. He now has 18 career 100-plus-yard receiving games, but his 131 yards against the Jaguars is his fifth-highest single-game performance of his pro career. His all-time high is 184 yards set back in September, 2004 against the Green Bay Packers.
  • The Colts held the Jacksonville offense to 117 yards on the ground, which based on the number of carries the Jaguars had, actually matched up evenly to Indianapolis' 4.3 yards per carry. It appears the Jaguars tried to outsmart themselves a bit, coming out of the gates throwing the ball in hopes of surprising the Colts rather than just digging in and seeing if they could overpower Indy's defense with their rushing attack. Fred Taylor had 55 yards on 11 carries (5.0 avg.) while Maurice Jones-Drew posted 52 more on 13 carries (4.0 avg.). The longest run of the night was a 17-yard breakout by Taylor.

  • Dallas Clark congratulated by Ryan Lilja
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

  • Tight end Dallas Clark is having the best season of his career, and the timing is a good-news, bad-news situation for the Colts. The good news is he's become a major contributor to the Colts success, the bad news is he's an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Clark caught 6 balls for 44 yards and a touchdown, pushing his season totals to 30 catches for 366 yards and 6 touchdowns. He's just one-yard short of his 2006 season total of 367 -- and he's only got six games under his belt. His career-high is 488 yards set back in 2005, and he's just eight catches short of setting a career-high in receptions. Clark's six touchdown catches is already a career-best for a single season.
  • Quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 259 yards (23-37), tossed one touchdown pass and was intercepted once. And after being sacked just three times total over the first five games, he was sacked twice by the Jaguars. Dating back to the season-opener in 2006, Manning has been sacked just 19 times and has thrown just 12 interceptions during the last 22 regular-season games.
  • Bob Sanders and Kelvin Hayden pulled in the first two interceptions yielded by Jacksonville's offense this season, but they weren't off of starter David Garrard, who was knocked out of the game due to an ankle injury he suffered while being sacked by rookie defensive tackle Ed Johnson. Backup Quinn Gray threw the interceptions, Sanders' third of his career and Hayden's first regular season pick. The sack by Johnson was the first of his pro career in regular season action. He was also credited with a quarterback hit during the game.
  • Hunter Smith played an important role in the Colts' victory, dropping two of his three punts inside the Jacksonville 20-yard line. He's placed five of his 16 punts this season inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

  • The Jaguars tried to convert six fourth-down opportunities, including some situations where they could have tried a long field goal if they had a kicker with a stronger leg than veteran John Carney, who provides them with accuracy when kicking under 40 yards (7-7), but he missed both of his opportunities so far this season of 40 or longer. It makes you wonder why they didn't sign former Colts kicker Shane Andrus, who has a cannon of a foot and could be just as reliable inside the 40. The Jaguars punted just once all night.

  • Jaguars wide receiver Ernest Wolford was the only Jacksonville receiver to end the night with more than 25 yards of receiving as the Colts did a tremendous job of blanketing the receivers and keeping them in front of them. Wilford had 6 catches for 53 yards. Greg Estandia had the only catch of more than 20 yards, his sole reception of the night which went for 22 yards. The Jaguars' top receiver, Dennis Northcutt, was held to three catches for 20 yards.

  • Both teams played a very clean game with the Colts being flagged four times for 27 yards while the Jaguars drew just two penalties for 20 yards. Kelvin Hayden was called for pass interference (7 yards), Ben Utecht for a false start (5 yards), and Ryan Diem drew two flags for holding and a false start (15 yards total). All four of the Colts penalties were committed in the first half.

  • Jacksonville managed to put together two long drives, but only one resulted in points for them. A 10-play drive after a big kickoff return by Maurice Jones-Drew covered 40 yards and resulted in their only touchdown. On their final possession of the night, they strung together 17 plays covering 45 yards before fumbling the ball away at the Indy 10-yard line. Dwight Freeney forced the fumble, his second of the game, which was recovered by Raheem Brock.

  •  Kelvin Hayden led the team in tackles with eight, although many of those came in pass coverage. He had a busy night, defending four passes and intercepting one.  Linebacker Freddy Keiaho, still wearing a brace for his dislocated elbow, was next with seven tackles while the team's new starter at strongside linebacker, Tyjuan Hagler, tied with safety Antoine Bethea with six tackles. Former Colt linebacker Mike Peterson led the Jaguars in tackles with nine.

  • Darrell Reid led the team with two special teams tackles. Tim Jennings, Clint Session, Luke Lawton and Rocky Boiman were all credited with one each.
  • Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and are syndicated through FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.


    Some of the statistics referenced in this article are provided by STATS, LLC. Copyright 2007 by STATS, LLC. Any use or distribution of such Licensed Materials without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited. 


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