The Colts didn’t allow the lack of competition against a Jaguars team that appears to have already given up on the season do them in Thursday night in Florida, easily topping Jacksonville 27-10.
Indy scored on three consecutive possessions in the first half, opening a 17-0 lead that started emptying the stands at EverBank Field.
First overall pick QB Andrew Luck ran in two touchdowns for the second time in 2012, pacing the way for the easy win as the Colts move to 6-3 on the year, dropping the Jags to 1-8.
The win also avenged a loss earlier in the season to Jacksonville, in a game that the Jags won late for their only win to date for head coach Mike Mularkey.
Darius Butler put the game away as he returned an interception for a score with 10:50 to play in the third quarter to give the Colts an even more commanding 24-3 lead.
The Colts won their fourth consecutive game and snapped a three-game losing streak in the series. The Jaguars have lost six straight.
The Colts had cause for concern following an emotional victory four days earlier, one in which cancer-stricken coach Chuck Pagano delivered a passionate, postgame speech in the locker room.
Interim coach Bruce Arians was worried the team might crash from the emotional high, but instead they used the speech as motivation to beat on their AFC South foes.
Luck on the night went 18-for-26 for 227 yards with a pick and a QB rating of 80.1. Indy held the ball for 35:46 to just 24:14 for Jacksonville, who even turned to Chad Henne at QB trying to get a spark.
Henne combined with starter Blaine Gabbert to go 28-for-47 at the QB spot for 330 yards with a TD and two picks, but the Jags offense, as usual, never got things going in the loss.
Marcedes Lewis, Rashad Jennings and Cecil Shorts dropped passes early. Josh Scobee missed a 44-yard field goal attempt, snapping a streak of 20 consecutive makes.
The Jaguars had an interception overturned by a roughing the passer penalty on Terrance Knighton, keeping alive a drive that ended in a touchdown. They also were on the losing end of two reviews.
Laurent Robinson fumbled at the end of a 9-yard gain, getting the ball stripped by Moise Fokou. Officials initially ruled Robinson was down, but the call was overturned on review. That turnover led to Indy’s second touchdown and led to Jaguars coach Mularkey’s meltdown on the sideline.
Mularkey lost his cool when officials refused to acknowledge his pleas for a review on Luck’s fourth-down TD plunge. Luck appeared to fumble the ball as he crossed the goal line.
All scoring plays are reviewed, so Mularkey couldn’t challenge, but he seemingly wanted officials to take a longer look at the scoring play. He whipped his play sheet and headset onto the field, drawing a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.
It was just another night of failure for the Jags, and another win for the rookie QB and the Colts.