Thoughts following the Colts' 27-10 victory over the Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday night:
What it means: The Colts are 6-3. If the Texans lose at Chicago on Sunday, Indianapolis would be just one game out of first place in the AFC South, though Houston would have the better division and conference records for potential tiebreakers. The Jaguars, meanwhile, are 1-8 and haven’t won since Sept. 23.
What I liked, Colts: They got another excellent game from Andrew Luck, who showed a national TV audience the poise, command, pocket presence, ability to handle pressure, arm and running ability Colts fans have been seeing all season. He ran for two more touchdowns and now has five rushing TDs on the year, a franchise record for a quarterback. The backup cornerbacks held up well, with Darius Butler pulling in a pick-six from Blaine Gabbert and another interception of a Chad Henne throw after it was tipped multiple times at the line. He also recovered a fumble. Interim coach Bruce Arians gave the team off until Monday but told players they'd have to play a lot better to win their next game, at New England.
What I didn’t like, Jaguars: I’m not one to point to officiating as an excuse very often and I don’t think the Jaguars were going to win on this night. But nothing went the Jaguars' way in the first half. Laurent Robinson lost a fumble right as he went down, according to the judgment of a challenge, a call I agreed with but that could have gone the other way. Worse, Luck’s second rushing touchdown appeared to come with him bobbling the ball and not getting to the goal line. In another bad break, the Jaguars were going to go for a fourth-and-4 from the Colts’ 17 until Gabbert was called for a false start. But it looked a lot more like offsides by the Colts.
Margins: It was the Colts’ first win this season by a margin larger than six points. It was the Jaguars’ fifth home loss of the season, all by at least 17 points. They've been outscored 153-44 in Jacksonville.
Super-costly: Terrance Knighton was judged properly to have roughed Luck, a gigantic penalty that undid an Aaron Ross interception. Instead of the Jaguars getting the ball, they added yardage to what became an Indy touchdown drive. And Robinson lost a fumble trying to gain extra yards, the result of a strip by Moise Fokou, which Butler recovered.
Emotion: Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey threw his call sheet (and his headset went with it) in disgust over the debated Luck TD sneak. A scoring play, it was automatically reviewed but he hadn’t gotten an indication it stood up to replay -- which maybe it should not have. It’s as hot as I’ve seen him as Jaguars coach.
Injury concern: Gabbert left the game after re-injuring his left, non-throwing shoulder. Henne finished up.
What’s next: The Colts are at New England on Nov. 18, a Sunday afternoon game. The Jaguars are at Houston earlier that afternoon.