Colts 28 - Jaguars 25
It wasn't the prettiest game, but it was enough to win.
Jacksonville, probably the biggest division rival the Colts have, is a good solid team with a hard hitting defense and an offense that likes to pound the ball on the ground. Their defense was really little match for the big plays that the Colts love to run, but the thing that kept this thing close was their ability to sustain long time-eating drives, using the run as the main weapon.
Normally, I don't gloat after wins like a lot of people do. But there are some factors here that lead me to depart from this policy, this time around.
The Jags have complained that they receive little respect in the world of professional football and to some degree, I must agree with that assessment. But the thing that hurts this team the most is their mouths. They spend more time running them in the days leading up to a match with the Colts, than actually preparing for the game. They also beat themselves by committing cheap shots against the Colts, which is something I rarely see them do against other teams.
The chip they carry against Indianapolis is two-fold.
Mike Peterson was once an Indianapolis Colt, but was not re-signed a few years back. He has carried that grudge ever since. When asked why they didn't re-sign him, Bill Polian said they only re-sign great players. Obviously that statement didn't set well with Mike.
The other facet of this animosity is Paul Spicer. He is from Indy and played for Indianapolis Northwest High School. His brother was murdered here a few years ago and to date, it has not been solved. So, being the immature being he is, he wants to transfer that bitterness toward the Colts, by running his mouth when he is town. Word has it that this time around, he stated that Peyton Manning is below average when he is pressured in the pocket. (No quarterback is as effective when there is pressure on him, but to say Manning is below average is both childish and irresponsible.)
In one sense, I can understand Spicer's anger. If my brother were murdered and the crime was yet unsolved, I might be angry too. Believe me, I feel his pain. My brother wasn't murdered, but he was killed almost 30 years ago in an accidental shooting. He would have been 45 now. So, in no way do I want to exploit any of that pain, for the purposes of this football post. But, there's a time to mourn and a time to heal. And if a person doesn't want to heal, it will affect his/her ability to function in real life.
However, playing football has nothing to do with real life. His job has nothing to do with any of this business of verbal potshots toward an opposing team's quarterback. His anger towards the Indianapolis Police Department has nothing to do with football or the Colts, which is the team he rooted for, when he was a kid. When doing his job and getting on with his life, he must learn to let go, if he is to heal properly.
I believe that Jacksonville is the best second-tier team in the NFL. Instead of harboring grudges against a team that pretty much has their number on the field, they need to look inward towards taking the next step towards greatness and reversing the results that almost always seem to haunt them, after another loss to Indy. If they do less talking in the pre-game and concentrate on winning the game, they may have a shot at greatness someday. Until then, they will be leaving Colts games with their tails tucked between their legs.
In this loss, it not only cost them the game, but has now likely cost them a shot at winning their division. That's a hefty price to pay when you are a football player, all for a few cheap verbal shots along the way.