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Story Of The Game
With the Miami Dolphins getting destroyed earlier in the day, the Colts had already received the help they needed heading into Week 17. They knew that they would make the playoffs if they held up their end of the bargain and won against Jacksonville.
It looked like that would be nothing but a formality early on, as the Colts raced out to a big lead and were having their way with a porous Jaguars defense. But then things stalled out, and the Jags began to claw back into the lead.
With nothing to play for, and the No. 1 overall draft pick already secured, the Jags nevertheless closed to within a single score, with Philip Rivers assisting them on their way by throwing an interception into the end zone.
From that point on, Jonathan Taylor took back control and ended with a franchise-record day on the ground with 253 rushing yards. Taylor put the Colts back up by multiple scores and made the hill too large to climb for Jacksonville. It was a timely performance from Taylor because Rivers passed for 164 yards and a touchdown to go along with that interception, so without Taylor trucking on the ground, this might have been a story of what could have been for the Colts.
The win secured a trip to the postseason for an Indianapolis team that was the only one in the AFC hunt that needed help coming into the weekend, but they then came agonizingly close to doing even better and snatching the AFC South division crown from the Tennessee Titans but for late drama in that game.
Taylor racked up 253 yards on 30 carries, scoring twice and moving the chains 10 times in what was the performance that made the Colts offense go. Michael Pittman Jr. also played extensively on offense (50 snaps) but saw just two passes thrown his way. He caught both of them for 28 yards.
Julian Blackmon was the only Colts rookie to see snaps on defense, playing the whole game and making a couple of tackles without making much of an impact overall.
For Jacksonville, what comeback they were trying to mount was largely running through Laviska Shenault Jr., who caught five passes for 62 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Fully half of Shenault’s eight targets were contested, and he brought in two of those contested catches.
Four rookies saw extensive action for the Jaguars on defense, with K’Lavon Chaisson generating two pressures on his snaps. Doug Costin saw the field for 26 snaps on the defensive line but didn’t generate any pressure.
In the secondary, Chris Claybrooks played 43 snaps and allowed two catches from three targets into his coverage, both of which moved the chains. Josiah Scott was the remaining rookie to get playing time, with 15 snaps at corner.
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