NFL News & Analysis

IND-JAX grades: Jaguars' pass rush lights up Colts in win

xxxx during the NFL game between Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on October 2, 2016 in London, England.

Jacksonville Jaguars 30, Indianapolis Colts 27

Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Jaguars' 30-27 win over the Colts on Sunday:

Jacksonville Jaguars

Quarterback grade: Blake Bortles, 50.7

Just like on his last visit to London's Wembley Stadium, Jags QB Blake Bortles produced an erratic performance as a passer but delivered in crucial moments with both his arms and his legs to help the Jags claim their first victory of the season and pull level with the Colts and Titans in the AFC South behind the division-leading Texans. Bortles completed only three of his nine pass attempts targeted more than 10 yards downfield, and in drawing coverage penalties from the Colts’ secondary, he proved to be as successful in terms of first downs as completing deep and intermediate passes to his own receivers.

Top offensive grades:

RT Jermey Parnell, 83.6

LT Kelvin Beachum, 79.5

LG Patrick Omameh, 73.0

C Brandon Linder, 72.1

WR Allen Hurns, 69.6

Offensive line paves the way to success

The Jaguars became the latest offense to take it to the Colts’ struggling run defense, with four members of their offensive line, including mid-game sub Patrick Omameh, earning top-5 grades for their offense. The Jags’ front five earned running backs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory 63 of their 100 combined rushing yards before contact, as they consistently took the Colts’ defensive line off of the ball and prevented Indianapolis’ linebackers from working downhill to the ball. Wide receiver Allen Hurns produced a moment to remind us of his excellent 2015 season, with his long touchdown catch and run, which Jags fans will hope is a spark to bring this offense to light over the rest of the season.

Top defensive grades:

CB Josh Johnson, 85.7

DT Malik Jackson, 83.9

LB Myles Jack, 79.3

CB Prince Amukamara, 79.2

DT Sheldon Day, 78.8

Jags' pass rush lights up Colts’ rookies

With the Colts' starting three rookies next to each other on the right side of the offensive line, this was a chance for the Jacksonville defense to lay down its best performance of the season, and for the most part, they did not disappoint. From early in the game the Jags got after RG Austin Blythe and took apart fellow rookies Ryan Kelly and Joe Haeg to the tune of a combined 18 pressures (one sack, two hits, 15 hurries). Free-agent signing Malik Jackson led the way, racking up five pressures (one hit, four hurries) for the third week in a row, while third-round pick DE Yannick Ngakoue (68.5 pass rush) registered a sack for the third week in a row, also snagging an interception after Jackson got into Colts QB Andrew Luck’s face early in the game for a batted pass.

Indianapolis Colts

Quarterback grade: Andrew Luck, 76.2

Both quarterbacks suffered a season-high of dropped passes in today’s game, with Andrew Luck just edging Blake Bortles in the sympathy stakes with his receivers dropping five passes to Bortles’ four. Luck’s only turnover came also came off of a batted pass, as the Colts stuttered to open the game. The difference in Luck’s performance under pressure compared to without pressure was stark — he earned a 119.8 NFL passer rating with no pressure, compared to a 20.5 NFL passer rating on the 21 dropbacks he was pressured. Playing behind a young offensive line, that pressure was simply too much for Luck to overcome, and his scintillating Week 1 performance seems a long time ago now.

Top offensive grades:

LG Jack Mewhort, 82.2

LT Anthony Castonzo, 79.1

RB Frank Gore, 69.0

WR T.Y. Hilton, 66.6

TE Jack Doyle, 57.0

Supporting cast fails to deliver for Luck

The Colts' offense continued to stutter against the Jaguars, with the offensive line’s moderate success in the running game overshadowed by the struggles of their rookies, in particular Austin Blythe, in pass protection. Their receivers shelled too many passes, and aside from WR Phillip Dorsett exploiting a coverage bust in the Jacksonville secondary, offered very little to off-set those missed steps and missed opportunities to deliver the Colts their second victory of the season. At running back, Frank Gore failed to force a missed tackle for the second time this season, and his 1.5 yards per carry after contact was his third-lowest mark in a game since joining the Colts last season.

Top defensive grades:

DE Kendall Langford, 81.5

S Mike Adams, 80.6

CB Vontae Davis, 79.1

DE Henry Anderson, 78.9

OLB Akeem Ayers, 78.2

Penalties hurt the Colts on defense

Were it not for a sequence of penalties in the secondary, the Colts’ defensive stat lines would have made for far grimmer reading than they already do. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie (29.9 grade) was benched at halftime, having allowed four catches on five targets for 34 yards and a touchdown, but that hides the fact that Allen Robinson drew three coverage penalties from Cromartie, one of those declined, prior to his removal from the game. Cromartie wasn’t alone in his disappointing performance, however, as once again the Colts struggled to find any notable positive impacts from their front seven, particularly at inside linebacker, where their four-man rotation continues to underwhelm and offer little coming downhill.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Jaguars DT Malik Jackson

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

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