I don't like Thursday night games. I don't get my normal prep time. Nonetheless, Colts 101 is here with you to give you observations as the game goes on.
Tonight, the Colts find themselves in a strange position: prohibitive favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They'll have to do it without the services of six starters. Vontae Davis, Jerraud Powers, Samson Satele, Winston Justice, Robert Mathis and Coby Fleener. That's a tall order.
Donald Brown is also back in the starting lineup at RB. Jeff Linkenbach gets the start for Justice and AQ Shipley is at center. Weslye Saunders is going to be the second TE.
Here we go!
8:30 Colts defense on the field first. Pat McAfee booms a touchback.
8:32 The Colts force a three and out. Three passes for Jacksonville. Good coverage by both Darius Butler and Cassius Vaughn.
8:34 A draw play to Vick Ballard and a 12 yard curl to Reggie Wayne and the Colts are at midfield quickly. Ballard actually starting.
8:36 The Colts drive bogs down at midfield. Reggie Wayne with a rare drop. McAfee's punt fair caught at the 10.
8:40 Another three and out for Jacksonville. Gabbert is off target early. Brian Anger with a rare poor punt.
8:43 Vick Ballard running hard early (no surprise there). Luck hits Wayne on a crossing route down to the Jags 30.
8:45 TY Hilton on a reverse with Dwayne Allen lead blocking. The Colts have some other nice rookies. Colts in the red zone.
8:46 Big 3rd and 5 facing the Colts, so Luck calls timeout. They've been moving the ball well, but as always, need to convert down here.
8:50 Luck takes a sack on third down. Adam Vinatieri knocks through the field goal to make it 3-0 Colts.
8:53 Jacksonville finally gets a first down when Mercedes Lewis lays out for a questionable catch. The Colts didn't challenge it though. Another first down and they're at midfield.
8:55 Gabbert finds Mercedes Lewis again, this time with Jerrell Freeman in coverage. He's been Gabbert's main target so far.
8:56 Gabbert scrambles for a first down and the Jags are threatening at the Colts 28.
8:58 Gabbert misses Cecil Shorts on third down. He's missing some open receivers so far. Scobee misses a field goal. Maybe the Mayans were right.
9:02 Luck throws a pick downfield, but a roughing the passer call negates that. The Colts are back at midfield.
9:04 Donald Brown getting some carries now. He's got speed, but still dances too much in the backfield.
9:06 The first quarter closes with Reggie Wayne picking up a first down after two Jags DBs think it's college and don't touch him down. Colts lead 3-0.
9:08 Luck finds Wayne down to the Jacksonville 8 yard-line.
9:11 Andrew Luck rolls out and runs it in for his fourth rushing score. Colts lead 10-0.
9:14 Good back shoulder throw by Gabbert for the first down. Darius Butler with poor tackling but fortunately grabs some jersey to keep Laurent Robinson from breaking it.
9:17 Colts called for offiside on third down. Jacksonville back into Colts territory.
9:18 Moises Fouku appeared to strip Laurent Robinson and Darius Butler recovered. An official from across the field overruled the side judge who ruled Colts ball. This one should be overturned.
9:23 Colts win the challenge and have the football at the 39. A Vick Ballard catch and another hard run takes the ball into Jags territory.
9:24 Luck threads the needle high and Donnie Avery makes a great leaping catch. First and goal at the Jags 6.
9:26 Luck finds Ballard out of the backfield, but he's stopped inside the one. Luck sneaks across the goal line on fourth down. It's close and will be reviewed.
9:28 Mike Mularkey is upset, and perhaps rightfully so. The replays don't tell whether he got in or not, but the side judge ruled Luck in. 17-0 Colts.
9:36 Gabbert finds Cecil Shorts down the sideline. Shorts makes an acrobatic grab and loses it when he hits the ground. Arians will challenge it but this one should stand.
9:40 Shorts ruled to have lost control on the ground. Colts take over on the punt.
9:41 Luck finds LaVonn Brazill on a slant out to midfield. They're just gashing the Jags defense.
9:43 A pass interference penalty against the Jags gives the Colts another first down. The offensive play calling as balanced as it's been all season.
9:46 The Colts looking at a third down conversion at the two-minute warning. It's been a dominant half already, but a touchdown here absolutely buries the Jags.
9:49 Luck throws a pick after getting hit. Jacksonville dodges a bullet, but may already have taken too many.
9:53 Jacksonville moving into Colts territory, but Gabbert tries to escape and finds Jerry Huges for a big sack.
9:54 Gabbert comes back on the next play to find Michael Spurlock for the first down. A TD here puts the Jags back in it.
9:58 Josh Gordy gets beat on a drag route (surprise!) but makes the tackle short of the first down. Jacksonville going for it though. Jacksonville called for a false start, forcing a Scobee field goal. 17-3 Colts.
10:03 The Colts head to the locker room with a two touchdown lead and will get the ball to start the second half. Luck is 11-15 for 143 yards. He's rushed for two and thrown a pick.
10:17 The Colts start with the football and Luck goes to, who else, Reggie Wayne. Seven catches for 80 yards already.
10:20 The Luck machine begins on all cylinders. First Avery, the Dwayne Allen. A LaVonn Brazill drop stalls the drive at the Jacksonville 40 though, bringing on Pat McAfee. Sergio Brown downs it at the Jags' 4.
10:25 McAfee's great punt brings immediate dividends when Darius Butler picks Blaine Gabbert and takes it in for a score. 24-3 Colts.
10:30 Cassius Vaughn gets greedy trying to jump the route and get burned by Cecil Shorts deep into Colts territory. Josh Gordy gets a big sack on a corner blitz followed by a Jags holding call. Ball back at midfield.
10:33 After all that, the Jags punt.
10:35 Luck hits Avery in stride deep, but Avery can't hold this one.
10:38 The Colts can't pick up the first down and McAfee kicks it away. If I wasn't covering this game, I'd probably be in bed by now. Jacksonville is really bad.
10:45 Ho-hum, the Jags punt, Luck has the ball back on their side of the field with a 22 yard strike to Dwayne Allen.
10:50 Vick Ballard just runs hard. The Colts are looking to put the final nail in the coffin (might have done that at 10-0) as the third quarter ends. 24-3.
10:54 Just when I though Jeff Linkenbach was going to get through the night without getting Luck killed, he get beaten badly, forcing a Luck fumble that ends the drive.
10:56 A completion to Justin Blackmon and a facemask give Jacksonville the ball in Colts territory, but Antoine Bethea gets to Gabbert. It looks like Chad Henne is going to come into the game.
11:01 Zibby gets a sack off the safety blitz. After an incompletion, the Jags have a 4th and 16 which comes up way short, but Jerry Hughes was offside.
11:03 That penalty costs the Colts as Henne finds Cecil Shorts for the first down at the 20. Spurlock then takes a slant inside the 10.
11:07 Henne finds Cecil Shorts on a back shoulder throw for the Jags first touchdown. 24-10 Colts with 9:16 left.
11:13 The Colts go to the ground with Donald Brown, trying to milk clock. You're only up two scores now. Move the chains. Reggie Wayne complies with a third down completion.
11:16 Luck bootlegs for a first down and get belted on his slide by Laron Landry. He hops up and plays peacemaker. The penalty takes the ball to the Jacksonville 30.
11:22 After a lengthy drive kills most of the fourth quarter, Vinatieri connects on a field goal to put the Colts up 27-10.
This one's all over but the shouting, folks. I'm going to bed. In 10 days, the Colts are going to New England with a chance to cement a playoff berth. Can you believe it?
We'll have analysis and wrap-up tomorrow and Sunday here on Colts101. Thanks for watching with us.
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