JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —
The Indianapolis Colts got away with a sluggish start.
It certainly helped that they were playing one of the worst teams in the league.
Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes, Trent Richardson ran for a score and the Colts became the latest to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars by double digits, 37-3 Sunday.
The Colts (3-1) were a little sloppy in the first half — Luck threw interceptions on his first two drives and missed several open receivers — but it was hardly enough to made a difference against the Jaguars (0-4).
“It wasn’t an ideal start,” Luck said. “It was more of a terrible start to the game offensively for us. ... We sort of woke up in the second half. Those two scoring drives were big for us. That is what we needed.”
Indianapolis led 20-3 at halftime — Jacksonville has been outscored 75-8 in the first half this season — and made it a laugher with consecutive touchdown drives in the third quarter.
Luck found Coby Fleener for a 31-yard score, a play in which even Fleener was surprised he was so wide open.
Later, he connected with Reggie Wayne in the back of the end zone from 5 yards.
That made it 34-3 and sent many of the Jaguars faithful heading to the exits.
The Colts outgained the Jaguars 363-70 at that point.
Luck completed 22 of 36 passes for 260 yards, with two TDs and an interception. His other pick was negated by an offside penalty.
“The sky is the limit,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Listening to him and talking to him, he did get off to a slow start, but he is an even-keeled guy. … He is one of those guys who can put things behind him and move on. Talent combined with that kind of mindset, the sky is the limit.”
Wayne finished with five catches for 100 yards. Richardson ran 20 times for 60 yards. Fleener caught five passes for 77 yards.
Defensively, Robert Mathis had three sacks and cornerback Vontae Davis intercepted a pass and tipped another one that teammate Darius Butler caught and returned 41 yards for a score and a 10-3 lead.
“We don’t have enough (game balls) to go around anymore,” Pagano said. “They have to order some. ... We can certainly give one to everyone on defense. Three points, the yardage and everything we talked about, just outstanding.”
Nothing was good for the home team.
Blaine Gabbert, who missed the past two games because of a hand injury, completed 17 of 32 passes for 179 yards, with three interceptions. All of them bounced off receivers’ hands.
“Too much inconsistency,” Gabbert said. “We killed ourselves on some drives.”
Maurice Jones-Drew ran 13 times for 23 yards — against the team he has his most career yards against.
The Jaguars looked as pitiful as they have all season.
Cecil Shorts III bobbled two passes that wound up as interceptions for Gabbert.
Jacksonville is 0-4 for the third time in franchise history. The team has never started 0-5.
And the questions about free agent quarterback Tim Tebow continue. A plane flew over the stadium carrying a banner that read “Tebow, why not?”
The Jaguars have lost 12 of their past 19 games by double digits — 11 of those by 16 or more points.
Colts 37, Jaguars 3
At Jacksonville, Fla.
Indianapolis 0 20 14 3 — 37
Jacksonville 3 0 0 0 — 3
Jax—FG Scobee 53
Ind—FG Vinatieri 22
Ind—Butler 41 interception return (Vinatieri kick)
Ind—Richardson 1 run (Vinatieri kick)
Ind—FG Vinatieri 46
Ind—Fleener 31 pass from Luck (Vinatieri kick)
Ind—Wayne 5 pass from Luck (Vinatieri kick)
Ind—FG Vinatieri 28
First downs 26 14
Total Net Yards 437 205
Rushes-yards 29-154 18-40
Passing 283 165
Punt Returns 5-19 1-10
Kickoff Returns 2-45 4-87
Interceptions Ret. 3-48 1-1
Comp-Att-Int 24-39-1 17-32-3
Sacked-Yards Lost 2-14 4-14
Punts 3-46.0 6-48.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 7-58 9-65
Time of Possession 36:38 23:22
RUSHING—Indianapolis, D.Brown 3-65, Richardson 20-60, Luck 2-26, Hilton 1-3, Havili 3-0. Jacksonville, Jones-Drew 13-23, Gabbert 2-10, Todman 2-4, Forsett 1-3.
PASSING—Indianapolis, Luck 22-36-1-260, Hasselbeck 2-3-0-37. Jacksonville, Gabbert 17-32-3-179.
RECEIVING—Indianapolis, Wayne 5-100, Fleener 5-77, Hilton 5-48, Heyward-Bey 3-33, D.Brown 2-11, Havili 2-1, Jones 1-21, Richardson 1-6. Jacksonville, Shorts 7-61, Sanders 4-59, Harbor 2-39, Forsett 2-10, Ebert 1-5, Jones-Drew 1-5.