The Jacksonville Jaguars held the lead for 8 minutes, 34 seconds Sunday.
But thanks to the low-powered, the other 51-plus minutes were pretty much a debacle, leading to a 37-stomping at home to the Colts.
Through four games, it’s clearly a trend for the 0-4 Jags — and apparently their head coach is going to stick with plan.
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.
”I’m standing strong with Blaine,” coach Gus Bradley said, insisting he’s not going to start benching players.
Maurice Jones-Drew ran 13 times for 23 yards — and he has run for more yards against the Colts than any team in his career. It was MJD’s fewest yards in 14 games against Indy.
”It’s the Colts,” guard Uche Nwaneri said. ”That’s how I look at it. They can’t stop us from running the ball; that’s how I feel every time we play them. I don’t care who they have at quarterback. I don’t care who they got on defense. It’s the Colts.
”For us to come out and not be able to run the ball on the Colts, it’s mind-boggling. … It’s a lot easier for a defense when they don’t have to defend the run so much.”
Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes, Trent Richardson ran for a score and the Indianapolis Colts became the latest to win by double digits against the Jaguars — Jacksonville has lost every game this season by at least 10 points.
The Jaguars looked as pitiful as they have all season.
Cecil Shorts III bobbled two passes that wound up as interceptions for Gabbert, the second one was returned for a touchdown and a 10-3 lead.
Tight end Marcedes Lewis made his season debut, but ended up back in street clothes after just a few plays. Lewis re-injured his left calf, which kept him sidelined most of the preseason and the first three games.
Defensive end Jason Babin was flagged three times, including once for a late hit on Luck. His offside penalty negated an interception in the first quarter.
”I play aggressive and sometimes it bites me in the (rear),” Babin said. ”The offside stuff, I’ve got to own that. I let my frustrations and wanting to make a play real bad overtake my fundamentals. I can’t do that to our team.”
And just when things seemed as if they couldn’t get any worse for Jacksonville, an apparent fumble recovery was overturned because of an inadvertent whistle. The play was deemed a do-over.
The Jaguars would like to get one of those for the entire season. Jacksonville is 0-4 for the third time in franchise history. The team has never started 0-5.
And the questions surrounding the quarterback continue. For the second time in as many weeks, one-time third-stringer Brian Hoyer led the Browns to victory, making him 2-0 as a starter and settling what was a very rocky start to the season in Cleveland, which included trading Richardson to the Colts after Week 2.
Oh yeah, and a plane flew over the stadium Sunday carrying a banner that read ”Tebow, why not?” Former University of Florida star Tim Tebow is a free agent and view adding him would at the very least inject fan interest into the club.
Jacksonville has been outscored 75-8 in the first half this season, a clear indication how little talent the team has. But Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell must have thought the team would be more competitive.
They were for a short time Sunday.
Then things unraveled in the second and third quarters.
Richardson made it 17-3 three plays after Donald Brown ripped off a 50-yard run.
Luck found Coby Fleener for a 31-yard score to start the third, a play in which even Fleener was surprised he was so wide open, and then 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.
”We don’t have enough (game balls) to go around anymore,” Colts coach Chuck 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.”
The Jaguars, meanwhile, have lost 12 of their past 19 games by double digits – 11 of those by 16 or more points.
”Yeah, it’s been very frustrating,” Jones-Drew said. ”We’re just not executing at the right speed or the right tempo to go out there and put up points. It’s something we have to continue to work on and fix. Yelling and screaming is not going to help. We have to look at each other and in the mirror and see what we have to do better as a person, and that’s on everybody. It’s something we’ve got to work on and start to build this thing and get it going.”