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Jaguars 24, Colts 0: Game Balls

Who gets the game balls for the Jaguars in their dominant showing against the Colts in Week 2?

Each week during the 2022 season, we will take a quick post-game look at which Jacksonville Jaguars stood out the most.

Win or lose, rain or shine, we will hand out game balls to an offensive, defensive and special teams player.

In this edition, we take a look at the Jaguars' 24-0 shutout of the Indianapolis Colts at home, their eighth-consecutive win against the Colts in Jacksonville. 

"I just learned that this group is eager to win. They want to win and they put in the hard work during the week," Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said after the game. 

"That's something I've been very proud of this group and really appreciate what they've done and how they've been able to take the mistakes from a week ago and sort of minimize them going into this week and really attacking the game plan and really just attacking their job."

So which Jaguars stood out on Sunday? We break it down below.

Offense: Trevor Lawrence

Was there any doubt? Lawrence had arguably the best game of his young career on Sunday, throwing just five incompletions in 30 attempts. There were two drops (including one for a touchdown) mixed in there, too, so Lawrence was really 27-of-30 for the day in terms of accurate footballs. Considering the accuracy issues he had a week ago, Sunday was a revelation for Lawrence and the kind of quarterback he can become under Pederson.

"That's something that we as a coaching staff kind of take away from the week before. We've got to help our guys. We can't just throw a bunch of plays out there and expect them to execute," Pederson said on Sunday.

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"We've got to help them, so that's why we practice, that's why we go out and do the things we do. I thought Trevor did an outstanding job today getting the ball out of his hand. He saw things really well. There were a lot of catch, break tackles, get first downs, things like that. He threw hot a couple times. Those are all the things he's capable of doing, and yeah, we continue to work on that stuff every week."

Sunday was certainly a different game plan for the Jaguars than Lawrence will see most weeks. He was playing a Cover 3 Gus Bradley defense that is famous for allowing easy throws underneath. But Lawrence was simply a different quarterback in Week 2 than he was in Week 1, and his effort is deserving of recognition. 

Defense: Josh Allen

A number of players could have been given the game ball on defense. The Colts had just four first downs and fewer than 100 total yards midway through the third quarter, and the Jaguars completely stymied them on every big third- and fourth-down throughout the game. This included five sacks, 11 quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and three interceptions of Ryan.

Rayshawn Jenkins and Devin Lloyd each deserve consideration here; Jenkins had his best game as a Jaguar with a four-pass breakup performance, while Lloyd broke up three passes, tied for the team lead in tackles with six and recorded his first-career interception. Roy Robertson-Harris deserves a look too after two tackles for loss and a quarterback sack.

Ultimately, though, we opt to give the defensive game ball to Josh Allen. The fourth-year pass-rusher was on a tear for the Jaguars early in the game, recording two sacks, a forced fumble and a tackle for loss in the first-half to set the tone for the defense. Allen was dominant as a pass-rusher and against the run, fueling the dominant effort from the front seven. The entire defense ate, but Allen looked like a different type of special.

"Yeah, they played extremely well. We know Indy was down a couple of their pass catchers and good pass catchers, so who knows. But I'll tell you what, my hats off to Mike Caldwell, [he had a] great defensive plan," Pederson said. 

"The guys executed it during the week in practice, and again, to me that's where you win football games is during the week, and then you just go out and execute the plan. For them to fly around today and do the things they did, get after the quarterback, create turnovers, all the things we talk about, we saw it. Things are starting to kind of, I think, click for guys. [There’s] still a lot of football ahead of us. We've got to play this team again, and we've just got another great opponent next week."

Special Teams: Riley Patterson

Kudos to Riley Patterson. A week after he had an uneven Jaguars debut in Washington, he nailed a 52-yard field goal with under 2:00 left in the first half to extend the score to 17-0. Without that kick, the Colts would have gotten the ball near midfield with just a 14-0 deficit, a potential situation they could have made 14-7. Patterson's terrific kick made that impossible.