LONDON – (Wire Service Report – Special to Digital Sports Desk) – The Indianapolis Colts had big aspirations heading to London, England, to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Instead, the Colts head back to the United States with even bigger concerns and a coach squarely on the hot seat.
The Colts were hoping to build off last week’s dramatic late comeback win over the San Diego Chargers, pick up a divisional win and end the first quarter of the season at 2-2 on Sunday. But Indianapolis got off to a slow start at Wembley Stadium, falling behind 17-6 at halftime. By the time quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts found their rhythm, it was too late.
“Too little, too late,” a disappointed Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said. “We can’t live and play football like this and expect to survive, trying to pull every game out at the end. Credit to Jacksonville. They played better than we played. We’ve got a lot to clean up in a short amount of time.”
Offensively, Pagano pointed to surrendering six sacks, several dropped passes and additional missed opportunities by Luck. Defensively, Pagano called out some drive-extending penalties and inconsistent tackling that led to big plays for the Jaguars. Jacksonville receiver Allen Hurns eluded a handful of would-be tacklers on his 42-yard catch and run that went a long way toward sealing the first win of the season for the Jaguars.
“You can’t give up six sacks,” Pagano said. “They did a nice job. There was pressure. (Luck) did a nice job extending some plays and making some plays down the field. They were taking away everything deep. He was taking the check-downs, he was taking what he was given.”
Luck completed 27 of 42 passes for 190 yards with two touchdowns and a costly interception in the first half that led to Jacksonville’s first score of the game.
“First drive of the game, you got a third-and-3, third-and-4 and you’ve got a guy wide open in the flat, you’ve got to make the play,” Pagano said. “You got to throw, you got to catch, you got to turn up the field. Who knows what happens after that? Those are just drive-killers.”
Luck agreed with coach’s assessment.
“I’ve got to play better,” Luck told the team’s website after the game.