Trevor Lawrence threw two touchdown passes, Travis Etienne ran for a pair of scores and the Jacksonville Jaguars beat Indianapolis 37-20 on Sunday for their third consecutive victory. It was the Colts’ ninth straight road loss in the series.
Coming off back-to-back victories overseas, the Jaguars (4-2) spent all week hoping to avoid a “London hangover.” They responded with their most lopsided victory of the season.
This one was essentially over in the third quarter when Lawrence connected with rookie tight end Brenton Strange for a 10-yard strike and put Jacksonville ahead 31-6.
Lawrence also found Christian Kirk for a 29-yard score in the second. Etienne scored on runs of 2 and 22 yards early in the same quarter.
The Colts (3-3) had hoped to end a head-scratching road skid against Jacksonville that started in 2015. But Gardner Minshew, getting the start in place of injured rookie Anthony Richardson, turned the ball over four times in his return to Jacksonville.
A sixth-round draft pick by the Jags in 2019, Minshew fumbled once and threw three interceptions. Jacksonville now leads the NFL with 15 takeaways, with Josh Allen forcing the early fumble and Andre Cisco, Rayshawn Jenkins and Darious Williams getting picks.
Jacksonville’s defense has allowed 21 or fewer points in five of six games this season, one reason the team now sits alone atop the AFC South.
Lawrence and Co. have come around, too. With Lawrence and Etienne leading the way, the Jaguars have scored 85 points during their three-game winning streak.
Etienne gained 55 yards on 18 carries. Lawrence completed 20 of 30 passes for 181 yards, with the two TDs and an interception. He hobbled off the field late after getting sacked and had his left knee checked on the sideline.
Still, Lawrence was much more efficient than his counterpart.
Minshew completed 33 of 55 passes for 329 yards, with a touchdown to Josh Downs and the three picks. All of the INTs were thrown almost directly at defenders, surely reminding Jaguars fans of his limitations that showed up while losing his final seven starts in 2020.
Jonathan Taylor ran eight times for 19 yards, a slightly increased workload from his season debut a week earlier. He also caught five passes for 46 yards.
Still, Zack Moss scored on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter and finished with similar numbers.
Richardson made the trip to Jacksonville, the NFL venue closest to his hometown in Gainesville, and watched from the sideline while wearing a sling on his right arm and a headset to listen to plays. Richardson suffered a sprained AC joint last week against Tennessee.
Veteran backup offensive lineman Tyler Shatley broke the franchise record for consecutive games played at 129. Shatley has played in every game since Nov. 8, 2015, at the New York Jets.
Shatley’s streak started in his second NFL season. He broke the previous mark held by long-snapper Joe Zelenka. Shatley also made his 47th start, including 32 in the last four seasons.
Also noteworthy, Lawrence moved into fourth on Jacksonville’s all-time passing yards list and Etienne moved into eight for rushing touchdowns.
Colts receiver Alex Pierce (left knee) was ruled out late. Rookie cornerback JuJu Brents left briefly with a cut on his nose in the third quarter. He was flagged for pass interference on his first play back in the game.
Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell (right hamstring) and RG Brandon Scherff (left ankle) were injured in the second quarter and did not return. Both went to the locker room for further tests and were back on the sideline in the third quarter.
Colts: Host Cleveland next Sunday.
Jaguars: Play at New Orleans on Thursday night. Jacksonville has lost all three games in the Big Easy.