Photo: The Canadian Press
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence threw two touchdown passes to Christian Kirk, and Jacksonville dominated short-handed Indianapolis 24-0 on Sunday for its eighth consecutive home victory in the series.
The Jaguars sacked Matt Ryan five times, intercepted three of his passes, held reigning NFL rushing champion Jonathan Taylor to 54 yards and notched their eighth shutout in franchise history. The past three have come against Indianapolis (0-1-1), which hasn’t won in Jacksonville since 2014.
This one was never in doubt and helped Doug Pederson record his first victory with the Jags.
Jacksonville (1-1) scored touchdowns on two of its first three possessions and cruised past the team picked as a contender in the AFC South.
Lawrence completed 25 of 30 passes for 235 yards, with TD passes of 5 and 10 yards to Kirk. Kirk finished with six catches for 78 yards.
James Robinson ran 23 times for 60 yards, including a 37-yard TD scamper in the first half that showed he’s fully back from a torn Achilles tendon sustained last December.
Jacksonville’s defense was the bigger story. Rookie linebacker Devin Lloyd and safeties Andre Cisco and Rayshawn Jenkins picked off Ryan. Josh Allen had two of the unit’s five sacks. He also forced a fumble. It was one of the more impressive shutouts in franchise history.
It also might come with an asterisk. The Colts played without three key starters: All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard and receivers Michael Pittman and rookie Alec Pierce. Without Pittman, Ryan had little experience and even less speed on the field. Ashton Dulin led the way with five receptions for 79 yards.
Ryan had been 4-0 against Jacksonville. But he will surely feel his first loss against the team. Ryan was knocked around early and often — his jersey was covered in dirt and grass stains — and was slow to get up after several hits.
The Colts had two fourth-quarter drives in the red zone, but Ryan was under duress on both incompletions to the end zone.
Indy’s bigger issue was getting Taylor loose. After running for 161 yards last week in a tie at Houston, Taylor had just 4 yards on five carries at halftime. He broke free for a 21-yard gain in the second half, but it was too little too late.
Colts coach Frank Reich fell to 0-5 against Jacksonville, a dubious skid that surely won’t sit well with team owner Jim Irsay. Reich and his team blew a chance to make the playoffs last season by losing the finale in Jacksonville. They spent the past eight months waiting for this rematch — and then were essentially no-shows.
Colts FS Julian Blackmon left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury but later returned. … Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell missed a play in the fourth quarter.
Colts: Host Kansas City in their home opener next Sunday, beginning a daunting, three-game stretch that also includes Tennessee and Denver.
Jaguars: Travel cross-country to face the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday. Jacksonville has lost 15 of 18 games in the Pacific time zone.