The Indianapolis Colts became the latest team to hammer the Jacksonville Jaguars at home, winning 27-10 on Thursday thanks chiefly to two rushing touchdowns from rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.
Darius Butler returned an interception for a score as the Colts (6-3) won their fourth consecutive game and snapped a three-game losing streak against Jacksonville. The Jaguars (1-8) have lost six straight.
The Colts had cause for concern following an emotional victory four days earlier, one in which cancer-stricken coach Chuck Pagano delivered a passionate, post-game speech in the locker room.
Interim coach Bruce Arians was worried the team might crash from the emotional high, but they stayed up.
Indianapolis scored on three consecutive possessions in the first half, opening a 17-0 lead that started emptying the stands at EverBank Field.
Luck, coming off an NFL rookie record 433 yards passing against Miami, was not quite as sharp. He did not need to be, either.
Luck completed 18 of 26 passes for 227 yards, with an interception and a fumble. However, he was unstoppable near the end zone, deking defenders with two pump fakes and scrambling for a five-yard score on one drive and then plunging across the goal line on fourth down on the next possession.
That was plenty against the Jaguars, who have the league’s worst offense and played a third game without star running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Blaine Gabbert hit Cecil Shorts III for an 80-yard touchdown in the final minute to provide small consolation for the home team.