The date was September 21, 2014. Barak Obama was President, Mad Men was still on TV, and Russell Wilson was just over four months away from throwing a goal-line interception to give Tom Brady his fourth Super Bowl. As for the Indianapolis Colts, Chuck Pagano was the head coach, Andrew Luck was in his third season, the team’s leading rusher was Trent Richardson, and Pat McAfee was the punter. Believe it or not, that was the last time the Colts beat the Jacksonville Jaguars at home. Now, almost eight years later to the day, Matt Ryan will try and break this unbelievable curse in the Colts Week 2 matchup against their surprising rival.
Can Matt Ryan get the win in the Colts Week 2 matchup vs. the Jaguars?
From 2015 to 2021, the Jacksonville Jaguars have a record of 33-80. During that same period, the Indianapolis Colts are 57-56. Despite the significant difference in win percentage, the Colts haven’t beat the Jaguars on the road in these last seven seasons.
The Jaguars have won six games in Duval County against its AFC South rival and one game in London where the Jags were technically the home team. The results of these games look like this:
- 2015: Jaguars 51, Colts 16
- 2016: Jaguars 30, Colts 27
- 2017: Jaguars 30, Colts 10
- 2018: Jaguars 6, Colts 0
- 2019: Jaguars 38, Colts 20
- 2020: Jaguars 27, Colts 20
- 2021: Jaguars 26, Colts 11
Jacksonville has shut them out, blown them out, won by a hair, and, last season, even kept the Colts out of the playoffs with a Week 18 upset. The Jaguars have done it with and against different players, quarterbacks, and coaches over a significant period of time.
The #Jaguars Week 18 win over #Colts wrecked not only Indy's playoff hopes, but wrecked mindset of some fans I talked to there last week – and obviously some influential decision makers too…
Wentz sacked six times and turned ball over twice, Jags won 26-11 #DUUUVAL pic.twitter.com/bqQOQWfHXB
— J.P. Shadrick (@jpshadrick) March 9, 2022
For a perennial bottom-of-the-division team to beat a better-than-average NFL franchise with this kind of consistency for the better part of a decade is stunning.
And now, Matt Ryan is next in line — behind Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, and Carson Wentz — to go into Duuuuuval and try to secure a W.
While most years, the Colts beating the Jaguars seems like a foregone conclusion, this year is a little different. In Week 1, the heavily-favored Colts played a stinker in Ryan’s first game with the franchise.
Indianapolis and the Houston Texans needed five full quarters to play to a 20-20 draw. The Texans jumped out to a 20-3 lead midway through the third quarter, and the Colts needed a furious late comeback just to get the tie.
Matt Ryan was just OK in this game and saved most of his better work for late in the game. His final stat line was 32-of-50 for 352 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The veteran QB will have to do better than that this Sunday in the Colts Week 2 matchup to break the curse that started with Andrew Luck.
COLTS-TEXANS ENDS IN A TIE 😬 pic.twitter.com/LBBtw0zDlD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 11, 2022
The Jaguars aren’t a playoff team this season like they were in 2017 when they beat the Colts in Jacksonville by 20, but they are improved from last season (when they “only” beat the Colts at home by 15). In Week 1, the Jaguars played a tight game with the Washington Commanders. Trevor Lawrence and company took a 22-14 lead early in the fourth quarter but ultimately fell 28-22.
And it’s not only the form and the narrowing of the talent gap between the two franchises that should make Colts fans worry about this Week 2 contest. The away side is also in the midst of an injury crisis, just one game into the 2022 season.
On Friday before the Sunday 1:00 pm ET kickoff, the team has already ruled LB Shaquille Leonard and rookie WR Alec Pierce out for the game. With other players banged up as well, head coach Frank Reich took the unusual step of switching Friday’s team activity from a normal practice to a walk-through.
For all these reasons, it makes sense that Colts fans, and maybe even the organization itself, are a little nervous about this upcoming game.
That’s why it is on Matt Ryan’s shoulders to break this weird curse.
Ever since Andrew Luck shockingly retired on the eve of the 2019 season, the Colts haven’t had a franchise QB. Jacoby Brissett was a stop-gap measure, Philip Rivers was a one final season rental, and Carson Wentz was, well, Carson Wentz.
Yes, Matt Ryan is getting up there in age. But even at 37, the long-time Atlanta Falcons signal-caller should have a few good years left in him. His first real chance to prove this comes in the Colts Week 2 game on Sunday.
Ryan and the Colts need to break this Jacksonville curse this week. More importantly than doing it for the overall sanity of the Colts Nation, if the team goes 0-2 out of the gate this year, a once-promising season could nearly be over in the gauntlet of the 2022 AFC.