JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Malik Jackson was first to reach Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett on this play.
Brissett slipped out of Jackson’s diving arm tackle and scrambled right. Yannick Ngakoue was waiting, only to have Brissett spin away from him.
Next up was Calais Campbell, who didn’t miss. He rarely does.
Campbell’s early sack in Jacksonville’s 30-10 victory against the Indianapolis Colts gave him 12 + this season and broke the franchise’s single-season record . The previous mark (12) was set by Tony Brackens in 1999.
Campbell waved to the crowd as his achievement was recognized on the giant replay boards at EverBank Field.
”Anytime they show love, it’s always nice,” Campbell said. ”That’s a testament to the guys that are around me. We take turns making plays. Our secondary really did such a great job locking down receivers to give us time to get back there, so it’s an accolade for them really.”
Maybe so, but there’s no denying the impact Campbell has had in his first season with the Jaguars (8-4).
Campbell has been a role model in the locker room and a vocal leader on the field, holding teammates more accountable and raising the play of everyone around him.
”It’s awesome to watch,” Jackson said. ”I’m wondering what took him so long. He’s been working so hard and just to be a part of that and see it for myself in person is a blessing, because that man works so hard. I’m so happy he got it, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to get that accolade or be in the spotlight than him because he’s a great guy.”
The Jaguars have a league-leading 45 sacks, with Campbell leading the way. Ngakoue has 10. Dante Fowler has 6 +. And Jackson has six.
”At the end of the day, I couldn’t care less about it right now,” Campbell said. ”Down the road, it will be great. But I’m jumping at the win and going forward.”
The Jaguars reached eight wins for the first time since 2010 and stayed in the thick of the AFC postseason picture.
Here are some other things we learned from Jacksonville’s first series sweep against the Colts since they joined the AFC South in 2002:
MOVING UP: Frank Gore is in the top five on the NFL’s career rushing list . The 34-year-old Gore ran 13 times for 61 yards, passing Jerome Bettis (13,662) for sixth in the second quarter and topping LaDainian Tomlinson (13,684) for fifth in the third. Gore now has 13,697 yards rushing in 13 NFL seasons, the first 10 with San Francisco and the past three with the Colts. He is 404 yards behind Curtis Martin for fourth.
”When I look back at my career coming out of college, all the ups and downs I had in college, I got here and there were a lot of doubters (who thought) I wouldn’t be here long,” Gore said. ”But I’m still here, still competing. My name is getting mentioned with a lot of great guys, so it’s a blessing.”
TOUGH SLEDDING: Indianapolis (3-9) lost its third straight and sixth in the past seven games, and was eliminated from the division race.
”This is tough. You never want to get used to losing,” safety Darius Butler said. ”It sucks. It sucks, man. It’s as simple as that. We work our (butt) off all week and then to come out here and not follow our way, we got roughed up today. We’ve got to find a way to draw a line in the sand and make things happen.”
TRICKY JAGS: The Jaguars might be the NFL’s best at faking punts . Facing fourth-and-7 near midfield in the first quarter, punter Brad Nortman found tight end James O’Shaughnessy wide open over the middle for a 29-yard gain. Blake Bortles hit Marqise Lee five plays later for Jacksonville’s seventh opening-possession score of the season. It was Jacksonville’s third fake punt of the season – all successful and all leading to touchdowns.
”To go out there and make an impactful play and get the offense rolling after that was really something special,” Nortman said.
HOOP DREAMS: Leonard Fournette’s first touchdown in six weeks came with a special celebration. After Fournette scored, he lined up in front of the goal post and shot a free throw over the crossbar with teammates standing on both sides of the makeshift lane. It was good.
”We have a ton of celebrations (planned),” Fournette said. ”We just have to get into the end zone more to celebrate them.”
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