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Colts’ defensive tackle DeForest Buckner slams team’s 24-0 loss to Jacksonville Jaguars 

The Indianapolis Colts waited eight months for a return trip to Jacksonville, a chance to prove last year’s season finale was a fluke and a chance to end a head-scratching and embarrassing skid in the AFC South.

They openly welcomed the opportunity to bury the memories of last year’s debacle against the Jaguars and move on from last week’s disappointment against Houston.

How did they handle it? Well, they were essentially no-shows.

“That s*** was embarrassing,” Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner told ESPN. ‘We got our a** whoop. We have to go in tomorrow, take it on the chin and grow from this.’

Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner described Colts' 24-0 loss to Jaguars as 'embarrassing'
Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner described Colts' 24-0 loss to Jaguars as 'embarrassing'

Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner described Colts’ 24-0 loss to Jaguars as ’embarrassing’

The Jaguars have not lost to the Colts at home since Franck Reich became head coach in 2018
The Jaguars have not lost to the Colts at home since Franck Reich became head coach in 2018

The Jaguars have not lost to the Colts at home since Franck Reich became head coach in 2018

Indianapolis was shut out for the third time in the past six seasons — all in Jacksonville — with the latest a 24-0 drubbing that should at least create speculation about coach Frank Reich’s future with the franchise.

“It’s a long season,” Reich said. ‘We take our medicine for the pathetic performance today, coaches and players. We’ll see how things go together’.

The Colts (0-1-1) didn’t hold up against Jacksonville (1-1) on Sunday.

Matt Ryan was sacked five times, pressured much more often and threw three interceptions. Ryan and cornerback Stephon Gilmore should help get the Colts over the hump in 2022. With those additions, Indy was picked by some to win the division.

Instead, the Colts are winless after two AFC South games.

“I’ve got to play better,” Ryan said. ‘There is no doubt about that. I think as a group we also need to play better. It’s disappointing when you put in the work during the week and you come out and you don’t play the way you’re capable of playing.’

Ryan completed 16 of 30 passes for 195 yards and finished with a passer rating of 34 – the third-lowest of his career. His jersey was covered in dirt and grass stains after losing to Jacksonville for the first time in five meetings.

“I’ve had my (butt) kicked before, I know that much,” Ryan said. ‘It’s about how you react. You get up from the floor. It happens in this league. There are good players across the board. Every week is going to be tough. It happens to you sometimes, but one cannot turn into two.

“You have to pick yourself back up, have a good week of preparation and make sure we have a better performance next week.”

Nicknamed 'Matty Ice', the 37-year-old was sacked five times and threw three interceptions
Nicknamed 'Matty Ice', the 37-year-old was sacked five times and threw three interceptions

Nicknamed ‘Matty Ice’, the 37-year-old was sacked five times and threw three interceptions

Jaguars running back James Robinson (25) outran the Colts' defense to score a 37-yard touchdown
Jaguars running back James Robinson (25) outran the Colts' defense to score a 37-yard touchdown

Jaguars running back James Robinson (25) outran the Colts’ defense to score a 37-yard touchdown

The Colts played without three starters: All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard and receivers Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce. Losing Pittman exposed Ryan’s receiving group, and Jacksonville took advantage.

The Jags loaded the box and held Jonathan Taylor to 54 yards rushing. Ryan was harassed behind an offensive line that was beaten early and often. And Indy failed to score against Jacksonville for the third time in six seasons; it also happened in 2017 and 2018.

Equally telling about this series: The Jaguars are 6-30 in their last 36 games, with four of those wins coming against the Colts.

The latest was never in doubt and gave coach Doug Pederson his first win with his new team.

Reich fell to 0-5 in Jacksonville, a questionable skid that surely won’t sit well with team owner Jim Irsay. Indy blew a chance to make the playoffs last season by losing the finale in Jacksonville, and Irsay made his disappointment clear at the time.

This one was just as shocking, especially after the Colts rolled up 517 yards in Houston a week ago and essentially blamed that season-opening loss on now-cut kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.

Colts head coach Frank Reich is now 0-5 in Jacksonville, with Indianapolis' last win coming in 2014
Colts head coach Frank Reich is now 0-5 in Jacksonville, with Indianapolis' last win coming in 2014

Colts head coach Frank Reich is now 0-5 in Jacksonville, with Indianapolis’ last win coming in 2014

Rodrigo Blankenship was removed from the Colts last week after missing a 42-yard field goal
Rodrigo Blankenship was removed from the Colts last week after missing a 42-yard field goal

Rodrigo Blankenship was removed from the Colts last week after missing a 42-yard field goal

The Colts finished with 218 yards in Jacksonville. They were 2 for 10 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down. They were almost doubled in time of possession. It certainly seemed like a lackluster effort.

Nevertheless, Reich shot down notions that his team was not ready for the rematch.

“Unmotivated is not a word that you want to characterize the way our weeks are, the way this last week was,” he said. – After our performance last week, the intensity in training was at a record high level, the intensity in meetings last night. Honestly, I mean, it’s not about speeches or anything, but the intensity of the meetings last night, the ferocity of the players who all week wanted to train us, wanted back on track.

‘I don’t feel it’s a lack of motivation. I just feel it’s a shortcoming that we were outcoached and we were outplayed’.

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