JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars may have figured some things out against Indianapolis.
They gave David Garrard extra protection, rolled him out of the pocket some and even ran a few option plays. They created holes for Maurice Jones-Drew, who found the end zone for the first time this season and eclipsed the 100-yard-rushing mark for just the second time in 11 games.
The Jaguars say it wasn't a one-week fluke.
"I feel like we have some things we can build on that went really well," tight end Marcedes Lewis said Monday, a day after Jacksonville's 31-28 victory. "There's things we can get better from, but the things we did well, we did really well."
The Jaguars (2-2) did little right their last two games.
Garrard threw five interceptions and was sacked nine times in consecutive blowouts against San Diego and Philadelphia. Jones-Drew was held to 31 yards rushing against the Chargers and 88 yards against the Eagles.
Jacksonville responded by tweaking its attack against the Colts.
Garrard took mostly short drops, simplifying his reads and getting rid of the ball quickly. He rolled out at times, too, taking advantage of his athleticism and finding success with short timing routes.
The Jaguars also lined offensive tackle Jordan Black up as a tight end, helping chip and block speedy defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. The scheme resulted in Garrard's first interception- and sack-free game in more than a year.
"I think there were some things that were good to us that were comfortable for David," coach Jack Del Rio said. "A few more movement things ... looking to get him and our offense in more rhythm. I felt like we executed better in that environment. I think he was more comfortable in that environment, so that was good for us.
"It's something we have to seek to do each week, find things that we can do against the opponent and stay in rhythm. That's something that we talked about a lot last week. I think it's imperative that we're able to get our quarterback in rhythm and play to his strengths."
Garrard, booed last week against Philadelphia and benched the week before in San Diego, completed 17 of 22 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran five times for 44 yards, including a 25-yard TD scamper on an option play.
It was a redeeming performance for Garrard, whose job security was an issue following the worst back-to-back losses in franchise history. The Jaguars claimed Trent Edwards off waivers last week, making it clear that Garrard needed to play better to avoid the bench.
Garrard responded. He also took some pressure off Jones-Drew, who faced stacked lines and run blitzes all season. Jones-Drew scored on a 1-yard plunge in the first half and on an 8-yard reception in the second.
"We gave David enough time to throw the ball and we got after them in the run game a little bit," Jones-Drew said. "It was a good game. It was a positive sign for us. We're not there. We haven't arrived yet. We know we've got to play much better than we did."
The Jaguars played down their success, pointing out that it came against an AFC South rival they know better than any opponent and realizing they need to do it more consistently to make a long-term difference.
Jacksonville faces winless Buffalo (0-4) on Sunday. Players are eager to build on the momentum they gained by beating the Colts for just the third time in 11 games, this one coming courtesy of Josh Scobee's 59-yard field goal on the final play.
Although teammates were still beaming over Scobee's kick Monday, they also felt like they may have discovered some offensive wrinkles that should benefit Garrard and Jones-Drew — the team's offensive centerpieces — down the road.
"Things worked," Jones-Drew said. "We're confident in who we have and what we can do. We just have to go out there and show it."