JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio tossed aside his black jacket before Monday night's game even began. It wasn't long before Indianapolis undressed the rest of his team.
Yep, all that talk about the defending Super Bowl champions being better this season just might be true.
The Colts dominated every aspect of their showdown against Jacksonville, easily winning 29-7 and once again taking charge in the AFC South. They also moved a step closer to setting up an undefeated matchup with New England (7-0). The teams meet Nov. 4.
The Patriots should provide more of a challenge than the Jaguars did.
Joseph Addai and Kenton Keith combined for 141 yards rushing, Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne picked apart Jacksonville's secondary, and the Colts (6-0) avenged their most embarrassing loss of last season.
"This was a pivotal game for us," said Manning, who finished 23-of-37 for 259 yards, with a touchdown and interception. "We put a lot of emphasis on this game."
It showed, too.
Indy improved to 3-0 in the division and left Jacksonville (4-2), Tennessee and Houston in the all-too-familiar chase mode.
"We're in the front seat, we're driving and everybody has to play catch-up to us," Colts defensive end Ed Johnson said.
The Colts, who have won the last four division titles, joined Green Bay (1929-31) and St. Louis (1999-2001) as the only teams to start 6-0 for three years in a row.
They made this one look easy, backing up assertions by Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy and Del Rio that the Colts are stronger, faster, more disciplined and simply better than they were during last year's title run.
Not all the Jaguars were ready to give Indy too much credit.
"They executed the best and made the least amount of mistakes, but I don't think they're better than they were last year," Taylor said. "We kind of stubbed our own toe a little bit."