For those of you who saw the Jacksonville Jaguars–Indianapolis Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, then you already know that placekicker Josh Scobee kicked a 51-yard field goal with 4 seconds left in the game, pushing the Jaguars past the Colts 23-21. But there were several reasons for the Jags’ win: a very porous Colts run defense, allowing Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor to rush for 228 of the Jags’ 236 rushing yards, for starters. The Jaguars also had control of the ball for a whopping 41:35 – which the last time I checked, will help any team win the vast majority of their games.
Also factor in that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had one of his worst games in recent memory, which contributed to the Jags’ masterful time management of the game clock. Combine all of those things, and it is a wonder that the Colts lost by only 2 points. The game started out promisingly enough as the Colts drew first blood with a touchdown pass from Manning to Marvin Harrison, taking a brief 7-0 lead.
A drive in the early stages of the second quarter led to a Scobee FG, narrowing the gap to 7-3; about 7 minutes later, cornerback Rashean Mathis notched a pick-6, intercepting a Manning pass and returning the ball for a 61-yard interception return for a TD, boosting Jacksonville to a 10-7 lead. But Colts running back Joseph Addai would score late, rushing into the end zone on a 3-yard cary, giving the Colts a 14-10 lead, which they would take into halftime. The second half would completely different, however.
The third quarter was rather hum-drum with only one score – a 6-yard rushing TD by Jones-Drew, which gave the Jaguars a 17-14 lead going into the fourth quarter. Scobee would add another FG with 2:33 remaining, which would give Manning a chance to redeem his earlier mistakes. Manning did one of his patented, quick-hit rallies, capped by another rushing TD by Addai, pushing Indianapolis ahead 21-20. But Jaguars QB David Garrard managed a rally of his own, while catching a break along the way – including a 11-yard pass interference call – which set up the winning 51-yard field goal by Scobee.
Garrard had an efficient performance, going 16-for-22 for 167 yards with an interception, while Manning had a relatively average outing as he went 15-of-29 for 216 yards with a TD and 2 INT’s. The Jaguars rushing attack – all 236 yards of it – was led by Fred Taylor with 121 yards on 26 carries while Jones-Drew “added” 107 yards on only 19 carries; he also caught 4 passes for 59 yards. The Colts running game was led by Addai with 78 yards on 16 carries while catching a pass for 10 yards.
The aforementioned Jones-Drew led all Jaguars receivers with 59 yards on 4 receptions; the Colts’ leading receiver was Reggie Wayne who caught 3 passes for 74 yards. Tight end Dallas Clark, returning to action for the first time this season, caught 4 passes for 47 yards while Harrison caught 4 balls for 40 yards and a TD. Jacksonville (1-2) now returns home to Florida to host the Houston Texans on September 28 while Indianapolis (1-2) will have a bye week – at the most opportune time for them.