Long Wait Ahead for Jacksonville

The Jaguars now have to wait 10 long weeks for another chance to prove they can catch the Indianapolis Colts this year. They'll now likely be chasing the Colts for much of the season after losing to them, 21-14, last Sunday even though they dominated the first half of the game.

...They're 2-1 to the Colts' 3-0 and have to stay within one game of the Colts so they can at least tie them when they meet in the second game in Jacksonville on December 10.

Next up is Washington, in their first game against former quarterback Mark Brunell since he was traded to the Redskins in 2004 after they decided to go with Byron Leftwich as their quarterback. But the drama of that reunion will be overshadowed by the fact that the Jaguars can't afford a loss that could drop them two games behind the Colts, who go to New York to play the Jets next Sunday and then come home to host Tennessee. The Jaguars host the Jets after playing at Washington and both teams will then have a bye on October 15.

Coach Jack Del Rio, looking at the big picture, was already pointing to the rematch in Jacksonville on December 10 after they lost in Indianapolis.

"They held serve at home. We'll see them again later in the year. We've got be able to hold serve at our place. After what happened here today, that will make that game even bigger. If we continue to prepare the way we're preparing and compete the way we're competing, when we get to the end of the season, we're going to like the results," he said.

The Colts have dominated the series because Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has scored 20 or more points in nine of the 10 games he's played against the Jaguars and they Jaguars have been able to outscore him only twice.

When Del Rio was asked if the Jaguars are chasing the Colts the way the Colts have chased New England, he said, "We're not fixated on anybody. Everybody in our division is chasing Indianapolis.

Beating the Colts out for the division title is critical because the Jaguars can't do any better than be a wild card team if the Colts win the division. And the road to the Super Bowl for a wild card team is winning three straight road games in the playoffs. Pittsburgh became only the second team to make the Super Bowl that way and the first to win the Super Bowl after three road victories. The Patriots made it in 1985 after winning three road games, but were trounced in the Super Bowl by Chicago, 46-10.

The Jaguars also have to prove they can score more points if they're to be a Super Bowl contender. They beat the Steelers, 9-0, with three field goals, but scored only two touchdowns against the Colts, just one in the first three quarters even though they had a The game turned in the first half even though they had a 13-3 edge in first downs, a staggering 157-10 edge in first half rushing and a 24:31 to 5:29 edge in time of possession.

Start with an 82-yard punt return, add a 30-yard touchdown pass and a naked bootleg for a touchdown by Peyton Manning, two interceptions, two controversial personal fouls and some questionable play calls and the result was a 21-14 victory by the Colts over the Jaguars.

The Colts lost running back Edgerrin James in free agency in the offseason, were missing two injured defensive starters (Corey Simon and Bob Sanders), their No. 3 receiver (Brandon Stokley) and their kicker (Adam Vinatieri) and had pass rusher Dwight Freeney playing hurt, but they found a way to win.

The Jaguars, who were 18-3 under coach Jack Del Rio when they scored first, scored on a 78-yard drive on their first possession. They were burning the Colts with Maurice Drew runs out of the shotgun and had a 2nd-and-4 at the Indianapolis 34 on their second possession. But they went to the pass and Byron Leftwich missed a wide open George Wrighster and Jason David intercepted it. Terrence Wilkins then returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown that tied the game.

The Jaguars lost a chance to take the lead when Leftwich lost a yard on a third-down quarterback draw from the Colts' 5 and kicker Josh Scobee missed a 24-yard field goal attempt. The Colts took a 14-7 lead on their first possession of the third period and the teams traded touchdowns in the fourth period.

The Jaguars had a last chance when they got the ball on their 42 with a minute left, but Leftwich's second pass was intercepted by Mike Doss.

--QB Byron Leftwich struggled against the Colts as he had only a 47.8 quarterback rating and had two passes intercepted.
--RB Maurice Drew had 103 yards in 13 carries against the Colts and got most of his yardage running out of the shotgun. He also caught four passes for 32 yards.
--RB Fred Taylor continues to have a strong start as he ran 21 times for 74 yards.
--WR Matt Jones saw limited action because of his groin injury against the Colts and didn't catch a pass.
--TE George Wrighster caught four passes for 25 yards, but couldn't hold onto a critical 3rd-and-1 pass late in the third period.

Colts Blitz Top Stories