Whole New Season for Jags

Josh Scobee gave the Jaguars 2008 season new life as he kicked a 51-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to give the Jaguars a 23-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in front of a crowd of 65,938 at Lucas Oil Field. The victory was the first for the Jaguars in Indianapolis since 2004.

The main story for the Jaguars was ball control and missed opportunities as the team held the football 41:35, but converted just one out of four red zone opportunities, making the game much closer than it should have been. Jacksonville dominated statistically, outgaining the Colts 403-325, with a 236-114 advantage on the ground, had more first downs (25-19), and punted just once.

The Jaguars offensive line pounded the smaller Colts defensive line en route to 236 yards on 48 attempts, which included 121 yards on 26 attempts from Fred Taylor, and 107 yards on 19 attempts from Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jaguars managed to move the ball on the ground while routinely facing eight and nine man fronts from the leaky Indianapolis Colts defense.

The Jaguars best defense was a time consuming offense, as the team allowed Peyton Manning and the Colts just three second half possessions, and only seven second half points. The big play for the Jaguars defensively came when cornerback Rashean Mathis picked off his first pass of the season and took it 61 yards for a touchdown which gave the Jaguars a 10-7 advantage. Mathis and safety Brian Williams both recorded interceptions, and the pair combined for eight tackles.

Although the Jaguars defense played well for much of the game, all was not perfect as they allowed a go-ahead touchdown drive by Peyton Manning which encompassed 77 yards on 11 plays, and took just one minute and 26 seconds. Manning repeatedly picked on Jaguars free agent acquisition Drayton Florence as well as nickel corner William James.

The Jaguars took conservative play calling to a new level in the second half as they only threw the football when necessary, as they ran the ball 29 times and aired it out just 15 times. The 15 pass attempts included six consecutive throws on the final possession in which David Garrard and the Jaguars drove 47 yards in one minute and three seconds.

Quarterback David Garrard had another underwhelming performance, despite leading his team to victory as he completed 16 of 22 passes for 167 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Garrard finished with his highest single-game quarterback rating of the season, 75.4, which is nearly 30 points lower than a year ago.

Much of the passing game was of the short variety, as Garrard didn't attempt anything longer than 15 yards. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew led the team in receiving with four catches for 59 yards, and wide receiver Matt Jones also chipped in with four catches for 32 yards, mostly coming on short slants or curl routes.

Josh Scobee may have saved the Jaguars season with his game-winning kick, as an 0-3 start would have been disastrous. The Jaguars now sit in second place with a 1-2 record (1-1 in the division) with winless Houston visiting Jacksonville Municipal Stadium next Sunday.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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