NFL Game Summary - Indianapolis at Jacksonville
(Thursday, December 17th)
Final Score: Indianapolis 35, Jacksonville 31
Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - Peyton Manning's 65-yard touchdown strike
to Reggie Wayne streaking down the left sideline proved to be the game-winner
in the fourth, as Indianapolis remained perfect and staved off division rival
Manning didn't miss a pass in the first half, finishing 23-of-30 for 308 yards
with four touchdowns and just one interception. Wayne caught five passes for
132 yards and Dallas Clark added a game-best seven catches for 95 yards and
two touchdowns for the Colts (14-0), who are the third team in NFL history to
start a season 14-0.
"We have had some extremely close games. We feel fortunate to be undefeated.
The key is we have got better during the season, and hopefully we are playing
our top level of football down the stretch," said Manning.
David Garrard threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns, but threw one fatal
interception high over Mike Thomas and into the hands of Jacob Lacey in the
closing seconds in Indianapolis territory. Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 110
yards and a touchdown, while catching five passes for 30 yards and another
score. The Jaguars (7-7) are still in the mix for one of two final berths in
the AFC playoffs as a wild card entry.
"Take your hats off to the Colts. They have found a way all year. Peyton is
special," said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.
Jacksonville used a keep-away offensive approach throughout the first half,
starting its first drive of the game off with a healthy dose of Jones-Drew.
Also included in the 13-play march was three third-down passes to Mike Sims-
Walker, and Josh Scobee booted through a 50-yard bomb for the game's first
Indianapolis wasted little time on its opening march, moving 80 yards and 14
plays in a drive that didn't end until the second period. Manning completed
three third-down passes, including a 20-yard strike to Clark. Manning found
his tight end in blanket coverage near the back of the end zone, as Clark
bobbled the ball but corralled it on his back for a six-yard score.
Again, Jones-Drew bulldozed his way through the Indy defense with success on
Jacksonville's second possession. Punishing seven- and eight-yard runs
preceded a nine-yard scoring pass from Garrard, who rolled to his right on the
play, to Jones-Drew for a 10-7 lead.
The edge was short lived as Chad Simpson took the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for
a touchdown and a 14-10 advantage. The Jaguars were unfazed, moving 71 yards
on 10 plays on another drive ending with their star running back in the end
zone. A 25-yard toss to the tight end Marcedes Lewis and a 10-yard sprint off
left tackle by Jones-Drew keyed a drive finished off by Jones-Drew's three-
yard bull rush up the middle.
Manning was again perfect in the two-minute drill, and he finished the first
half a perfect 12-for-12. He found Wayne for 22 yards after a 15-yard Joseph
Addai run and later threaded the needle to Austin Collie for a 23-yard score
and a 21-17 game.
Indianapolis blinked first as Manning's pass to Clark was tipped by the tight
end into the waiting arms of the Jaguars, who then marched 39 yards for the
go-ahead score on Garrard's 16-yard TD toss to Sims-Walker.
The Colts answered in a hurry, moving 80 yards on seven plays in just over
three minutes. Manning ate up chunks of yardage on 21- and 16-yard tosses to
Wayne then found Clark down the seam, and the tight end bounced off a tackler
and crossed the field and into the end zone for a 27-yard score and a 28-24
After a Thomas 43-yard kickoff return, the Jaguars moved into position thanks
in part to a 17-yard pass to Torry Holt and a 11-yard toss over the middle to
Jones-Drew. Thomas then registered a touchdown as Garrard stood in the pocket
and deftly sneaked a pass into a crossing Thomas' arms for a 13-yard trip to
paydirt and a three-point lead entering the fourth.
The Colts have won seven games when trailing at one point in fourth
quarter...Addai ran for 59 yards for the Colts...Sims-Walker caught six
passes for 64 yards...Collie caught three passes for 27 yards.
12/17 23:54:09 ET
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