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(Sunday, September 13th)
Final Score: Indianapolis 14, Jacksonville 12
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Peyton Manning threw for 301 yards and a key third-quarter touchdown to Reggie Wayne, as Indianapolis took a 14-12 win over Jacksonville in the debut of new Colts head coach Jim Caldwell.
Manning completed 28-of-38 passes and was intercepted once, while Wayne caught 10 passes for 162 yards.
The Colts (1-0) notched the win in the debut of Caldwell, who took over for longtime head coach Tony Dungy after serving as the team's associate head coach.
Caldwell has big shoes to fill in regards to Dungy, who compiled an 85-27 record in seven years at the helm of the Colts, a span that included a Super Bowl title following the 2006 season.
Joseph Addai ran 17 times for 42 yards and score in the victory, Indianapolis' 10th in a row in the regular season. The Colts haven't dropped a regular season contest since October 27 of last year, against Tennessee.
"We thought it would be a grind and it indeed was," Caldwell said. "Every time we face Jacksonville it's a tough, hard-nosed battle."
Maurice Jones-Drew had 21 carries for 97 yards and the only touchdown for the Jaguars (0-1), who are coming off a 5-11 season in 2008. David Garrard completed 14-of-28 passes for 122 yards in the setback.
Already holding a one-point lead, the Colts got some breathing room with a score on their first drive of the third quarter.
Manning helped sustain the 86-yard march with a 10-yard throw to Donald Brown on 3rd-and-9, which brought the Colts to their own 40. They made it across midfield and had a first down at the Jacksonville 35 when Manning aired out a pass on the left side for Wayne, who had raced past the Jaguars secondary.
Safety Sean Considine could not get over in time to cover the pass, which Wayne caught for a touchdown, giving Indianapolis a 14-6 edge just past the midway point of the quarter.
"Yes, it was a little bit of a coverage bust," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said.
But Jacksonville got the score back after a series of punts and a missed 52- yard field goal try by Adam Vinatieri.
That set the Jags up at their own 42, and the drive spanned into the fourth quarter. They got to the Indianapolis seven and faced a 4th-and-2 there before deciding to go for it. Jones-Drew took a short pitch to the left side around the end, turned upfield and powered into the end zone with 11:07 on the clock.
Jacksonville went for two, but the direct snap to Jones-Drew failed, keeping the Jaguars' deficit at 14-12.
The teams again had to punt on their next touches, and, late in the quarter, the Colts failed on a 4th-and-1 at the Jacksonville 35. The Jaguars took over just after the two-minute warning but faced tremendous pressure from the Colts' defense.
On a 4th-and-8, Garrard scrambled in the backfield, avoiding would-be sackers before eventually hurling up a weak pass to no one in particular. Indianapolis took over and ran the clock out to seal the win against its AFC South rival.
"You want to be in that two-minute drive," Garrard said. "Well, you really want to be up a bunch of points and let the game be out of hand, but if it's not, you want to be in that situation. You want the ball in your hands and I wanted to try to get it to my receivers as best I could. They have some good players over there, and we just have to execute better."
The Colts had the ball first and progressed to the Jacksonville four-yard line for a 1st-and-goal, but on the second play of that series Derek Cox picked off Manning's intended pass to Wayne on the left side of the field.
Indianapolis later took over at its own 12 and put together a long drive that bridged into the second quarter. However, that drive, too, resulted in a turnover, as Addai fumbled deep in Jaguars territory.
Cox was there again to pounce on it, and the Jaguars took advantage of the opportunity, advancing to the Colts' six-yard line. The drive stalled there, though, and Jacksonville settled for a 24-yard field goal from Josh Scobee.
Indianapolis had an answer in the form of a 78-yard scoring drive. Manning converted a 3rd-and-13 with a 39-yard toss to Wayne that put the Colts into Jaguars territory, and later found Dallas Clark for 21 yards on third down.
Addai finished the drive with a three-yard run, cutting back near the line of scrimmage before plunging across the goal line with 3:39 remaining to put the Colts in front.
Jacksonville countered with a 46-yarder from Scobee with a minute to play, and he missed a 63-yard attempt wide right with time expiring to keep it a 7-6 game at the break.
The game was played with Lucas Oil Stadium's roof open...Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez left Sunday's game after suffering a right knee injury late in the opening quarter, when he went down without contact shortly after the snap...Jacksonville defensive end Reggie Hayward suffered an undisclosed injury late in the fourth quarter...Indianapolis played without strong safety Bob Sanders (knee)...The Colts have won 10 consecutive games six times in franchise history -- four of which have come since 1999...Indianapolis leads the all-time series vs. Jacksonville 13-4.
09/13 18:17:15 ET
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