INDIANAPOLIS—It was not the mood you'd expect from the coach of a rebuilding team whose young club just took Peyton Manning and the preseason-favorite Colts to the wire. Jack Del Rio clearly was not OK with his team's 14-12, season-opening loss.
"I'm not looking for any moral victories," Del Rio said in his postgame address.
Moments earlier, his team's final chance at victory was doused in a four-and-out effort that netted two yards and three incompletions. That failure, to capitalize on a golden opportunity to advance the ball 30 yards and give Josh Scobee a reasonable chance of kicking the game-winner, had clearly left Del Rio bitterly disappointed.
Never mind that his team was starting four rookies. Never mind that three of those rookies were facing challenges most veterans don't pass. Del Rio expected to win and he was in no mood to talk about the positives.
"Not the kind of start we wanted in our division. We talked about coming up here and being the better team. We didn't get it done," he said.
It was a strange game because the stats didn't match the score. The Colts gained 365 yards, 21 first downs and nearly 34 minutes time of possession. They dominated the action but failed to put the game out of reach. Fourteen points is far beneath Manning's average.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, were held to 228 yards and their quarterback was under a relentless pass-rush, but they had opportunity after opportunity to take the lead.
"It wasn't enough today. We needed to hold them to 10," Del Rio said when it was suggested that holding the Colts to 14 points is rather impressive.
Other than the four-and-out failure, the squandered opportunity Del Rio might most regret is the Jaguars' two-point-conversion attempt to tie the game. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew lined up in the "Wildcat" formation, took the snap from center and ran directly into a bevy of defenders who swallowed him up well shy of the goal line.
"Some of the plan was pretty good and some of it wasn't very good," Del Rio said during conversation about the two-point attempt. "We expected to win the game."
For lack of further analysis by the coach, who clearly wasn't in the mood, here's what can be said:
Jaguars wide receivers caught five passes for 64 yards. The Colts' Reggie Wayne caught 10 for 162. It's difficult to score a lot of points when your wide receivers are not effective.
Quarterback David Garrard's inability to get the ball to his wide receivers may be the result of the Colts' pass-rush. Garrard didn't have time to stand in the pocket and wait for routes to develop.
Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 97 yards, but the Jaguars weren't able to finish drives with their running game.
"They did a great job in the red zone. We have to learn how to finish in the red zone," Jones-Drew said.
The Colts only rushed for 71 yards, but they were successful at using the run to convert on third down and also in the red zone in their first touchdown drive.
All of that will be acknowledged, analyzed and, hopefully, corrected, and then Del Rio will reset his young team's expectations for a victory this Sunday in their home opener against no less than the defending NFC-champion Arizona Cardinals.