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Del Rio reviews loss


Former first-round draft choice Reggie Nelson's play time could be in jeopardy as a result of his performance in the Jaguars' heartbreaking, 35-31 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday.

"He didn't play well. You can't stay in the lineup playing like that," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said in a Friday afternoon press conference.

Nelson allowed the Colts' final two touchdowns of the game, including a 65-yard bomb from Peyton Manning to Reggie Wayne that was the game-winner for the 14-0 Colts. In the third quarter, Nelson failed in his attempt to bump tight end Dallas Clark to the ground following a reception Clark turned into a 27-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

Those were two of five costly plays in the game for the Jaguars. The other three were: 1.) A 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by the Colts' Chad Simpson. 2.) An illegal formation penalty that nullified a 19-yard completion from David Garrard to Marcedes Lewis in the final quarter. 3.) A game-clinching interception by cornerback Jacob Lacey that was the result of a Garrard pass that sailed over intended receiver Mike Thomas' head.

Quentin Groves was blocked to the ground on the kickoff return. "He went inside and shouldn't have," Del Rio said. Groves had already lost his starting defensive end job. "If he was the best option he'd be playing every week," Del Rio added.

Garrard's fourth-quarter pass to Lewis would've given the Jaguars a first down at the Colts 37-yard line. Instead, the penalty pushed the Jags back to their 39 and forced a second-and-13 play from which the Jags were unable to recover.

The penalty was the result of Thomas, a rookie, not moving off the line of scrimmage a step when Garrard audibled to a new play that required Lewis to take a step forward onto the line of scrimmage. Del Rio said either Garrard, Lewis or Thomas should've detected the mistake and corrected it.

"It's just one of those deals. A young guy made a mistake there," Del Rio said.

Garrard's lone interception of the game killed a drive that had moved to the Colts 33-yard line. Thomas was open on an in-cut. Garrard's failure to lead the Jaguars to a score in the fourth quarter re-ignited fan criticism of the quarterback four days after suffering the same failure in a 14-10 loss to Miami.

"The tape just confirms what we felt last night. They were just a little better. We hadn't punted until the third quarter, and then we punted three times at crunch time," Del Rio said.

"David has been very tough in the face of pressure. To hear some of the questions he fields, I think he's been a stand up guy. The last two weeks, I'm sure he'd love to have led us to victory. He's played well, not great. The guy who played great is 14-0," Del Rio said, referring to Manning.

Garrard finished the game having completed 23 of 40 passes for 223 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and an 87.8 passer rating. Through three quarters, however, he had completed 12 of 22 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns, and was playing at one of the highest levels of his career.

Del Rio was asked if criticism of Garrard is unfair.

"I think it's all part of the job. We understand that," Del Rio said.

The loss severely damaged the Jaguars' playoff hopes.

"So long as there's hope, we'll continue to hold hope. We'll take the weekend, watch football and come back next week with resolve," Del Rio said.

It was the only game this season not blacked out to local television and both the attendance and the local TV rating for the game are high-water marks.

"I felt the atmosphere was electric. The fans were there in full force. It was a night game with national coverage. It was a good feel. It was a fun game. The only thing I didn't like was the way it ended," Del Rio said. "I don't know that there's any sense of satisfaction because, honestly, we expected to beat them."

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