INDIANAPOLIS – Leonard Fournette came back, and the Jaguars almost did.
The first was important for the Jaguars Sunday, but the second mattered more because a comeback that came up short further hurt their dwindling postseason chances.
Fournette, out the last four games with a hamstring injury, ran for a first-half touchdown and caught a second-half touchdown pass Sunday – but the Indianapolis Colts held off a second-half Jaguars rally for a 29-26 victory in front of 57,473 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Jaguars (3-6) lost a fifth consecutive game and slipped to fourth place in the AFC South. The Colts (4-5) moved past the Jaguars into third place with their third consecutive victory.
The Jaguars trimmed what was a 29-13 first-half Colts lead with 13 consecutive points, cutting the lead to 29-26 with a 55-yard field goal by kicker Josh Lambo with 4:03 remaining.
The Jaguars drove to the Colts 25 in the final two minutes, but wide receiver Rashad Greene Sr. fumbled there after catching a pass from quarterback Blake Bortles. Safety Malik Hooker recovered to secure the Colts' victory.
Fournette, who missed six of seven games before a Week 9 bye week last weekend, rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and caught five passes for 56 yards a touchdown. It was the eighth 100-yard receiving/rushing game of his career.
Fournette scored on a one-yard first-half run and his one-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was part of the second-half rally.
Bortles had his best game in more than a month, completing 26 of 38 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. His 80-yard touchdown to wide receiver Donte Moncrief with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter tied the game 7-7 and marked the Jaguars' first first-half touchdown since a Week 4 victory over the New York Jets.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck completed 21 of 29 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.
Colts tight end Eric Ebron scored twice and three times in the first half – on a 53-yard first-drive pass from Luck, a two-yard inside run on the first quarter's final play and a 12-yard pass early in the second quarter for a 21-7 Colts lead.
Fournette's receiving and rushing touchdown marked the first time he has scored a receiving and rushing touchdown in the same NFL game. He has scored touchdowns in 13 of 16 career games.
The Colts had 366 total yards, including 305 in the first half. The Jaguars' defense did not register a sack, and linebacker Telvin Smith had a second-half interception.
Step by step:
*The Colts took an early lead on a rough drive for the Jaguars' defense, with Ebron breaking wide open for a 53-yard touchdown to cap the game's first possession; linebacker Telvin Smith and safety Barry Church appeared to have a miscommunication to allow Ebron to run free on a play that gave the Colts a 7-0 lead with 11:26 remaining in the first quarter. The Jaguars tied it 7-7 with Bortles' 80-yard touchdown pass to Moncrief, the longest reception of Moncrief's career and the longest pass for Bortles this season; the touchdown with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter was the Jaguars' first first-half touchdown since Week 4. Ebron's two-yard run on an inside handoff on the final play of the first quarter gave the Colts a 14-7 lead.
*Ebron's 12-yard reception from Luck came against a confused Jaguars secondary, with Smith and Church again appearing to leave Ebron wide open with a miscommunication. The Jaguars' offense continued to appear improved on the ensuing drive, with Fournette's 1-yard run with 5:53 remaining before half coming two plays after his 31-yard reception on a screen pass gave the Jaguars first-and-goal at the Colts 4. Lambo's extra point was blocked, and Luck capped the ensuing drive with a 1-yard pass to tight end Mo Alie-Cox to give the Colts a 29-13 lead. Lambo's 28-yard field goal with :05 remaining cut the Indianapolis lead to 29-16.
*The Jaguars cut what had been a 16-point Colts lead to six points – 29-23 – with a one-yard pass from Bortles to Fournette to cap a 75-yard, 17-play, 8:35 drive to start the second half. The Jaguars missed a chance to cut the lead to three when Lambo missed from 52 yards to snap his franchise-record of 24 consecutive field goals and the quarter ended with the Colts leading by six.
Injury report:Center Brandon Linder left the sidelines for the locker room on a cart after a third-quarter knee injury and did not return. …. Left tackle Ereck Flowers also left with a third-quarter knee injury. …
Notable: Flowers played for the first time since being acquired three games ago. Josh Walker made a fourth consecutive start at left tackle, with Flowers entering the game on the Jaguars' first drive of the second quarter; Walker reentered on the ensuing series and the two rotated until Flowers left with an injury. … Cornerbacks A.J. Bouye (calf) and Quenton Meeks (knee) were among the Jaguars' seven game-day inactives Sunday with the others being guard Chris Reed, cornerback Dee Delaney, linebacker/defensive end Lerentee McCray (hamstring), running back Dave Williams and nose tackle Eli Ankou (calf). … Nickel corner D.J. Hayden played after missing the last six games with a toe injury, and tight end James O'Shaughnessy played after missing the last two games with a hip injury; cornerback Tyler Patmon played after missing the Eagles game with a neck injury. … With McCray out and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. having been traded to the Los Angeles Rams during the bye week, second-year defensive end Dawuane Smoot was active for the first time this season. …
What's next:They Jaguars are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday, November 18 at 1 p.m.