INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – They needed a drive and got it. They needed a stop and didn't.
As a result, what was a two-game losing streak now is three – with the Jaguars having lost two winnable AFC South games in as many weeks.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another, and reserve running back JaMycal Hasty ran for a touchdown. But the Jaguars' defense couldn't stop a resilient Indianapolis Colts offense and the Colts rallied for a 34-27 victory in front of 65,749 at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday afternoon.
"We've had a few of these this year, so it's just frustrating," Lawrence said. "We feel like we could have won every game that we've been in this year."
Colts rookie wide receiver Alec Pierce caught a 42-yard pass from quarterback Matt Ryan with :17 remaining, with Phillip Lindsay adding a two-point run.
"They're hurting obviously," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "They battled. Nobody is going to, as we say, feel sorry for us. We just have to keep grinding and keep going. One of the things we talk about is the finish. Our guys battled for 60 minutes.
"We've just got to find a time, a place, a play somewhere that we can win these games. Our guys will be better for it. They're great opportunities to teach."
The Colts are now 3-2-1; the Jaguars are 2-4. The Colts outgained the Jaguars 434-377.
"We've just got to get this taste out of our mouths," Jaguars cornerback Shaq Griffin said. "It's tough to go three in a row not getting the win you deserve. The main thing is we have to wash this off."
All four of the Jaguars' losses this season have come by a touchdown/two-point conversion or less.
"That's the NFL though, so there is a lot of teams that can say that," Lawrence said. "At the end of the day just matters if you win or lose. It's really just on all of us to find ways to execute better.
"I really believe in the team that we have."
The Jaguars, after leading through the first three quarters, lost the lead early in the fourth then regained it – 27-26 – with an 18-play, 84-yard drive that consumed 10:03.
Lawrence capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Kirk with 2:44 remaining after completing five of five passes on the drive for 33 yards.
The Colts then drove 66 yards on 11 plays for Pierce's winning touchdown.
"Trevor and the offense did their part to put us in position to win the game," Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen said. "That's what the offense is supposed to do. As a defense, we've got to close it. We didn't come to the opportunity."
Lawrence completed 20 of 22 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions and also ran for a touchdown. Running back Travis Etienne Jr., a week after setting a career-high with 71 yards rushing and 43 yards receiving, rushed for 86 yards on 10 carries Sunday with 20 yard receiving on two receptions.
The Jaguars scored touchdowns on all three red-zone possessions after settling for two field goals with an end-zone interception in a 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans last week.
Ryan completed 42 of 58 passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Wide receiver Michael Pittman caught 13 passes for 134 yards for the Colts.
The Jaguars on Sunday registered no sacks and no takeaways. They had at least one sack in every game this season and a takeaway in all but one game entering the game.
"We fought to the very end," Allen said. "They made plays on their end. Credit to them. We've got to move on. We'll figure it out and we'll get it going."
Step by step:
- A one-yard sneak by Lawrence on third-and-goal gave the Jaguars a 7-0 lead with 3:48 remaining in the first quarter; the touchdown was set up by three explosive plays – a 14-yard run by running back James Robinson, a 22-yard screen pass by Etienne and a 19-yard reverse by wide receiver Jamal Agnew to the Colts 1. The Jaguars missed an early opportunity for points on their first possession when Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner sacked Lawrence for a 15-yard loss on 3rd-and-9 from the Colts 26; a 48-yard run by Etienne had given the Jaguars a first down at the Colts 27.
- The Colts pulled to within four, 7-3, when kicker Chase McLaughlin converted a 28-yard field goal with 13:56 remaining in the second quarter. Hasty's 61-yard touchdown run on 3rd-and-1 from the Jaguars 38 on the next series pushed the Jaguars' lead to 14-3 with 11:27 remaining in the second quarter. Ryan's four-yard pass to wide receiver Parris Campbell cut the Jaguars' lead to 14-10 with 2:06 remaining in the half, and McLaughlin's 42-yard field goal with :21 remaining in the half made it 14-13, Jacksonville, at halftime.
- Lawrence's two-yard run capped the opening drive of the second half and pushed the Jaguars' lead to 21-13 with 10:55 remaining in the third quarter; Lawrence's run followed a 20-yard pass from Lawrence to wide receiver Tim Jones to the Colts 2 and capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive. The Colts cut the lead to 21-19 with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter on a three-yard run by running back Deon Jackson.
- The Colts took their first lead of the game on their first drive of the fourth quarter with Jelani Woods catching a 10-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to make it 26-21, Colts, with 12:47 remaining. The Jaguars' 18-play, 84-yard touchdown drive that ended with Kirk's touchdown reception immediately followed.
- Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. and defensive end Foley Fatukasi were among the Jaguars' inactives Sunday along with running back Snoop Conner, safety Tyree Gillespie, cornerback Montaric Brown and outside linebacker De'Shaan Dixon. Jones missed with a hamstring injury and Fatukasi missed a second consecutive game with a quad injury. Both were ruled out Saturday when they didn't travel with the team. Defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton (foot), wide receiver Zay Jones (ankle) and linebacker Foye Oluokun (calf) all are expected to be active after being listed as questionable on Friday's final injury report of the week.
Injury report: Agnew sustained a knee injury in the second quarter and did not return.