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Game report: Jaguars 38, Colts 20

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Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole, left, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., center, and running back Ryquell Armstead, right, celebrate Cole's touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

JACKSONVILLE – They fought for each other, for fun and for pride.

With nothing official at stake and playoff hopes long since a memory, the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon finished a long – and weird – season with their feistiest and best performance in recent weeks.

Jaguars 38, Indianapolis Colts 20.

Quarterback Gardner Minshew II had one of his best games of a memorable rookie season, and defensive end Calais Campbell returned a fourth-quarter fumble return for a critical touchdown as the Jaguars rallied and pulled away for a victory in front of 58,482 at TIAA Bank Field. 

"It's kind of the standard we should hold for ourselves, what happened tonight," Minshew said. "We can see that and take everything we did good as a team this year, clean it up a little bit, and refocus ourselves to where this is what we expect from ourselves."

The Jaguars (6-10) won for the second time in three games. The Colts (7-9) lost for a seventh time in their last nine games.

Minshew, who won six of 12 starts this season, completed 27 of 39 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Wide receiver Dede Westbrook caught seven passes for 72 yards and a touchdown, and wide receiver Keelan Cole caught three passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.

The Jaguars trailed 20-16 at halftime, but Minshew's three-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Ryquell Armstead midway through the third quarter gave them a lead they never relinquished. When defensive end Yannick Ngakoue forced a fumble by Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett early in the fourth quarter, Campbell returned it for an eight-yard touchdown and a 31-20 Jaguars lead.

Minshew later in the fourth quarter threw his third touchdown pass of the game – an 18-yarder to Westbrook – for a 38-20 lead.

"It was a lot of excitement," Minshew said. "We don't know what the future holds or who all is going to be here but we do know that the guys that are going to be here are going to be all in and ready to use this as a springboard moving into the offseason."

Kicker Josh Lambo's three first-half field goals gave him 33 for the season, setting a franchise record for field goals in a season. Kicker Mike Hollis previously held the record. Lambo converted 32 of 33 field goals this season, a 97.1 percentage that led all kickers with five or more attempts this season.

Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. caught four passes for 34 yards, giving him 1,010 yards receiving for the season. He became the first Jaguars receiver since Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns in 2015 to surpass 1,000 yards receiving. He and running back Leonard Fournette surpassed 1,000 yards receiving and rushing, respectively, the first Jaguars players to do so since Jimmy Smith and Fred Taylor did it in 2004.

The Jaguars registered three sacks Sunday, with defensive end Dawuane Smoot and defensive tackle Taven Bryan registering one each and rookie defensive end Josh Allen and Abry Jones sharing a sack.

The Jaguars outgained the Colts, 353-275.

"This is something that we could be in the next upcoming season," Campbell said. "We kept the energy up out there on the field even though we were down in the first half, but we turned things around pretty quickly to get the win. It was no pressure out there, just guys out there playing a game of football. 

"I told the guys that this is something that we can build off of, there is a lot of character being built this season and if we can harness that in the offseason, then I know this team can be something special."

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