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Jags score thrilling win


Fortunately, the Colts defensive back has bad hands, too. More on that in a minute.

The Jaguars scored one of the most important and dramatic wins in their history on Sunday because their kicker has the leg of a mule and Colts coach Jim Caldwell inexplicably ignored that fact in calling a time out that allowed the Jaguars time for Josh Scobee to boot a 59-yard, game-winning field goal. Final score: Jags 31, Colts 28.

OK, let's go back to those hands. The first pair belongs to Jaguars cornerback David Jones, who had a game-clinching interception in both hands as he was running with the ball for what seemed to be a minute or two, before the ball fell from those hands. Six plays later, the Colts were in the end zone and the game was tied, 28-28, with 48 seconds left to play.

The other pair of bad hands belongs to Colts defensive back Kelvin Hayden. Had he not suffered a prehensile moment, he would've caught David Garrard's careless lob for Tiquan Underwood and raced 65 yards or so with a game-winning, walk-off interception.

What did somebody once say about defensive backs? If they could catch they'd be wide receivers.

As a result of those two drops canceling out each other, the Jaguars and Colts are each 2-2 and tied with the Titans for second place in the AFC South. The Colts aren't real happy about their 2-2. The Jaguars are delighted by theirs.

"I'm real proud of the effort. It could've been a lot cleaner, but it was real gritty," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said of the win.

Del Rio explained that Scobee has been good from 65 yards in practice, but that the Jags had targeted the 35-yard line. They got to the 41 before they ran out of time for anything more than the kick. Scobee thumped it. It would've been good from 60.

The Jaguars' final drive began at their 23. Maurice Jones-Drew gained eight yards on first down and the Colts called time out. Huh? The Jags only had one time out left.

It was a slap in the Jags offense's face. Colts coach Jim Caldwell was telling the Jags they wouldn't gain a first down and Caldwell wanted enough time left on the clock for Manning to move into field goal range. Hey, excuse us for getting in the way, coach.

Quarterback David Garrard responded to that challenge by completing passes of six and 22 yards to Underwood. Then came the Hayden drop, followed by the Scobee thump. Game over. Had Caldwell not called time out, the game probably would've gone into overtime.

Del Rio's reference to a "cleaner" victory was obviously aimed at his defense, which suffered another bad day in pass-defense. Peyton Manning moved the Colts at will, as Manning threw for 352 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted once, but that was the result of a hard hit by safety Anthony Smith that jarred the ball loose from tight end Dallas Clark following what should've been a reception near the Jaguars goal line.

In the Colts' game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, the Jags defense came within a play of delivering the knockout punch but, on fourth-and-10, Manning found a wide-open Clark crossing the middle. The rush was in Manning's face when he threw the ball.

"Should've been a closing moment for us. We could've won in style," Del Rio said.

Scobee's kick was stylish in all of the dramatic ways. It left a crowd of 58,212 to celebrate as no crowd at EverBank Field has celebrated in quite some time. The crowd spent most of the fourth quarter on its feet as it began to appreciate the fact that it was witnessing something special.

Was this a turning point in the fortunes of the Jaguars?

"I'll let you all get into that. What gave us a chance is how we handled the adversity we were facing. We rallied around each other. This is a fun group to coach. We expect to play much better football," Del Rio added.

"Just get it near the 40," Scobee told reporters of what he said to Garrard before the final drive.

"After a tough, trying week, you have to respond in the best way you can," Garrard said.

Garrard responded twice at crunch time. After the Colts tied the game at 21-21 midway through the fourth quarter with a 96-yard drive, Garrard moved the Jaguars 57 yards in nine crunch-time plays to regain the lead with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jones-Drew. One more time, of course, Garrard would have to respond, but he needed help from Hayden.

"It was a pass I probably should have thrown further out of bounds than to let Tiquan make a play there. I hate to give my coaches and my teammates a heart attack," Garrard said.

With a performance that included two touchdown passes, a 127.7 passer rating and a 25-yard touchdown run, Garrard can be forgiven his one glaring mistake.

"We had to have it," Del Rio said of the win. "I didn't pretend it wasn't that way."

It was, very definitely, that way.

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