We arrive today at the end of the jaguars.com series counting down the all-time Top 10 Jaguars home games, and at No. 1 is a victory strikingly similar to a few previous victories for the franchise.
The similarity made it no less sweet.
Josh Scobee, who twice had won games in Indianapolis with long, late, dramatic field goals, pulled off the trick again on October 3, 2010, but this time he did it at home – and not only that, he did it from a distance of 59 yards on the final play of the game.
The result? A 31-28 Jaguars victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
"Best game I've ever been to," Adam Beaugh wrote, with Barbara of Jacksonville summing up the day for many fans:
"That field goal was a beast and Peyton Manning's face was great."
The victory moved the Jaguars to 2-2 for the 2010 season, and pulled them even with the defending AFC Champions in the race for the AFC South title. It also snapped the Jaguars' three-game losing streak in the series.
Jacksonville hadn't beaten the Colts in Jacksonville since 2006.
"This was one of the most exciting finishes ever," Ray Wortherly of Jacksonville wrote. "We always had confidence in Josh, but this was an incredible feat. We stayed to the end and enjoyed every minute of the exhilaration of the fans after this victory. It was unbelievable."
Scobee twice before had beaten the Colts with late-game field goals. He converted a 51-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in Indianapolis in 2008, and 53-yarder with 38 seconds remaining in 2004 – also in Indianapolis.
"Always believe in Josh Scobee," Sean Morgan of Helletown, Pa., wrote.
The length of the field goal in the 2010 version of the story resonated for many fans, but the team against which it came made it particularly sweet.
"I hate the Colts more than any other team in the NFL and especially in our division," Marcus Olivares of Fresno, Cal., wrote. "Anytime the mighty Jags beat our hated rivals, it's a great game. Scobee showed of what a powerful yet accurate leg he has."
The victory also was critical to the Jaguars' season. They were .500 afterward, but had entered the game having lost back-to-back games in difficult fashion, losing to San Diego 38-13 and Philadelphia, 28-3. They were the worst consecutive losses in franchise history, and after having been picked by many during the preseason to finish last in the AFC South, the victory over the Colts surprised many observers by putting the Jaguars solidly in the early division chase.
"Hope was so limited after an agonizing start to the 2010 season," Brian "Biff" Fullford of Jacksonville wrote. "It was early in the year but we all knew this was a must win game if we were to even consider talking about playoffs."
Scobee's kick capped a dramatic, back-and-forth game.
Colts running back Joseph Addai gave Indianapolis a 7-0 lead with a 2-yard first-quarter run, and Jaguars quarterback David Garrard tied it with a 25-yard run. Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew put Jacksonville ahead, 14-7, with a 1-yard run, but Indianapolis tied it when quarterback Peyton Manning passed seven yards to tight end Dallas Clark midway through the second quarter.
Indianapolis never led again, with Garrard putting the Jaguars ahead, 21-14, with a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter.
Addai's 2-yard run with 7:35 remaining in the fourth quarter tied it at 21-21, and Jones-Drew's eight-yard touchdown reception from Garrard with 2:09 remaining once again moved the Jaguars ahead by a touchdown.
Manning, who completed 33 of 46 passes for 352 yards and two touchdowns, tied it with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Austin Collie with 48 seconds remaining.
Still, the Jaguars weren't done.
With Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio opting to play for the victory in regulation – and with Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell calling timeout with 36 seconds remaining after an eight-yard run by Jones-Drew – the Jaguars moved just enough to set up the field goal.
On 3rd-and-2 from the Jaguars 31, Garrard – who completed 17 of 22 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions – threw six yards to Tiquan Underwood. One play later, Garrard's 22-yard pass to Underwood gave the Jaguars 1st-and-10 at the Colts 41 with 11 seconds remaining.
After an incomplete pass by Garrard, Scobee converted the eighth-longest field goal in NFL history – and the longest in franchise history.
"I&39;ve never been that excited after a kick in my life," Scobee told the Associated Press afterward. "That's the third time I&39;ve hit one over 50 to beat the Colts and each one gets more and more fun."
Wrote reader Mike Higginbotham of Jacksonville, "All I could say for 2 days was WOW!"
The victory not only kept the Jaguars even with the Colts after four weeks, it helped set the tone for a season in which the Jaguars contended for a division title deeper into the season than they had in more than a decade. They slipped to 3-4 after seven games, but won five of six to move into first place in the AFC South with three games remaining.
"This game made the Jaguars relevant for the season," Douglas from Jacksonville wrote.
A December loss in Indianapolis dropped them to second place, and while the Jaguars didn't win again – finishing 8-8 and in second place in the division – the memory of an unlikely field goal and remarkable early-season victory remained not only vivid to the fans who were there, but perhaps the most memorable home game in franchise history.
"This is the one that will go in the record books as the day that the cardiac cats proved they can handle the MIGHTY Peyton and Colts," Kevin Kraemer of Orange Park, Fla., wrote.
Wrote Brian from Jacksonville, "A storm of negativity, uncertainty, and doubt surrounded Jacksonville the week leading up to that game. . . . A loss to the Colts would have made the season an afterthought and would have exhausted any excitement and optimism left in the fans. Instead, the most incredible and emotional moment in Jaguars history happened. The moment Jacksonville fell in love with the Jaguars again."