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Jaguars again fall to Manning, Colts

Sep 24, 2006 - 8:46 PM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- After beating America's Team and the defending Super Bowl champion, the Jacksonville Jaguars again fell to Peyton Manning's team.

Manning passed for 219 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score as the Indianapolis Colts posted a 21-14 victory over the Jaguars in a battle of AFC South rivals.

Jacksonville (2-1) opened the season with a win over the Dallas Cowboys and followed with a shutout of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But they were again frustrated by the Colts (3-0), who handed the Jaguars two of their four losses last season

It appeared the outcome might be different this time. Jacksonville held Manning to just 14 completions, controlled the ball for nearly 39 1/2 minutes and rushed for 191 yards. Still, the Jaguars couldn't beat the Colts.

"You can paint it any way you want, the bottom line is they made more big plays than us and that's why they won the game," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said.

Fresh off its 9-0 shutout of Pittsburgh, Jacksonville started this game with an 11-play, 78-yard scoring drive which consumed nearly 7 1/2 minutes. Rookie Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor combined to rush for 62 yards before quarterback Byron Leftwich scored on a four-yard run.

"They came out with an excellent plan," Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "They had a good run scheme in the first half and we had to adjust to how they were blocking and how Drew and Fred were cutting those runs back. We talked about it at halftime and I think we limited their running game in the second half."

Jacksonville's defense stopped the high-powered Colts on their first two possessions. The Jaguars outgained Indianapolis, 123-26, before Terrence Wilkins turned the momentum with an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown, tying the game at 7-7 with 11:42 left in the second quarter.

Wilkins fielded a punt near the right sideline, found a crease to the middle and then darted back to his right for the Colts' first touchdown on a punt return in five years.

Josh Scobee had a chance to give the lead back to Jacksonville, but hit the left upright with a 24-yard field goal attempt with 2:47 remaining in the half.

Manning completed just 5-of-13 passes for 63 yards in the first half.

But the two-time MVP gave the Colts the lead for good with a 30-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline to tight end Dallas Clark 3:05 into the third quarter.

"The drive to start the second half was really important," Manning said. "You saw how tough their defense was last Monday against Pittsburgh, so they're not going to give you anything. You have to earn it. And we put together two drives against an excellent defense in the second half."

Clark was essentially uncovered on his touchdown catch, making what looked like a fair catch in the end zone.

"We'd contain them and contain them and then we leave a guy wide open in the end zone," Jaguars linebacker Mike Peterson said. "It's the little things, and when you have a veteran like Peyton, you can't make those mistakes."

Manning also scored on a two-yard run with 8:30 left in the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 21-7. On a 2nd-and-goal play, Manning faked an inside handoff to rookie Joseph Addai and scooted untouched around the right side for his first touchdown run since 2002.

"The call came from the sideline," Manning said. "We ran the ball on 1st-and-goal and they did something a little different. They blitzed both safeties off of the corners and really stuffed the play. So (offensive coordinator) Tom (Moore) called for the naked bootleg and I didn't tell anyone in the huddle. That way our players played it full speed like a running play up the middle."

The Jaguars pulled within 21-14 on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Leftwich to Jones-Drew with 3:32 left in the fourth quarter.

Jacksonville took over at its own 42 with a minute left but Leftwich underthrew a deep pass over the middle to Reggie Williams and safety Mike Doss intercepted it at the Indianapolis 20.

"We didn't make enough plays and we lost," said Leftwich, who was 16-of-28 for 107 yards with two interceptions. "We left a lot out there, but you can't look at it that way. We are a good football team and we have to make sure things like this don't happen."

Jones-Drew finished with 103 yards on 13 carries and Taylor added 74 yards on 21 carries.

Marvin Harrison had six catches for 94 yards for Indianapolis and moved within three catches of surpassing Andre Reed (951 catches) for fourth place on the all-time receptions list.

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