Indianapolis at Jacksonville

Jags pull off Taylor-made upset vs. Colts 28-23

SportsLine.com wire reports
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Fred Taylor ran the ball Sunday as well as he ran his mouth all week.

The result for Jacksonville was a surprising 28-23 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, highlighted by Taylor's game-winning, 32-yard touchdown run with 1:08 left.

Taylor finished with a season-high 152 yards and delivered on his promise to "punish" Colts safety Michael Doss, whose rough play in the season's first meeting prompted Taylor to send out this midweek warning: "I'm going to punish him. If he hits me, fine, but if I catch him, believe me, I'm going to get the better shot."

As it turned out, Taylor's trash talk was the perfect motivation for the Jaguars (2-7), a struggling team in desperate need of a spark.

"He spoke out this week, which doesn't happen too often," coach Jack Del Rio said. "What we talked about as a team is, when one of our guys puts himself out there, we have to back him up."

They did, and the Jaguars earned the first victory in franchise history over the Colts (7-2), who fell into a first-place tie with Tennessee in the AFC South.

After Taylor's score, Peyton Manning needed to move 66 yards with one timeout to engineer his 19th career game-winning drive. But he threw an interception to Deke Cooper with 11 seconds left to end his chances.

Indy walked away with a loss and some prickly issues to go with it:

The Colts played the final three quarters without receiver Marvin Harrison, who strained his hamstring, and who's status for next week wasn't immediately known.

Also, some players were snippy in the locker room, upset with play-calling that was heavy on screen passes and light on handoffs. Edgerrin James finished with 15 carries for 44 yards and six catches for 26 yards.

"Maybe I'm not good enough, but I don't make those decisions," said James, who shared significant time with Ricky Williams. "I don't know why we had so many screens called. That's not my call. I just do my job."

Manning threw for 347 yards, with two TDs and two interceptions.

While Taylor was Jacksonville's star, the victory also marked a big step forward for rookie Byron Leftwich. He finished 12-for-22 for 179 yards and was turnover-free after committing 15 in his first five starts.

Leftwich hit Jimmy Smith for a pretty 43-yard touchdown to give the Jaguars a 21-20 lead early in the fourth period after they trailed by 13. The touchdown came four plays after a wacky 28-yard completion to George Wrighster that bounced off three or four Colts before settling in the tight end's hands.

"I finally got the play I see all those other quarterbacks get every week," Leftwich said. "Once I got that play, I said, 'Dang, something finally went your way.'"

Manning responded with a 70-yard completion to Marcus Pollard to set up a go-ahead field goal. A few minutes later, David Allen returned a short Indy punt 27 yards to the Colts 31. Taylor then took a handoff and broke three tackles -- including an attempt by Doss -- for his second touchdown of the game.

"I guess you'd have to say he got the final word today," Doss said.

Taylor cracked the 100-yard mark for only the second time this season, both against the Colts. Taylor said his anger stemmed from Doss pushing his head to the ground after recovering a fumble during Indy's 23-13 victory over Jacksonville in Week 3.

"I felt he really disrespected me," Taylor said. "I probably should have just taken the silent approach, but sometimes things happen, so I just put it out there, and my teammates backed me up."

Along with worrying about Harrison's health and the play-calling, Indianapolis has to shore up a leaky run defense. The Colts gave up 174 yards rushing. Their 21st-ranked run defense has allowed 130 yards rushing in six of the last seven games.

Notes

  • Colts DE Dwight Freeney, on a tear with six sacks in the last three games, finished with just three tackles and no sacks. The Colts finished without a sack.
  • Before Harrison left, he and Manning connected on their 65th touchdown, tying Jim Kelly and Andre Reed for third on the NFL's list of most prolific TD combinations. Dan Marino and Mark Clayton (79) are second; Steve Young and Jerry Rice (85) are first.
  • Donovin Darius lost a fumble on an interception return and had a running-into-the-kicker penalty to keep Indy's first touchdown drive alive.
  • Mike Vanderjagt made all three field goals to stay perfect this season, 24-for-24.
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Jags RB Fred Taylor races for the game-winning TD, accounting for 32 of his season-high 152 yards.
 
Jags RB Fred Taylor races for the game-winning TD, accounting for 32 of his season-high 152 yards. (AP)
 

 

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QTR,
----0
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Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDMarvin Harrison, 30 Yd pass from Peyton Manning (Mike Vanderjagt kick is good), 10:07. Drive: 7 plays, 52 yards in 2:31.
TDFred Taylor, 5 Yd run (Seth Marler kick is good), 1:19. Drive: 7 plays, 43 yards in 4:06.
2ND QUARTER
FGMike Vanderjagt 27 Yd, 11:08. Drive: 13 plays, 61 yards in 5:11.
FGMike Vanderjagt 26 Yd, 6:51. Drive: 6 plays, 57 yards in 2:22.
TDMarcus Pollard, 13 Yd pass from Peyton Manning (Mike Vanderjagt kick is good), 0:28. Drive: 11 plays, 62 yards in 4:21.
3RD QUARTER
TDByron Leftwich, 4 Yd run (Seth Marler kick is good), 8:26. Drive: 13 plays, 80 yards in 6:34.
4TH QUARTER
TDJimmy Smith, 43 Yd pass from Byron Leftwich (Seth Marler kick is good), 11:32. Drive: 7 plays, 93 yards in 3:59.
FGMike Vanderjagt 27 Yd, 9:44. Drive: 5 plays, 70 yards in 1:48.
TDFred Taylor, 32 Yd run (Seth Marler kick is good), 1:08. Drive: 2 plays, 31 yards in 0:20.
Indianapolis
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
P. Manning28/4534722
RushingATTYDSTDLG
E. James154408
R. Williams6306
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
M. Pollard392170
T. Walters573036
R. Wayne646012
D. Clark243037
R. Williams537011
M. Harrison130130
E. James62609
Jacksonville
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
B. Leftwich12/2217910
M. Royals0/1001
L. Toefield0/1000
RushingATTYDSTDLG
F. Taylor28152232
C. Fuamatu-Ma'afala41105
B. Leftwich3614
L. Toefield3502
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Smith487143
G. Wrighster128028
K. Brady225021
T. Edwards31809
C. Hankton116016
M. Edwards1505
Complete Player Stats