Those eager to anoint the Jacksonville Jaguars successors to the Indianapolis Colts as kings of the AFC South will have to hold off at least one more week. Yes, the Jags are having a good season, and there was reason for us to think they had a chance to knock off Peyton and the boys today in Indianapolis. The Colts, however, proved their resilience, beating the upstart Jags 28-25 and taking a two-game lead in the division race.
The Colts were without one of their key players, Marvin Harrison, again this week. Sometimes losing a star player like that can kill your season - but sometimes it's only a matter of adjusting, and other guys moving in to fill the void. Luckily for Indy they have Reggie Wayne. Peyton Manning hooked up with Wayne for 158 yards and a TD, and threw 2 more scoring passes to Dallas Clark who seems recovered from his concussion. The Colts would still like to have Harrison back, but it seems, after today's game, that they have learned to survive without him.
For the Jags, it was a matter of falling behind early and not being able to catch up. They surrendered 14 points to Indy in the first quarter, then another 7 in the second while only managing one TD themselves to trail 21-7 at the half. David Garrard tried leading the Jags back in the second half, throwing a pair of touchdowns, but the comeback fell short. Second-guessers will have plenty of ammo to use on Jags coach Jack Del Rio who, with the team trailing by 3 and only 2:47 left to go in the game, elected not to try an on-side kick. We can only guess what kind of gesticulations and utterances would've ensued had Peyton Manning been sitting on the Jags' bench instead of the Colts'.