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First off the Field: Colts 30, Jaguars 10

Posted Dec 29, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars fall behind early, lose to Indianapolis Colts in 2013 regular-season finale.

INDIANAPOLIS – The last one got away from the Jaguars in a hurry.

In a game that was a sharp contrast to much of the second half of the 2013 season, the Jaguars fell behind early Sunday afternoon, never mustering a comeback and losing 30-10 to the AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Jaguars trailed 17-0 after the first quarter, and cut the lead to 14 before the Colts pulled away in the second and third quarters.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck completed 26 of 37 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, with wide receiver T.Y. Hilton catching 11 passes for 155 yards. The receptions and yards were a career-high for Hilton, who left the game early in the third quarter.

Luck left the game early in the fourth quarter.

Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne completed 30 of 51 passes for 331 yards and a touchdown with an interception. The Colts outgained the Jaguars 380-350 and had 23 first downs to 19 for the Jaguars.

The loss was the Jaguars’ first by more than two touchdowns since a 42-10 loss to San Francisco at Wembley Stadium in London in Week 8. The Jaguars lost their first eight games of the season by double digits, but went 4-4 in the second half of the season.

Their widest margin of defeat in the second half of the season had been 13 in a 27-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at EverBank Field.

The Colts dominated early to take a 17-0 lead, which marked the Jaguars’ largest deficit of the season after the first quarter.

Running back Donald Brown dove over the interior line to cap an eight-play, 42-yard drive and give the Colts a 7-0 lead with 10:45 remaining. That drive was set up when cornerback Darius Butler recovered a fumble by Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew at the Jaguars 42.

Jones-Drew finished with 39 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Running back Trent Richardson’s two-yard touchdown run on the Colts’ ensuing series made it 14-0, with kicker Adam Vinatieri converting from 23 yards on the Colts’ final  series of the first quarter. Indianapolis held a 165-34 total-yardage advantage after the first quarter and had 11 first downs to two for the Jaguars.

Josh Scobee’s 37-yard field goal with 11:55 remaining in the half made it 17-3, Colts, but Vinatieri converted from 26 yards on the final play of the half to extend the lead to 17 points, 20-3.

The Colts had 235 total yards to 126 for the Jaguars at halftime, and held a 16-8 advantage in first downs.

Luck passed 7 yards to Griff Whalen to give the Colts a 27-7 lead after their first drive of the third quarter, and Vinatieri pushed the lead to 30-3 with a 39-yard field goal with 8:00 remaining.

Henne closed the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kerry Taylor with 16 seconds remaining.

 

TURNING POINT

For the first time in a long time for the Jaguars, this came in the first quarter. The Colts scored on their first three possessions and led by 17 points entering the second quarter. The Jaguars had a chance to get to within a touchdown late in the first half, but Colts safety Antoine Bethea intercepted Henne and returned it 39 yards to the Jaguars 39. Vinatieri’s half-ending field goal capped the ensuing drive and pushed the Colts’ lead to 17.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

1.Jaguars defensive end Jason Babin registered a sack in the first half giving him 7.5 for the season. He finished the season leading the team in sacks.

1.Jaguars center Brad Meester played the 209th and final game of his NFL career Sunday. He announced two weeks ago that he would retire after the season. He started the final 90 games of his career.

 

LOOKING ON . . .

1.Jones-Drew’s lost fumble on the first series marked the first time since November 11, 2011, against the Baltimore Ravens that Jones-Drew had lost a fumble. He had gone 526 carries without a lost fumble.

2.The Jaguars were significantly hurt by injuries Sunday. Not only were starters such as Dwayne Gratz and Geno Hayes ruled out this week, the Jaguars also in the last few weeks lost wide receiver Cecil Shorts III, linebacker Russell Allen and defensive tackles Roy Miller and Brandon Deaderick.

 

INJURY WATCH

Jaguars tight end Clay Harbor sustained an ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return. Defensive tackle Jordan Miller also sustained a second-quarter ankle injury.

Left tackle Cameron Bradfield started Sunday after being questionable with a high-ankle sprain, and Gratz and  Hayes missed the regular-season finale.

Gratz (ankle) and Hayes (knee) were ruled out earlier in the week and the Jaguars’ other inactives were quarterback Ricky Stanzi, running back Delone Carter, tight end Allen Reisner, center Patrick Lewis and defensive end Gerald Rivers.

J.T. Thomas started at one outside linebacker spot in place of Hayes, with rookie LaRoy Reynolds starting ahead of John Lotulelei at the other outside backer position. Will Blackmon started for Gratz.

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