INDIANAPOLIS --The Colts' defense had no answer for Maurice Jones-Drew on Sunday as the NFL's top rusher slashed his way to 169 yards in Jacksonville's 19-13 victory.
"We just couldn't get Jones-Drew slowed down enough," Colts Coach Jim Caldwell said on his team's radio network. "He has an unusual blend of speed, power (and) balance with that low center of gravity. Obviously, he is extremely competitive."
A solid effort by the Colts' defense held Jacksonville to one early touchdown, but Jones-Drew's average of 6.8 yards per rushing attempt helped to set up Josh Scobee for four field goals. Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert was held to 92 passing yards on 11-of-19.
The Colts trailed 19-6 after Scobee hit from 39 yards with 6:30 left in the game. Over the next three minutes, Dan Orlovsky's passing led the Colts to a touchdown that pulled the visitors within six points.
However, on the ensuing possession, Jones-Drew produced a couple of key first downs with runs of five and 11 yards and enabled the Jaguars to run out the clock.
"The guys really fought hard to put ourselves in position to have an opportunity," Caldwell said. "When we have (three turnovers) and they only score 19 points, the defense had to do a pretty good job of holding them to field goals, which they did.
"We just didn't run the ball as we'd like to run it, and we certainly weren't as consistent as we'd like to be across the board."
The Colts gained only 56 rushing yards, compared to 190 for the Jaguars. Orlovsky completed 27-of-40 passes for 264 yards, including a 12-yarder to Austin Collie for the late touchdown. However, the Indy quarterback was intercepted twice and lost a fumble on a sack.
Adam Vinatieri booted field goals of 48 and 20 yards for Indy. Vinatieri ended the season with 93 points.
The Colts opened the season 0-13 before winning two straight home games. They went into the Jacksonville game with confidence.
"We hoped to end it on a positive note so these guys could have a good taste in their mouth after these last three weeks," Caldwell said. "But we didn't play well enough to get that done. They fought and fought hard and gave themselves an opportunity to win, but we just couldn't get it done."
The 2-14 record left the Colts disappointed, but the team's veteran leadership made Caldwell proud.
"We had a great group of individuals who stayed focused," the coach said. "They were able to keep a lot of the young guys in line, and they did a great job in terms of representing the organization.
"They did some things that are unusual in this day and age and particularly in this league. When things aren't going well, you usually see the whole team simply implode. But these guys did not do that. They hung in there together, they played for one another, they improved every week, they didn't point fingers. As a result, we were able to hang in there and give ourselves at least an opportunity to win."
Indy's defense opened the game in impressive fashion, keeping Jacksonville out of the end zone after the Jaguars had a first down inside the 10-yard line. Jones-Drew failed to cross the goal on three running plays and one pass. Colts safety Antoine Bethea made a crushing tackle to prevent the Jaguars back from scoring on third down.
It seemed like a good sign for the Colts. But their running game struggled throughout and led to missed opportunities. A glaring example came in the second quarter when a sack and fumble recovery by Robert Mathis went for naught as the Indy offense could not gain a first down in four plays from the Jacksonville 36-yard line.
FIRST QUARTER (3:10 remaining)
The Jaguars made the scoreboard first on a 23-yard pass from Blaine Gabbert to Chastin West. Gabbert's perfect strike to West completed a six-play, 35-yard drive one possession after the Colts mounted a goal-line stand to prevent a Jacksonville score. Josh Scobee booted the extra point. Jaguars 7, Colts 0
SECOND QUARTER (12:03 remaining)
The Colts collected their first points on a 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri. The drive went 14 plays and 54 yards and was extended by a couple of first-down receptions by Reggie Wayne and one by Pierre Garcon. Jaguars 7, Colts 3
SECOND QUARTER (1:01 remaining)
The Jaguars pushed 61 yards in nine plays, relying on their running attack and some efficient passing, but had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Scobee after the Colts' defense stiffened. The Jaguars rushed for 32 yards on the drive, including 28 by Maurice Jones-Drew. Gabbert completed a 19-yard pass to Kassim Osgood for the drive's big play. Jaguars 10, Colts 3
THIRD QUARTER (9:07 remaining)
The Colts' offense got untracked on the first possession of the second half, and their 13-play, 78-yard drive resulted in a 20-yard field goal by Vinatieri. Quarterback Dan Orlovsky completed 6-of-8 passes for 62 yards. Jaguars 10, Colts 6
THIRD QUARTER (7:33 remaining)
The Jaguars stretched their lead to seven on a 32-yard field goal by Scobee. It followed a five-play, 57-yard drive. The big play was a 56-yard run by Jones-Drew. Jaguars 13, Colts 6
THIRD QUARTER (5:47 remaining)
The Jaguars' Scobee added another field goal, this one from 47 yards. The Colts' defense was able to keep the Jaguars out of the end zone after an interception by Russell Allen gave them the ball at the Indy 19-yard line. Jaguars 16, Colts 6
FOURTH QUARTER (6:30 remaining)
Scobee connected on his fourth field goal of the game, from 39 yards. The drive went seven plays and 25 yards. It was set up by Jeremy Mincey's sack and forced fumble on the Colts' Orlovsky. George Selvie recovered. Jaguars 19, Colts 6
FOURTH QUARTER (3:22 remaining)
Orlovsky connected on 7-of-8 passes for 82 yards to lead the Colts on an eight-play, 82-yard touchdown drive. Austin Collie caught a 12-yarder for the score. Vinatieri added the extra point. Jaguars 19, Colts 13