INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Josh Scobee savored every part of Sunday’s victory celebration.
Even the wrestling match with the ball boy.
Scobee, who produced Jacksonville’s only other win in Indianapolis with a 53-yard field goal in 2004, did it again Sunday by making a 51-yarder with 4 seconds left to beat the dreaded Colts 23-21. And this time, he took the ball.
“My holder went to give me a high-five and I took off running,” said Scobee, who left the ball from his other winning kick in the Indianapolis locker room and never got it back. “I tried to get the ball from the ball boy and he didn’t recognize me. He wouldn’t let go of it, so I had to rip it away from him.”
Just like he snatched a second straight comeback out of the Colts’ grasp.
The ramifications of Scobee’s kick may last far longer than any postgame party. The victory allowed Jacksonville (1-2) to avoid the franchise’s first 0-3 start in five years and get out of what would have been a huge hole against the five-time AFC South champs.
Instead of being two games behind Indy, they’ve drawn even with the Colts (1-2) and now hold the first chip in the tiebreaker.
But it took far more than Scobee to shrug off their biggest nemesis.
David Garrard impressively evaded the Colts’ pass rush to buy more time and find receivers during the final 67 seconds.
The powerful running tandem of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor, who each topped 100 yards despite being nicked up with minor injuries, got the offense out of neutral for the first time this season. Jacksonville had the ball for more than 41 minutes.
Unknown fullback Montell Owens just happened to be in the right place at the right time when Garrard’s pass appeared to be tipped and fluttered toward midfield. Somehow Owens cradled it in his arms for a 10-yard gain and a first down.
And, of course, there was Scobee.
“That thing was drilled,” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. “It would have been good from 65 yards.”
Scobee disagreed, noting he had the distance but was a little concerned it may not stay inside the right upright.
“I’ll take 51, that’s good enough,” he said. “It’s too close to the pole to be kicking it from any further.”
Still, it didn’t appear Jacksonville would need Scobee’s long kick to win it after a marathon drive that consumed more than 12 minutes to open the fourth quarter.
But as the Jaguars know all too well, two minutes is an eternity for Peyton Manning, who nearly staged his second straight improbable comeback. The two-time league MVP ran his first play of the fourth quarter with less than 2:30 to go, and in 86 seconds, he had given the Colts a 21-20 lead when Joseph Addai scored on a 2-yard run.
Garrard followed that with his impersonation of Manning, getting an assist from an 11-yard pass interference call when a fourth-and-1 throw fell incomplete with 25 seconds to go.
“On the sideline, I said, ‘This is our time now,”’ Garrard said. “Just believe. I kept telling them, ‘Just believe.’ I told the offensive line to get them off my back.”
Jacksonville won this one the old-fashioned way.
Taylor carried 26 times for 121 yards, while Jones-Drew ran 19 times for 107 yards and one score and caught four passes for 59 yards. In all, the Jaguars ran for 236 yards and kept the ball for more than 41 minutes.
Manning was 15-of-29 for 216 yards with one TD and two interceptions, and the Colts ran only 48 plays. Jacksonville had 48 carries, the second-most in franchise history.
“We had plenty of chances to stop them, on that drive and on drives before that,” Colts coach Tony Dungy said. “Their guys make guys miss, and they made us miss today.”
The Colts looked like they would finally get back in sync when Manning opened the game with a 4-yard TD pass to Marvin Harrison. It was Harrison’s first score in more than 12 months.
But Jacksonville rallied with Rashean Mathis’ 61-yard interception return for a score, an incredible 34-yard run by Taylor to set up Jones-Drew’s 6-yard TD run and, of course, the winning kick.
“I had no doubt Scobee had the leg for it,” Garrard said. “There was a lot of energy in that kick.”
^Notes: Indy is now 0-4, including two preseason losses, at its new home, Lucas Oil Stadium. … Scobee is 5-of-9 all-time from 50 or more yards. … The Colts lost right guard Dan Federkeil in the first half with a shoulder injury and cornerback Marlin Jackson in the second half with a rib injury. … Jacksonville lost receiver Dennis Northcutt in the first half with a leg strain and safety Reggie Nelson with a bruised knee in the third quarter.