The Jaguars stuffed Manning in a stadium that's literally located across from Peyton Place. It was indoors. Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James showed up as did A Colts Defense
Montae Reagor, Dwight Freeney, Raheem Brock and Robert Mathis
along with 56,460 fans.
Reagor had three sacks, Freeney,
Brock and Mathis one each.
Peyton Manning was uncharacteristically off target and out of sorts against Jacksonville's coverage.
Manning wasn't sacked but frequently was pressured and forced out of the pocket.
He finished 13-of-28 for 122 yards with one interception and a quarterback rating of 44.0 - his worst regular-season rating since December 2001.
The Jaguars got the Colts out of sync from the get-go, using a 3-3-5 defensive alignment that crowded the passing lanes, coupled with an aggressive effort from the corners to press their receivers.
It was a blueprint from the New England Patriots, and it left Manning wondering if some of the Patriots had slithered into Jacksonville uniforms.
With the Jaguars playing three down linemen and dropping eight defenders into coverage, they practically begged the Colts to run.
Which they did!
They were saying, "If you want to beat us, you better run it," guard Jake Scott said. "And we did."
The Jags might have played well against the passing game, not so well against The Edge.
James had 128 yards rushing, and caught four passes for 39 yards.
"You have to be realistic," Manning said. "They've got more guys than we can throw against in that look."
Edge takes the snap?
Colts QB Peyton Manning (18) looks to receiver Brandon Stokley as a diversion during a direct snap to Edgerrin James in the fourth quarter. The trick play gained five yards and help set up the Colts only touchdown on the day.
With James catching his breath on the sidelines and backups Dominic Rhodes (shoulder) and James Mungro (knee) out with injuries, Ran Carthon finished the game-winning drive midway through the fourth quarter. His 6-yard touchdown run was a testament to the Colts' confidence in their second-year back:
Here's what the rest of the day looked like:
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson, left, breaks up a pass intended for Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith in the third quarter.
Over an 11-minute span of the second quarter in his Jaguars' loss to the Colts on Sunday, the rookie Chad Owens fumbled two punts, and bobbled another, before being "benched".
(On Monday the bad news got worse. Owens heard the words no player wants to hear-he was being waived.)
Jacksonville's Chad Owens reaches back through his legs to gather up a dropped punt return catch as Colts defensive back Gerome Sapp tries to capitalize on the loose ball in the second quarter.
Colts' Defense makes life miserable for Jags QB Byron Leftwich during Sunday's game.
The Colts front four, sparked by Dwight Freeney
continues to leave its imprint. The latest exhibit: Byron Leftwich's
body. The Colts bruised and abused the Jacksonville Jaguars
quarterback, sacking him six times and forcing three fumbles in a
gritty game of football which soaks in violence on aweekly basis,
however, this was a particularly bloodied contest, even by NFL standards.
Leftwich required help getting off the field after he was hit by all four Colts linemen on a fourth-quarter sack by Brock. There was concern about Leftwich's left knee, but he denied that the knee was involved and refused to elaborate on the nature or extent of his injury.
The hardest shot he took came on a 24-yard completion to wide receiver Jimmy Smith. Freeney ran right through Leftwich on his follow-through. On the next play, the Jaguars quarterback spiked the ball to stop the clock. Then he bent deeply in pain while gathering himself.
The Jaguars' best wasn't enough to keep Leftwich upright against the attacking Colts, who made life miserable for the Jacksonville offensive line.
"It all starts with their guys up front,'' Leftwich said. "They don't allow you to attack the areas you want to attack because they get to you before you can get down the field. They're good at what they do."
Colts fans from The RCA Dome noise made it difficult for Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich to communicate with his team Sunday against The Colts. However, he had no such difficulty sending a message to Indianapolis Colts defensive line coach John Teerlinck.
Leftwich picked himself up after a third-quarter
incompletion and turned his ire toward Teerlinck on the Colts'
sideline. Leftwich shouted a thing or two, and then raised his middle
finger in obscene salute.
Byron Leftwich in an interview after the game claimed, "I'll keep that between us. He started it, though. I'll keep it between us. He wouldn't want that out. He said something, and I didn't agree with him," Leftwich said with a laugh. "He told me I was a pretty good quarterback and great job and get up. I'll just leave it at that."
You may think your good enough to flip us.
However, you're just not good enough to whip us.
Colts defensive back Bob Sanders (21) flies back towards the bench in celebration along with teammates (L to R) Robert Mathis and Cato June after Sanders knocked down the last touchdown play in the endzone giving the Colts a victory in Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Indianapolis took the early edge in the AFC South
title chase - protecting its home field against the only team to beat
it at home last year - and got more help when Carolina beat two-time
defending Super Bowl champion New England.
Sunday's game marked the first time in James' career that he rushed for 100 yards against the Jaguars. ... Harrison's three catches gave him 854 in his career, breaking a tie for sixth all-time with Irving Fryer, who had 851.
Just imagine what the Colts will be like when Peyton starts to click!
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