Final

Colts 31

(11-4, 6-2 away)

Jaguars 24

(5-10, 2-6 home)

Coverage: NFL

8:15 PM ET, December 18, 2008

EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
IND 0 7 7 1731
JAX 7 10 7 024

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 364 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: M. Jones-Drew (JAX) - 20 CAR, 91 YDS

Receiving: R. Wayne (IND) - 7 REC, 108 YDS, 1 TD

Manning, Colts secure seventh straight playoff berth

Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Peyton Manning asked his coaches at halftime if they had any suggestions for him. All he got was, "You haven't thrown any incompletions. Just try to keep doing what you're doing."

Great tip.

Manning was nearly perfect all night, exactly what the Indianapolis Colts needed to overcome whatever emotion the Jacksonville Jaguars got from Richard Collier's return.

Fast Facts

• The Colts won their eighth straight game, clinching the No. 5 seed in the AFC for the 2008 playoffs.

• Indianapolis scored 17 fourth-quarter points to complete a comeback from a 14-0 deficit, its NFL-leading fourth double-digit comeback win this season.

• Peyton Manning completed his first 17 passes. Combined with his six straight completions at the end of the team's Week 15 win vs. the Lions, his streak of 23 straight completions is one shy of Donovan McNabb's NFL record.

• The Jaguars fell to 5-10 and will suffer their first double-digit loss season since 2003 (5-11).

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

Manning completed his first 17 passes, picked apart Jacksonville's secondary and led the Colts to their eighth consecutive win and seventh straight playoff berth. He finished 29-for-34 and threw for 364 yards and three touchdowns, and the Colts secured the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs with a 31-24 victory over the Jaguars on Thursday night.

"Peyton Manning is unbelievable," coach Tony Dungy said. "He put a lot of it on his shoulders and kept us in it. He played unbelievably under the circumstances.

"All in all, with everything that was riding on it ... it was a great performance. It was an MVP performance for sure."

Kuharsky: Manning Slingin' It

His wristband said SB, but on a night when Peyton Manning was Super Bowl quality, it meant something else, ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky writes. Blog

• Blogs: AFC South | NFL

Manning led the Colts back from deficits of 14-0 and 24-14, and Adam Vinatieri's 45-yard field goal tied the game at 24-all late in the fourth.

Indianapolis (11-4) took the lead for good when Keiwan Ratliff intercepted a pass from David Garrard and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown with 4:48 remaining.

"One of those plays I was in the right place at the right time," Ratliff said. "He threw the ball and I just caught it and tried to get to the end zone."

The Jaguars had two chances to tie it, but both drives ended with sacks. Garrard drove Jacksonville to the 7-yard line with 29 seconds remaining, but Maurice Jones-Drew sprained his knee on a reception, and since the Jaguars had no timeouts, there was a 10-second runoff.

Garrard misfired on first down, then got sacked by Dwight Freeney to end the game.

"Just can't take a sack right there," Garrard said. "I really didn't see it and have an opportunity to elude that guy. I thought I had guys coming open."

The Colts won without receiver Marvin Harrison (hamstring), running back Joseph Addai (shoulder) and linebacker Gary Brackett (leg). Dungy said the victory would allow him to rest many starters next week against Tennessee, giving some players as many as 17 days of rest before opening the postseason.

Back In The Saddle

Tony Dungy has reason to smile. In Indianapolis' playoff-clinching defeat of the Jaguars on Thursday, the Colts coach secured an NFL-record 10th straight playoff appearance, moving him ahead of the legendary Tom Landry.


Coach Seasons Years
Tony Dungy 10 1999-2008
Tom Landry 9 1975-83
Chuck Noll 8 1972-79
Tom Landry 8 1966-73
Mike Holmgren 7 1993-99

The Jaguars (5-10) lost for the seventh time in the past nine games and fell to 2-6 at home this season. This one may have been more emotionally draining than any of the others.

Collier, a 6-foot-7 offensive linemen paralyzed from the waist down following a shooting in early September, returned to the field for the first time and was recognized during pregame ceremonies. He drove onto the field, sat next to his teammates during the national anthem and then headed to midfield as an honorary team captain for the coin toss.

He answered a few questions afterward, then went to a luxury suite with family members to watch the game. He must have liked Jacksonville's fast start. The Jaguars scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and led 14-0 early in the second quarter.

Manning spoiled it for Jacksonville. He hurt the Jaguars on nearly every drive, spreading the ball around and throwing pinpoint passes all over the field.

Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Indianapolis Colts' 31-24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"It's a funny game," Manning said. "We were completing some passes, but we were down 14-0. That dominated our thoughts. We knew it would be tough, but we didn't think we'd be down 14-0 out of the gate."

Dallas Clark finished with eight catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. Reggie Wayne had seven receptions for 108 yards and a score. Dominic Rhodes, held to 27 yards rushing, was much more dangerous out of the backfield. He caught six passes for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Manning completed his final six passes last week against Detroit and his first 17 against Jacksonville, giving him 23 in a row -- the second-longest streak in NFL history. Donovan McNabb set the record of 24 straight in 2004.

"The best thing we did tonight, which was a point of interest, was to finish touchdowns in the red zone," Manning said. "We got touchdowns and didn't have to settle for too many field goals."

Garrard wasn't nearly as accurate, especially in the second half.

He finished 28-for-41 for 329 yards and a score. He added a rushing touchdown. Jones-Drew ran 20 times for 91 yards and caught seven passes for 71 yards.

Dennis Northcutt, starting for the second straight week in place of Jerry Porter (groin) and Matt Jones (suspension), had another strong game. He caught eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown -- his second consecutive 100-yard game after going nearly four years without one.

It wasn't enough, especially against Manning and the Colts.

"Peyton Manning is a good quarterback," Jaguars safety Reggie Nelson said. "He has always been good. That's what he does."

Game notes


Vinatieri missed a 30-yard field goal in the first half. ... Jaguars LB Mike Peterson, who probably played his last game in Jacksonville, kissed the field during pregame introductions. ... Tight ends for both teams combined to catch 22 passes for 270 yards and one score.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Indianapolis
Jacksonville
1st Downs2028
3rd down efficiency
6-107-13
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Yards396409
Yards per play7.65.8
Total Drives23
Passing364304
Comp-Att
29-3428-41
Yards per pass
10.77.4
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-03-25
Rushing32105
Rushing Attempts
1827
Yards per rush
1.83.9
Penalties6-507-60
Turnovers01
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
01
Possession28:0731:53

Passing Leaders

INDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning29/3436410.7300-0
JAXC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Garrard28/413298.0113-25

Rushing Leaders

INDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rhodes14271.909
Simpson242.004
JAXCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones-Drew20914.6015
Garrard393.015

Receiving Leaders

INDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Wayne710815.4141
Clark810513.1133
JAXRECYDSAVGTDLG
Northcutt810112.6128
Jones-Drew77110.1017

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERINDJAX
TD10:59Dennis Northcutt 28 Yd Pass From David Garrard (Josh Scobee Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERINDJAX
TD11:37David Garrard 2 Yd Run (Josh Scobee Kick) 014
TD08:39Reggie Wayne 41 Yd Pass From Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri Kick) 714
FG00:01Josh Scobee 44 Yd 717
THIRD QUARTERINDJAX
TD10:26Dominic Rhodes 10 Yd Pass From Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri Kick) 1417
TD02:28Montell Owens 2 Yd Run (Josh Scobee Kick) 1424
FOURTH QUARTERINDJAX
TD12:31Dallas Clark 1 Yd Pass From Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri Kick) 2124
FG06:28Adam Vinatieri 45 Yd 2424
TD04:48Keiwan Ratliff 35 Yd Interception Return (Adam Vinatieri Kick) 3124