Jags rely on Blaine magic
Shorts goes long to give Jacksonsville victory on the road
Last Updated: September 24, 2012 1:48am
Blaine Gabbert: connected with Cecil Shorts III for the game-winning touchdown
The Jacksonville Jaguars left it late to give new coach Mike Mularkey his first victory in charge with a 22-17 triumph over the Indianapolis Colts.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert and receiver Cecil Shorts III hooked up on an 80-yard play that put the Jags ahead with just 45 seconds left on the clock.
Seconds earlier, Jacksonville (1-2) appeared doomed to a 0-3 start when Adam Vinatieri made a 37-yard field goal to give the Colts a 17-16 lead.
Jacksonville's victory was clinched through the air but it was their ground game that had laid the foundations - Maurice Jones-Drew ran 28 times for 177 yards.
The tail-back broke the franchise's record for rushing touchdowns when he scooted 59 yards on his team's first play of the second half, his effort sandwiched in between a pair of Josh Scobee field goals.
The victory comes one week after Jacksonville got a franchise-low 117 total yards - and one week after Andrew Luck had rallied the Colts in the final minute for his first career victory.
The rookie quarterback did his best to repeat that feat, marching Indianapolis to the 26-yard line before seeing two passes into the end zone fall incomplete. He finished with 313 yards passing with two scores and one interception while also managing 50 yards rushing.
Gabbert, in contrast, was 10 of 21 for 155 yards with the one touchdown, including completing only four passes in the second half. What mattered most, though, was his 80-yarder to Shorts that clinched victory for the Jags.