Jacksonville Jaguars 30 Indianapolis Colts 27
By Victoria Polley
Jacksonville Jaguars secured their first win of the season in dramatic fashion at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, beating Indianapolis Colts 30-27.
Quarterback Blake Bortles threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to ensure his side held off a late Colts comeback.
The Jaguars led 23-6 after the third quarter before a late surge from the Colts saw them score three fourth-quarter touchdowns to close the gap.
The Jags, who have signed a deal to continue playing in London, arrived having lost their opening three games.
And they were almost undone in the closing stages thanks to Andrew Luck’s three fourth-quarter touchdown drives, the last of which resulted in a 64 yarder to Phillip Dorsett who had acres of space downfield to cruise into the end zone.
The Jaguars had largely managed to keep Luck – who went for 27 out of 42 for 234 yards, two touchdowns and six sacks- at bay for the first half.
Neither side found their rhythm very quickly but the Colts conceded a handful of penalties which proved to be the difference and the Jaguars took an early lead through Allen Robinson’s touchdown.
Adam Vinatieri hit a 53-yard field goal with a minute to go in the first quarter to reduce the deficit but the Colts never really looked a threat towards the end zone.
Another Vinatieri field goal from 50 yards in the second quarter brought the lead down to 7-6.
However, Bortles’ scrambles for the Jaguars paid off with four minutes to go in the first half.
The Quarterback sidestepped a tackle to extend the Jaguars’ lead.
The Colts made hard work of seeing the half out without conceding further and a 22-yard field goal from Myers meant Jaguars went in 17-6 up at half time.
The Jaguars struggled to get the ball downfield after the break, resulting in another Myers field goal from 46 yards to put Jaguars 20-6 ahead.
The Colts thought they had got themselves back in the game when Luck found Jack Doyle wide open down the sideline but Jaguars correctly challenged the call and Linebacker Paul Posluszny was judged to have got Luck to the ground before the pass was made.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Jaguars had built a 17-point lead and it looked like they were going to secure their first win of the season in convincing fashion.
But what had seemed an almost impossible task for the Colts at half time suddenly became a distinct possibility as Jaguars failed to close out the game.
Frank Gore – who ran 16 times for 68 yards and rose to 10th on the NFL’s all-time rushing list – rushed for a touchdown and Luck threw a two-yard pass to wide receiver TY Hilton, who made it 23-20 with five minutes left.
The Jags have a habit of cracking under pressure and it was mounting on them as the clock ticked down but Blake Bortles kept his composure to find Allen Hurns out right, who coolly weaved his way past his man for a touchdown.
However, there was still time for the Jaguars’ defense to switch off and with three minutes to go, Luck picked out Phillip Dorsett for a 64-yard touchdown which left the Colts three points shy of their counterparts.
The relief was plain to see on the Jaguars’ faces at the final whistle and the result could just have saved head coach Gus Bradley’s job.
In just over three seasons as the Jaguars head coach, he has won 13 and lost 39.
Speaking after the match, Bradley said: “I know it wasn’t the cleanest game of football, especially on our side.
“We’ve got some things we’ve got to work on and clean up. “
The Jaguars have a bye week before traveling to Chicago to face the Bears, who visit the Colts next week.