The Jacksonville Jaguars used a fourth-quarter surge to take down the Indianapolis Colts, 31-21, to begin their 2023 season with a victory.
The game ended after a fourth-quarter breakdown by the Colts, who had the ball after Jaguars rookie running back Tank Bigsby scored his first career touchdown from one yard out to give Jacksonville a 24-21 lead.
Rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, who the Colts took fourth overall in April, didn’t have any comeback magic in him in Week 1.
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On the second play of the ensuing drive, Richardson was picked off on a pass intended for Mo Alie-Cox by Tyson Campbell. Three plays later, Travis Etienne scored on a 26-yard run to put the Jaguars up 10 points.
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Richardson finished the game 24-for-37 for 223 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and he rushed for 40 yards.
His favorite target was Michael Pittman Jr., who caught eight passes for 97 yards with a touchdown.
The first touchdown of the season for Jacksonville came on the ninth play of their second drive in the first half, with Calvin Ridley finding the end zone for the first time since 2021. Lawrence scrambled out to his left, set his feet and fired a bullet to Ridley in the back of the end zone.
Ridley returned to the NFL after his gambling suspension with a career-high in first-half receptions with seven. He finished the game eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Richardson responded to the Jaguars’ first touchdown by getting his own. After 11 plays, it was Richardson rushing for two yards to get his first career touchdown. He saluted the Lucas Oil Stadium crowd, which went nuts for the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft.
The Jaguars got momentum back after a turnover on downs by forcing a fumble by running back Deon Jackson, but the Colts quickly turned the tide on the ensuing drive. Colts lineman DeForest Buckner forced a strip sack on Lawrence.
Buckner scooped the ball and ran it back for a touchdown. Video review confirmed Buckner scored, giving the Colts a 21-17 lead.
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But the Jaguars battled back to make sure they started the new season with their first division win.
Lawrence was 24-of-32 through the air with two touchdowns and one interception. He also hit Zay Jones for a touchdown. Jones finished with five catches and 55 yards.
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Etienne ran for 77 yards on 18 carries with his touchdown, and Evan Engram had five receptions for 49 yards.