INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tank Bigsby made up for a big mistake by scoring the go-ahead touchdown Sunday and Travis Etienne Jr. added a 26-yard scoring run to seal Jacksonville's rare 31-21 victory at Indianapolis.
The defending AFC South champs snapped a five-game losing streak at Lucas Oil Stadium.
But Bigsby's miscue — casually allowing the ball to be punched out of his hands after what he thought was an incompletion — nearly extended the Jags' misery.
It started when Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner stripped the ball from Trevor Lawrence on a sack and then alertly scooped up Bigsby's subsequent fumble before sprinting 26 yards and stretching the ball across the goal line to give Indy a 21-17 lead late in the third quarter.
Bigsby made sure the lead didn't last long.
Three series later, Jamal Agnew's 48-yard punt return set up a 10-play drive that Bigsby capped with a 1-yard TD plunge to give Jacksonville a 24-21 lead with 5:14 to play.
Colts rookie Anthony Richardson was intercepted on the next series and three plays later, Etienne broke free to put away the victory for the Jaguars (1-0).
The Colts (0-1) extended their opening day winless streak to 10. Richardson became the third-youngest quarterback to start an NFL season opener at age 21, going 24 of 37 with 223 yards, one TD and the interception. He also had 10 carries for 40 yards and one TD while being sacked four times. He also left the game in the final minute after getting shaken up on a run near the goal line.
Lawrence was 24 of 32 with 241 yards and two scores and Calvin Ridley had eight receptions for 101 yards and the Jags' first score. It was Ridley's first game since Oct. 24, 2021, when he left the Atlanta Falcons to deal with mental health before he was suspended all of last season for violating the league's gambling policy.
Etienne had 18 carries for 77 yards while Bigsby ran seven times for 13 yards.
THE RIGHT CALL?
Jags coach Doug Pederson agreed to turn over the play-calling duties this season to offensive coordinator Press Taylor, a former Colts assistant and the brother of Bengals coach Zac Taylor, NFL.com reported Sunday morning.
Press Taylor worked on Pederson's staff in Philadelphia and called plays during the second half of games last season as well as the preseason, the report said.
Jaguars: Starting right guard Brandon Scherff walked off the field after injuring his right ankle and then was carted from the sideline to the locker room. Cornerback Gregory Junior did not return after hurting his hamstring in the first quarter.
Colts: All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson returned to the game after hurting his toe in the first half, but tight end Drew Ogletree left after entering the concussion protocol and running back Evan Hull did not return after hurting his left knee in the third quarter.
Jaguars: Host defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City next Sunday.
Colts: Visit Houston next Sunday.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
Michael Marot, The Associated Press