Jaguars upset about holding call

Posted: Tuesday, October 05, 2004

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Everything seemed to go right for the Jacksonville Jaguars the first three weeks.

Rookie Ernest Wilford had an acrobatic catch on the final play to beat Buffalo 13-10 in the opener. Denver running back Quentin Griffin fumbled at the 23-yard line in the closing seconds, allowing the Jags to escape with a 7-6 victory. And Fred Taylor scored in the waning seconds to beat Tennessee 15-12.

Maybe Jacksonville's luck ran out against Indianapolis.

The Jaguars had several things go wrong in a 24-17 loss to the Colts on Sunday. They missed a short field goal, fumbled in Colts territory and failed twice on fourth-and-1.

They lost left tackle Mike Pearson for the rest of the season with torn left knee ligaments.

And they had a questionable penalty against them that kept alive Indy's winning drive.

''At this point all I can do is get fined for saying something derogatory, so I'll just say take a look at the film if you haven't seen it,'' coach Jack Del Rio said Monday.

The Jags tied the game at 17 and appeared to have the Colts in a punting situation after Peyton Manning threw incomplete to Marvin Harrison. But cornerback Dewayne Washington was flagged across the field for defensive holding.

First down.

Manning drove the Colts downfield for the go-ahead score.

Del Rio reviewed the play several times Monday and planned to issue a formal complaint to NFL supervisor of officials Mike Pereira.

Del Rio noted four reasons the flag should not have been thrown:

-- There was no hold.

-- The quarterback was out of the pocket.

-- The ''so-called infraction'' occurred away from the play.

-- The receiver was within 5 yards of the line scrimmage, the area in which defenders are allowed to make contact.


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Cornerback Troy Vincent will miss at least two weeks with a right knee injury, further depleting Buffalo's secondary. Vincent had arthroscopic surgery Monday.

Vincent was hurt during the opening drive in the 31-17 loss to New England on Sunday. While pushing Bethel Johnson out of bounds following a 17-yard reception, Vincent's right leg got twisted under him as the two players tumbled at the sideline. Vincent's injury comes while the Bills are without veteran safety Lawyer Milloy, who missed the first three games of this season after breaking his right forearm during a preseason game in August. Milloy has yet to practice and the team has provided no update about when he is expected to return.


INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL's most accurate kicker might now be the league's sorest.

Mike Vanderjagt limped into the locker room Monday with a huge wrap around his strained right hamstring, an injury that could keep him out of Sunday's game against Oakland. Coach Tony Dungy said after practice that an MRI showed the muscle was not torn.

''I have no desire to miss a kickoff, field goal or extra point Sunday,'' Vanderjagt said. ''But I've never had a hamstring problem before.''

He was injured after making a 46-yard field goal late in the first half of Sunday's 24-17 victory at Jacksonville. If Vanderjagt cannot play, the Colts' high-scoring offense would be without its most proficient scorer. Vanderjagt led the AFC last season with 157 points and gained his first Pro Bowl appearance after becoming the fourth kicker in league history to complete a perfect season. He made all 37 field goal attempts, all 46 extra point attempts and broke Gary Anderson's NFL record for consecutive field goals.

He extended the field goal mark to 42 in this year's season-opener before missing a potential game-tying field goal in the final minute of a 27-24 loss at New England. Vanderjagt has made three straight since his miss.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina running back Stephen Davis hopes to play Sunday against Denver after missing the last two games with a knee injury.

Davis, who had surgery Sept. 17 to repair torn cartilage, said Monday he hopes to return to practice this week. He said the swelling has subsided in his knee and he hasn't felt any pain.

''Everything is going good right now,'' Davis said. ''But we'll have to take one game at time. I don't want to rush it. I'm just going to try do whatever I can and see how I feel Wednesday.''


PHILADELPHIA -- Even when they're not at their best, the Eagles are tough to beat.

They are heading into their bye week with a 4-0 record for the first time since 1993. They've led for all but 7:36 this season. They are the only team to win each of its games by double digits. Still, they haven't played a complete game where the offense, defense and special teams excel.

''You're not going to be 100 percent sharp every week,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said Monday. ''But you want to make sure you have it down to where when things aren't clicking, you are pushing through with great attitude, great work ethic and so on. You push through the mistakes and come out with a win."

This is a unique group. They have a great energy about them.''

The Eagles weren't sharp against the injury-riddled Bears, but never really were challenged in the game. The offense scored just one touchdown and settled for six field goal attempts -- four were made by David Akers. And the Eagles had 10 penalties, but still managed to outgain the Bears 376 yards to 224 and controlled the ball for 37:21.


PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Steelers are 3-1, certainly a passable record for a team that has gone through two quarterbacks, a hurricane and a makeover of both the offense and defense.

The next month might give them a much better indication of whether they truly are a playoff team, or if their excellent start was just another of those very common NFL early season anomalies brought about by a favorable schedule.

The Steelers already have half as many victories as they had while going 6-10 last season, but have yet to beat a team with a winning record. The combined record of their beaten opponents -- the Raiders (2-2), Dolphins (0-4) and Bengals (1-3) -- is 3-9.

The schedule gets tougher, with the Browns (2-2) at home Sunday, followed by the Cowboys (2-1) on the road and the Patriots (4-0) and Eagles (4-0) at home.

''We've got a lot of work to do,'' linebacker James Farrior said. ''It's still early in the season and anything can happen, but we like where we're at right now.''


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Kick returner Frank Murphy ruptured his left Achilles' tendon against the Broncos on Sunday and will have season-ending surgery. Murphy, who was injured on the opening kickoff Sunday, averaged 26 yards on eight returns in four games.


ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- Joe Gibbs couldn't talk to his quarterback via the helmet transmitter Sunday, and he couldn't hear from his assistant coaches in the upstairs booths for two series in the third quarter of the 17-13 loss to the Browns.

''To me, that shouldn't be in the NFL,'' Gibbs said Monday. ''If you're having trouble with communications, fix it.''

Gibbs was particularly upset because he was told in the locker room before the game that communications had been a problem in the past for visiting teams.

''It shouldn't be, 'Well, this stadium has trouble with communications.' This is the NFL. Don't throw that on us,'' Gibbs said.

Gibbs said the equipment worked fine in the first half, but it malfunctioned early in the third quarter.

Gibbs used hand signals to get the plays in to Mark Brunell, but the quarterback had to burn a timeout during one series because of confusion over the call.

Meanwhile, Gibbs was making the game officials aware of the problem. They told him there was nothing they could do about the failure of the quarterback transmitter -- a rule Gibbs doesn't like.

''They get to talk to their quarterback, and we can't?'' Gibbs said.

Gibbs said he will make a report to the league office.


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- Nine Vikings have been fined for their roles in a scuffle with the Chicago Bears on Sept. 26.

In addition to a $5,000 fine levied against Randy Moss, the other fines totaled $23,500.

Wide receiver Nate Burleson, who absorbed the hit from Bears safety Todd Johnson that sparked the shoving matches, was fined $7,500 for removing a Chicago player's helmet.

Six other Vikings -- center Cory Withrow, tight end Sean Berton, quarterback Daunte Culpepper, wide receiver Keenan Howry, guard Chris Liwienski and tackle Bryant McKinnie -- were fined $2,500 each for ''entering the area'' of the altercation. Running back Onterrio Smith was fined $1,000.

Johnson was not among six Bears fined. Fined $2,500 each were: cornerbacks R.W. McQuarters and Todd McMillon; linebacker Lance Briggs; defensive tackles Tommie Harris and Ian Scott; and safety Cameron Worrell.

McQuarters was fined an additional $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct on a separate play.

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