The Browns’ first- and second-string running backs, Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty, were both out of the game. The predictable seemed inevitable, with one of the worst offenses in the NFL facing a Jaguars defense ranked fourth in the league.
Things seemed to be lining up well for the Jaguars in their quest to score the game-winning touchdown with 2:49 left in the game. Blaine Gabbert was connecting with his receivers, especially tight end Marcedes Lewis. Two critical penalties on the Browns’ defense gave the Jaguars new life on a fourth down and later a 3rd-and-10, and suddenly the Jaguars found themselves at Cleveland’s five-yard line with 41 seconds to go.
For a couple excruciating, hold-your-breath seconds, it appeared Blaine Gabbert was going to ride out of Browns Stadium a conquering hero. Things were shaping up for the Jaguars rookie to have his first fourth-quarter comeback win. A franchise, desperate for some kind of lift in this increasingly miserable season, would get a feel-good memory to validate why they made him a top-10 draft pick.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The stage and storyline were perfectly set. With the season in a very real sense on the line, the Jaguars on the banks of Lake Erie had an opportunity for a dramatic victory Sunday – and for their rookie quarterback to have what Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio called a signature moment.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – This one hurt. This one, you don’t forget. Not soon. Not that they don’t all hurt, not that Maurice Jones-Drew wasn’t right after a 14-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium Sunday when he said all Jaguars losses this season have felt the same.
Thoughts on the Jaguars’ 14-10 loss to the Browns in Cleveland: What it means: The Jaguars fell to 3-7, and although they talked during the week of getting back into the AFC South race, the loss pretty much killed the chances of that. Decision-making at the end, when they were in position to win, was poor. Read on.