The Jacksonville Jaguars were in the driver’s seat to win this game against the New York Jets. They were down three points, had the ball 35 yards from the end zone, and there was a perfect amount of time on the clock. All they needed to do was take advantage of a Jets defense ground down by nearly four quarters of Leonard Fournette and Chris Ivory.
What could go wrong?
There were a lot of times the Jaguars could have taken control of the game and walked out of New York with the win, but they were never closer than on their final offensive drive of regulation.
Play #1: 1st and 10 at NYJ 35
Perfect play call, perfect execution. If the drive was seven or eight of these, I wouldn’t be mad. Fournette is fresh from Ivory spelling him throughout the game and the Jets defense is tired.
Play #2: 2nd and 1 at NYJ 26
Oh my God, they’re gonna keep doing the right thing. Fournette. Middle. Power. Wind the clock down.
Play #3: 1st and 10 at NYJ 23
The Jaguars took their shot and would have been successful were it not for Arrelious Benn holding at the end of the play. Benn (No. 17) didn’t need to hold. At the very worst, let Fournette just run that Jets cornerback over — the No. 4 overall pick has the momentum, not the defender. We’re 3-1 and winners of an ugly game if Benn doesn’t hold here.
Play #4: 1st and 3 at NYJ 16
Okay, Fournette needs a breather after three straight touches. I get it. And Ivory does about as well as you could hope, getting to within six yards of the end zone and giving us a first-and-goal with just under two minutes to play. Your offensive line has all the confidence and all the momentum — use that.
Play #5: 1st and Goal at NYJ 6
I don’t like that Bortles looked so quickly away from Allen Hurns, who is getting open on the shallow cross. The offensive line is giving you what you need — step up in the pocket and let Hurns (No. 88) get open near the right sideline.
Play #6: 2nd and Goal at NYJ 6
This is the only play call I didn’t like. It’s second down and you’re not going for it on fourth. Why go to Hurns here? Was Keelan Cole (No. 84) in the corner of the end zone the intended target? He had to be, right?
Play #7: 3rd and Goal at NYJ 4
I actually don’t mind the play calling this drive as much as I did when watching the game live. Slowed down, the Jaguars were a bit derailed by Fournette’s injury. And quite honestly, Ivory did as good a job as you could ask for in Fournette’s absence.
Here the Jaguars have isolated Marcedes Lewis one-on-one with a cornerback. He’s going to run a simple slant into the end zone and No. 58 cheats up into the box just as offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was hoping.
And then Bortles gets it tipped at the line again trying to put as much velocity on the throw as he can.
It wasn’t play calling that doomed this drive, it was execution.
Field goal is next. The game is now tied 20-20 and it’s going to overtime... and we all know what happened then.