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Jaguars lose 27-24 to Cardinals in heartbreaking fashion

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers seemed like the trap game the Jacksonville Jaguars were able to escape. The Cleveland Browns were talked about as a trap game.

But Blaine Gabbert? The Arizona Cardinals?

After the offense began the game with a three-and-out, the Cardinals were able to put points on the board on their first possession with a 34-yard field goal from Phil Dawson. Dawson’s kick gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead to begin the game.

After stalling offensive possessions to begin the game, the Jaguars offense was finally able to cross midfield in the early second quarter, only to be stifled be a Chris Ivory fumble, which was recovered by Karlos Dansby at the Cardinals 40-yard line.

The Cardinals responded to the turnover with points, this time once again of the field goal variety, with Dawson hitting a 42-yard field goal to extend the Cardinals lead to 6-0.

The Jaguars consecutive offensive and defensive possessions defined how the 1st half went for the team.

The offense went three-and-out, and lost 14 yards on the short drive, which included Bortles being sacked for a 12-yard loss.

This was followed by a 20-yard punt return given up by the special teams unit, which led the Cardinals to excellent field position. The Cardinals took advantage of it, while also taking advantage of Telvin Smith being taken out of the game with a head injury, which forced Lerentee McCray to come into the game. Gabbert realized it and threw it into the zone in which McCray was covering, resulting in a busted coverage, and a 29-yard touchdown to Ricky Seal-Jones. Dawson notched the extra point, and the Cardinals lead increased to 13-0.

With everything seeming to unravel for the Jaguars, they were finally able to put some points on the board last in the first half, settling for a 43-yard Josh Lambo field goal, cutting the lead to 13-3.

The Cardinals came out of the 2nd half poised to put the Jaguars in more of a hole. However, the defense was able to avoid disaster in the Cardinals first drive of the second half, holding them to another Dawson field goal. Dawson hit a 48-yarder this time, extending the Cardinals lead to 16-3.

With their backs against the wall, the offense finally came through, with the help of Blake Bortles using his legs, with a big run on the drive, and also a 1 yard touchdown run on a bootleg play. Lambo nailed the extra point, cutting the lead to 16-10.

The fourth quarter would be complete chaos.

It started with a theme of this current Jaguars season. The defense made a huge play, this time with Yannick Ngakoue strip sacking Blaine Gabbert, with Calais Campbell scooping it up, and returning it for a touchdown. For the first time in the game, the Jaguars had a lead at 17-16, and things were finally turning their way.

It did not take long for the Cardinals to respond. Gabbert was able to step up in the pocket and throw a bomb down field to Jaron Brown, and narrowly escape Campbell’s hand, who was an inch or two away from swatting the ball out of Gabbert’s hands. The Cardinals went for two, and Gabbert hit Larry Fitzgerald on a roll out for the two point conversion, giving them the 7 point lead at 24-7.

Corey Grant stepped up on the kick return on the following possession, taking it from six yards deep in the end zone, and returning it to the Cardinals’ 35-yard line.

The Jaguars scored on four plays, this time another Bortles run on a read option. Lambo made the extra point, and the game was tied with just over seven minutes to go.

Both quarterbacks then tried to out medicore each other. Both threw interceptions on the following drives. Gabbert a pick over the middle of the field to Barry Church, and Bortles on a roll out in which he threw the ball late, and it was picked off by Tyrann Mathieu.

All in all, the Jaguars got the ball back with 1:14 left to go, and two timeouts. They then decided to run it on first down, and just take the game into overtime. Or, maybe not? Bortles then threw a incomplete pass on 2nd down, stopping the clock. This awful clock management not only gave the Cardinals the ball back but a chance with 16 seconds left, and the ball at their own 39 yard line.

Gabbert threw two impressive sideline passes, one for 10 yards and the other for 12, to set the Cardinals up for a 57-yard field goal attempt.

Dawson went on to hit the longest kick of his career, and absolute laser off his foot, as the ball went through the middle of the uprights with one second left to go.

The Cardinals went on to win the game 27-24, with the Jaguars falling to a 7-4 record on the season. The Jaguars come home to Indianapolis Colts next Sunday, but will certainly fly home frustrated on a game they think they should have won.

Either go for the win or don’t, Doug Marrone. Because not knowing what you wanted to do cost them the game.