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Jaguars vs. Patriots recap: Jacksonville wins 31-24 in preseason opener

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After months of talking about free agent signings, the draft, the new coaching staff, and whether or not Blake Bortles is the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise quarterback, tonight we finally got to have Jaguars football back in action. They took on the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, in hopes of kicking their season off to a solid start.

The Jaguars would  start their first drive with an impressive 15-yard run by Chris Ivory, but would stall out on a 3rd and 5 drop from Rashad Greene.

The Patriots first drive of the night would stall out as well, as Yannick Ngakoue was able to come off the edge on 3rd and 1, and sack Jimmy Garoppolo for a 7-yard loss.

On the Jaguars next possession, they would get jump started by a 41-yard punt return by Rashad Greene. Despite a few impressive runs from rookie Leonard Fournette on the drive, including a 4th down converting run for 8 yards, the Jaguars had to settle for a 27 yard field goal. Jason Myers would indeed make the kick, notching the score at 3-0.

The Patriots would respond with field goal of their own, after a drive lead by a 24-yard run by Brandon Bolden. Stephen Gostkowski's field goal would tie the game at 3-3.

The Jaguars would start the next drive with mostly their back ups in, lead by Chad Henne at quarterback. Henne would have two 3rd down completions to Shane Wynn, and Rashad Greene to keep the Jaguars drives alive. The Jaguars would however stall again, in which they would try a 50 yard field goal. Meyers would miss the field goal wide left, giving the Patriots back the ball.

After a Patriots three-and-out on the following drive, an excellent punt would pin the Jaguars back at their own 3-yard line. This however, would prove to be a non issue for the Jaguars, as Chad Henne would complete a deep, high flowing pass to Keenan Cole, who would take it in for 97-yard touchdown. Myers would make the extra point, as the score would go to 10-3.

The Patriots would start their next drive looking to answer, as Garoppolo would convert two third downs on throws to Austin Carr, and Jacob Hollister. Their drive would be stalled by the Jaguars defense, and the Patriots would go on to miss a 56 yard field goal by Gostkowski. The Jaguars would take over on their own 46.

On the second play of the ensuing drive, Henne would throw a deep pass near the end-zone to Greene, that would go incomplete. However, Jordan Richards would be called for pass interference, setting the Jaguars up to the 6 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the 1-yard line, Leonard Fournette would pound the ball in the end-zone, giving the rookie his first touchdown as a professional. Myers would make the extra point, setting the score at 17-3.

With 1:52 seconds left in the half, Jimmy Garoppolo would lead an impressive 9 play, 76 yard drive for a touchdown, capped off by a leaping grab by Carr in the back of the end-zone. Gostkowski would nail the extra point, cutting the Jaguars lead to 17-10.

The Patriots would start the second half with the ball, and wasted no time putting points on the board again. The Patriots would drive 74 yards in 7 plays, capping of their drive with a 5 yard screen pass to K.J. Maye for a touchdown, tying the score at 17-17.

The Jaguars would respond right away, as Corey Grant would show off his speed with a 79 yard touchdown. Myers would covert the extra point, giving the Jaguars a 24-17 lead.

The Patriots would looked poised to drive down the field again, as Garoppolo would covert two first downs, on the first two plays of the drive. However, the Jaguars defense would step up, as Tracy Howard would force a fumble on D.J. Foster, with Lerentee McCray there to scoop it up for the Jaguars at their own 12 yard line.

Both teams would have their next drives end in punts, as the Jaguars would get the ball back near the end of the 3rd quarter. After two nice runs by Corey Grant, Brandon Allen would connect to a wide open Dede Westbrook for a 42-yard touchdown. Myers would nail the extra point, and extend the Jaguars lead to 31-17.

The Patriots would respond yet again, this time with a 10 yard, 77-yard drive lead by Jacoby Brissett. Facing 4th-and-1 at the 3 yard line, the Patriots would score with a sweep play to Foster, cutting the Jaguars lead at 31-24.

The Jaguars would respond well at first on their next drive, as Allen would convert two first downs. The drive would stall however, as Myers would be forced into another long field goal, missing a 53-yard try.

The Patriots would start off their next drive with an incomplete pass. However, Erza Robinson would be called with pass interference, gifting the Patriots 43 yards, and setting them up on the Jaguars 12 yard line. The Patriots drive would end with no points though, as Brissett would fail to complete a pass to Hollister on 4th-and-5.

And then the final drive happened. Brissett was driving to the middle of the field and took several shots in the end zone. But they missed by mere inches each time.

The Jaguars are at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Thursday night.