Last week the Jaguars couldn’t move the ball into the opponent’s red zone, as quarterback Blake Bortles and the offense looked like a casting call from “The Walking Dead”. It was a different story this afternoon, however, as Bortles put the offense on his back for a majority of the game and led multiple scoring drives, propelling the Jaguars to a 31-12 win over the visiting New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field.
Bortles passed for a career-high 388 yards and 2 touchdowns with a 121 quarterback rating, and wide receivers Donte Moncrief and Dede Westbrook each surpassed 100 yards receiving on the day. The highlight of the passing attack, being a 67 yard bomb for a touchdown from Bortles to Moncrief.
The aerial attack was sorely needed, as the Jaguars lost star running back Leonard Fournette, active for the first time since Week 1, to a reaggrevation of the same hamstring injury that kept him out the previous two weeks. The team also lost center Brandon Linder early to what was described as a back injury. The injury to Linder leaves the team very thinned out along the offensive line, with left tackle Cam Robinson already out for the season and guard AJ Cann and Jeremy Parnell already battling injuries, though both played the entirety of the game.
The defense shut down the rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and the Jets offense for the most part, which included a rare safety scored for the Jags when Marcell Dareus and Calais Campbell stuffed running back Isaiah Crowell in the end zone. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and tackle Malik Jackson attributed for two of the team’s five recorded sacks.
The win moves the Jaguars to 3-1 for the first time since 2007, and now sets up a marquee match up next week with the Kansas City Chiefs.