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Jags win cat fight in Cincy, end two-game losing streak

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NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

After finding ways to lose in consecutive weeks versus the Panthers and Saints respectively, the Jaguars found a cure-all for their troubling times in the form of the 0-6 Cincinnati Bengals and a turnover-prone Andy Dalton, to notch their third win of the season, 27-17.

While the day saw a so-so performance by rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II, who finished 15/32 for 255 yards and a touchdown for a 84.8 quarterback rating, it was a combination of running back Leonard Fournette and a defense who finally feasted on a bad offense to the tune of four turnovers, that propelled the Jags back into the win column,

Fournette had another game in which he showed forceful runs and decisive cuts that has allowed him to leap into the league-lead in rushing yards on the year. The third-year back finished with 131 yards on 29 carries, and was the cog that kept an often times sputtering Jags offense moving in the right direction, when the wheels could’ve potentially fell off with Minshew’s inconsistency. The game marked Fournette’s third 100 yard rushing day in seven games, he had none in his eight appearances last season.

Much like last week against New Orleans, with the offense being up and down, the defense for the most part showed up in huge ways. At one point in the first half, the Bengals had amassed a total of 13 yards in four drives, as the defense did it’s part to keep an AJ Green-less offense to one score in the first half.

The group turned up another notch in the second half, as rookie Josh Allen amassed his fifth sack of the year, and Abry Jones got in on the action to account for two more sacks on the season for the team. It was the sudden change in turnovers for the defense, however, that made the difference. After going six weeks with just one interception, the defense accounted for three picks, including a game deciding pick six by Yannick Ngakoue and added a fumble recovery by safety Ronnie Harrison, who himself also picked off Dalton, to finish the game plus four in the turnover category for the first time in 2019.

The win moves the Jaguars to a 3-4 record, and they remain within range of the Texans and Colts in the division, with a lot of work still to do, however. They’ll return to Jacksonville a week from Sunday to face a Jets team that appeared to regain it’s stride with the return of quarterback Sam D’Arnold, as they’ll attempt to get back to .500 on the season before the annual London trip against the Texans.

Game Notes:

  • Minshew became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 10 touchdowns against only 2 interceptions, in his first seven NFL games.
  • Wide receivers Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley both came up with big plays, with Westbrook leading all receivers with 103 yards receiving on 6 catches. Conley for his efforts, added 83 yards and a two-point conversion catch.
  • Allen’s five sacks tied him for second in the league among rookies, and was his third sack in as many games. He also moved into a tie with John Henderson for most sacks by a rookie through seven career games.
  • Myles Jack played his best game of the season, accounting for five tackles, two passes defended, and an interception.
  • The injury bug has caught up with the team, as left tackle Cam Robinson, linebacker Najee Goode, and Ronnie Harrison all left the game with injuries.