The last time the Jaguars won in the pacific time zone was January 2nd, 2005 against the Oakland Raiders. The streak of eight straight losses on the west coast, has ended.
After struggling offensively and defensively in the first half, Jacksonville was able to secure their first victory since October 27th at home against the New York Jets. A tremendous turn of events after losing their past five contests by at least 17 points.
It didn’t come easy. The Jaguars struggle mightily in the first half with only two first downs, 75 net yards and just three points, ultimately trailing the Raiders 16-3 at halftime with the look of a team coming off of five consecutive blowout losses.
In the second half of the game, the script was flipped as Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II completed 14 out of 19 of his passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s come-from-behind victory. The third time this season the former Cougar has led a fourth quarter comeback.
In five road games, Minshew II has thrown eight touchdowns and zero interception and joins Robert Griffin III (2012) and Dak Prescott (2016) as the only players in NFL history to throw for at least 16 touchdowns with five-or-fewer interceptions through a player’s first 12 career games.
Minshew II was able to find veteran wide receiver Chris Conley on a slant route with just under 40 seconds to play for a game-winning touchdown. Conley is now 5-0 against the Oakland Raiders and had the team’s only touchdowns (2), on the day.
Coming into the game, the Jaguars — and their players —, were prepared for a potentially “crazy” atmosphere in Oakland.
Chaos erupted after the game as fans were seen throwing trash onto the field as the team’s were heading into their respective locker rooms. Media members reportedly were told to head inside as to not risk injury.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone told his team to use the energy to their advantage, and they were able to do just that shutting the Raiders out in the second half. The Jaguars defense allowed only 91 next yards including 38 net passing yards. Defensively, while they were not dominant for 60 minutes today, were light years ahead of their play over the past five weeks of the season.
Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue added two sacks on the day, becoming the only Jaguars player in history to post at least eight sacks in four consecutive seasons. Ngakoue has accounted for 37.5 sacks in his career, the second-most sacks in franchise history.
Jacksonville has struggled to be competitive for nearly two months, and finally have shown some life heading into the final two weeks of the season. While jobs are still very much on the line, the team showed a sliver of hope playing with a makeshift defense, and without their star wide receiver in DJ Chark Jr.
The Jaguars will travel to Atlanta for their week 16 matchup against the Falcons next week, another test for their rookie quarterback and a true test for the team’s secondary against All Pro wide receiver Julio Jones.