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Today at No. 34? A high-scoring slugfest against the Oakland Raiders? WHAT?
Week 14 — December 12, 2010
The final score was 38-31, but that doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of this game. This game really had everything: long plays, a second half comeback, a controversial penalty and a last-chance, two minute drive shut down by a good defensive stop.
The Raiders won the first half, jumping out to a 17-7 lead on a few big plays and holding the Jaguars running game to just over 50 yards rushing. After the Jaguars were held scoreless on their first drive for the first time in a month and a half, the Raiders’ Darren McFadden slipped out into the flat, put a move on Sean Considine, and ran 67 yards for a touchdown.
The Jaguars special teams kept the Raiders pinned deep all game, and in the second quarter, the Jaguars managed to tie the game up at 7-7 after a David Garrard 1-yard pass to Marcedes Lewis. Both players set career marks in touchdowns on the play, Marcedes catching his 9th touchdown of the season and Garrard throwing for his 18th pass to tie his previous season best. The Raiders added a field goal, and stopped a Jaguars drive by stripping the ball from Mike Thomas’ hands, which was ruled an interception. McFadded broke off another big play, scoring a 50 yard rushing touchdown to give the Raiders a 17-7 lead into the half. At that point, the Raiders’ Jason Campbell was 11-14 for 205 yards and a TD with a perfect passer rating. No sir, things did not look good for the home team.
However, the Jaguars fired back quickly. Garrard took the Jaguars first drive of the third quarter and threw a play-action pass 48 yards right into Jason Hill’s bread basket for a touchdown. The Raiders scored back, but the Jaguars never lost faith. On a third and two, Rashad Jennings got 74 of his 109 yards on one gigantically important run.
Once he got the edge, the Jaguars 7th round draft pick in ‘09 stiff armed a linebacker, tiptoed inches away from the sideline then got a block from his big left tackle Eugene Monroe at least 30 yards downfield as he sputtered, exhausted into the endzone. The special teams came up big again, when the former Charger, and lifelong Raider-hater, Kassim Osgood forced a fumble on the following kickoff.
That led to a wonderful, toe-dragging touchdown catch by Mike Sims-walker to round out a massive, 21 point third quarter for the Jaguars. The Jags added a field goal to their four point lead to go up by a touchdown in the fourth quarter. That’s when it happened.
The Jaguars brought a five-man pressure after Jason Campbell, who stepped up in the pocket in the face of the pressure. William Middleton put a hit on Campbell, and another defensive player ripped the ball from Campbell’s hand. Terrance Knighton picked up the fumble and scooted into the endzone for a true game-changing play... Until the flags came out. Middleton made contact with Campbell’s helmet, and the play was called back, sparking several very loud boos from the hometown fans. With momentum suddenly on the Raiders side, they struck back. Darren McFadden, who had more than 200 all purpose yards in this game, broke free for his third touchdown of the day, a 36 yard run which tied the game at 31-31.
Much like the Jaguars have done all season, they came up big when it mattered the most. The Jaguars special teams, possibly the teams strongest unit, responded right away. On the ensuing kickoff, Deji Karim returned the ball all the way to the Raiders’ thirty yard line. On the very next play Maurice Jones-Drew ran thirty yards into the end zone to top off his 6th consecutive 100 yard game. The Raiders, with 1:35 seconds left and one timeout, couldn’t manage to score the touchdown and the Jaguars came away with a hard fought win. Now, the Jaguars can prepare for the game of the season next week against the Colts, which could potentially lock up the division with two weeks left in regulation.
Why the ranking at No. 34?
It was high scoring. We overcame double digit deficits. Not very Jaguars.
Sam Darnold stinks!