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Jaguars battle back, but can’t overcome mistakes en route to 21-14 loss to Falcons

The Jaguars were searching for their third victory of the season at home vs. the Falcons.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Well, they almost did it.

Entering today’s contest against the Atlanta Falcons (5-6), the Jaguars (2-9) needed some sort of momentum following a couple of clunkers since their victory over the Buffalo Bills a few weeks ago. The team needed to produce something on offense, and that starts with rookie QB Trevor Lawrence, who has gone through plenty of adversity over the past month.

In the first half, it did not look as though Jacksonville was going to provide even a sliver of that. The second half was much better but proved too little, too late, for the Jaguars offense to overcome.

During the first two quarters, the Jaguars committed two costly turnovers, including a Lawrence interception, his first since Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks.

The interception came on a toss-up play by Lawrence who thought he had a free play, that the Falcons jumped offside. They hadn’t, however, and the Jaguars were instead called for illegal formation, allowing the interception to stand.

Running back James Robinson would also turn the ball over, on the Jacksonville side of the field during the second quarter of action.

With a couple of explosive plays during the first half, the Falcons were able to jump out to a 14-0 lead.

The Jaguars, of course, would assist them with some sloppy penalties, including a leverage penalty on the Falcons’ field goal attempt during the second quarter that would eventually turn into a touchdown for running back Cordarrelle Patterson by virtue of a free first down.

Jacksonville’s first score of the game wouldn’t come until there were just 50 seconds remaining in the first half, a Matthew Wright field goal, good from 21 yards out.

During the drive, Lawrence would connect with multiple receivers, and even converted a long third-and-21 that was obtained through some hard-fought, tough running by receiver Laviska Shenault. Receiver Marvin Jones Jr. would also make an impressive play, a one-handed snag for a gain of 21.

On the drive, the Jaguars would make it into the redzone, but would come up with just a field goal, making the score 14-3 heading into halftime. Following his fumble, the Jaguars held Robinson out of the game for the remainder of the half, he would return during the second half, however.

During the first half, Jaguars rookie CB Tyson Campbell would make a fantastic impact play on a pass breakup, along with snagging his first career interception with very little time to play. Campbell had been tasked with going up against the Falcons’ top option on the outside all day, including tight end Kyle Pitts.

It would be that kind of day for the Jaguars, however, as they allowed another touchdown coming out into the third quarter of action. That put the Falcons up 21-3, but the Jaguars would hold them to zero points throughout the rest of quarter number three, giving their offense some valuable time to catch back up.

The Jaguars' offense seemed to do just that as they took eighth possession of the game, and final one of the third quarter 72 yards, ending with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to Tavon Austin. It would be Austin’s first touchdown catch this season, and his first receiving TD since 2019.

The Jaguars would go for two, attempting to make it a 10 point game and were successful with tight end James O'Shaughnessy making the reception from Lawrence. That would make it 21-11 to begin the fourth quarter with the Falcons in the lead.

To get the game within seven points, the Jaguars and Lawrence orchestrated what looked to be one of its best offensive possessions of the season, traveling 89 yards on 14 plays. The Jaguars would commit a costly holding penalty near the goal line, pushing the drive back and stalling it out en route to a field goal.

That would bring the score within seven at 21-14 with a little over six minutes remaining in the contest.

After a brilliant third-down stop by Campbell, the Jaguars got the ball back on offense with a little over two minutes remaining in the contest, a chance to tie the game up and send it into overtime.

That wouldn’t come to fruition as the Jaguars turned the football over on downs with what looked to be a cinderella drive for the Jaguars young QB. Lawrence finished the game by completing 23 out of 42 of his passes for 228 yards, one touchdown and one interception.