Happy Easter, everyone! In the spirit of a day celebrating the biggest comebacks of all time, let’s talk about the best come-from-behind victories in Jacksonville Jaguars history.
November 30, 2014: Week 13 vs. New York Giants
The Jacksonville Jaguars celebrated their 21st birthday with the largest comeback victory in franchise history. They were born on November 30, 1993, when then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue awarded Jacksonville an NFL franchise. We weren’t favored to get the team, but we got it done.
And on this day, all these years later, Jacksonville did what everyone does on their 21st birthday—they had too much to drink, made everyone really uncomfortable, passed out in a closet, and won a damn football game.
Through the first half, the Jaguars completely embarrassed themselves. It was the football equivalent of taking six too many shots of Fireball and throwing up on everyone at the party. The team allowed castoff journeyman running back Rashad Jennings run for two touchdowns. Eli Manning was touched less than if he were playing a flag football game. The offense didn’t even get a first down until there was 5:52 left in the second quarter.
But then halftime came and I don’t know what kind of witchcraft head coach Gus Bradley used, but the team that marched onto the field to start the second half wasn’t the same one that was on the field minutes prior.
They were pressuring Manning, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch played to Bortles’ strength, calling play-action passes, allowing him to roll out, and run the read-option. Marqise Lee, who had been a non-factor through much of the season up to this point, showed off his speed on a fly route that turned into a 30-yard touchdown.
Sure, he had some mistakes, especially on that late third down conversion throw to Marcedes Lewis. But he limited mistakes all game long, and this was his first NFL game without an interception.
And that final drive was his coup de grace, making throws happen on the fly and running away from traffic when it didn’t. Bortles didn’t force throws, but rather took the interception and lived to fight (and run the read-option) another day. It was his best day as a pro, and his only game without an interception.
The Jaguars invited us to their 21st birthday and put on a show, capped off by a 21-point comeback victory — the most in franchise history.
Elation. Jubilation. Joy.