The Jacksonville Jaguars looked much improved on Thursday Night Football, but lost to the Cincinnati Bengals (now 3-1) by a final score of 24-21. The Jaguars fall to 0-4, and have now lost 19-straight games dating back to 2020.
The Jaguars got off to a fast start against the Bengals, jumping out to a 14-0 lead at halftime, but it wasn’t enough.
The Jaguars received the ball first, and picked up a couple of first downs before eventually punting, but the most notable play of the drive happened when wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. was injured on a running play. Chark was blocking for running back James Robinson when he got his ankle rolled up on, and had to be carted off of the field. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that Chark fractured his ankle and is out indefinitely.
In other injury news, right guard A.J. Cann left the game with a knee injury, and did not return. He was replaced by Ben Bartch.
#Jaguars WR DJ Chark suffered a fractured ankle, source said. Out indefinitely. Just a brutal injury for one of Jacksonville’s best players.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 1, 2021
Cincinnati would then get the ball for its first drive of the game, and eventually drove down to Jacksonville’s 24-yard-line, highlighted by a 33-yard catch by wide receiver Tyler Boyd from quarterback Joe Burrow. However, Evan McPherson would miss a 43-yard field goal and the Jaguars kept the Bengals off of the board.
The Jaguars would get on the board for the first time on Thursday night on the next drive. Jacksonville drove 67 yards on eight plays, including a 17-yard catch by newly acquired tight end Dan Arnold off of a pass from quarterback Trevor Lawrence. One play later, Robinson sprinted into the end zone from six yards out. The extra point was good from kicker Matthew Wright, who was elevated to the active roster today, making the score 7-0 in the Jaguars’ favor.
The two teams would go on to trade punts on the next two possessions before Jacksonville found the end zone again in the second quarter. This time, it was a 12-play, 80-yard drive, which included a 20-yard run from Robinson. In the passing game, Lawrence found Arnold, Marvin Jones Jr., Chris Manhertz and Luke Farrell on the drive. But it was Lawrence’s legs that finished off the drive for the Jaguars, putting a nice move on the Cincinnati defender, Sam Hubbard, and crossing the goal line for six points. Wright added the extra point, and just like that, it was 14-0, Jaguars.
Jacksonville’s defense then forced a three-and-out, and Cincinnati punted the ball back to the Jaguars. On the first play of the drive, Lawrence hit wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. for a 52-yard gain. The Jaguars would drive it all the way down to the Bengals’ one-yard-line, but Lawrence was stopped on a fourth-and-goal try, and Cincinnati was able to keep Jacksonville from taking a three-score lead.
The Jaguars led 14-0 at halftime.
The Bengals, however, would receive the ball first in the second half and came out of the locker rooms looking rejuvenated. Burrow connected with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase for 44 yards on the second play of the half. Two plays later, Burrow found tight end C.J. Uzomah for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Cincinnati drove 69 yards in just four plays, and cut Jacksonville’s lead in half, making it 14-7.
GO C.J. THAT'S MY C.J.— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) October 1, 2021
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Next, the Jaguars would go three-and-out, and the Bengals would get the football back and put together another scoring drive. This time, the Bengals would go 86 yards in 12 plays, taking 6:29 off of the clock. Eventually, running back Joe Mixon punched it into the end zone from one-yard out. The extra point was good, and Jacksonville’s lead was no more, as the game was now tied at 14 apiece.
The Jaguars would then answer with an 11-play, 77-yard scoring drive. The highlight of the drive was a beautiful throw by Lawrence, and an even better catch by wide receiver Jamal Agnew. Agnew was able to drag his toe and get both feet in bounds, and the play went for 27 yards.
Later on the drive, Lawrence found Shenault for a 20-yard gain. A couple plays afterward, Robinson found the end zone for his second score of the game. The Jaguars retook the lead at 21-14 with 14:40 to play in the fourth quarter.
The Bengals weren’t done scoring yet, either, though. Cincinnati would tie the game up at 21 with a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Burrow found Uzomah once again, this time from 31 yards out with 9:08 left to play in the game.
THAT'S HOW YOU ANSWER! 9 to 87 x 2— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) October 1, 2021
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The Jaguars would get the ball back, but were forced to punt. The Bengals then got the ball back with 5:33 left, marched down the field and drained the clock before McPherson was able to kick a game-winning 35-yard field goal as time expired.
The Bengals did not lead until the last play of the game.
The Jaguars looked improved, but for the second week in a row, collapsed in the second half and failed to protect the lead. Neither team committed a turnover.
Lawrence finished the game completing 17 of 24 passes (70.8 percent) for 204 yards, adding 36 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Robinson had 78 rushing yards on 18 carries (4.3 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.
Burrow completed 25 of 32 passes (78.1 percent) for 348 yards and two touchdowns.