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Jacksonville Jaguars Claw a Way to Stay in First Place

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Jacksonville Jaguars entered Sunday’s matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers as winners of their last two games and were tied with the Tennessee Titans for first place in the AFC South. In a game where Blake Bortles threw two late interceptions, the Jaguar defense made two game saving takeaways as they defeated the Chargers 20-17 in overtime.

Josh Lambo’s game winning 30-yard field goal was created by Jacksonville cornerback and former UCF star A.J. Bouye interception return off a Phillip Rivers pass in overtime. Bouye picked off a pass intended for Travis Benjamin and returned it 51 yards to the Chargers 2-yard line to give the Jaguars the room they needed to give Lambo a chance to beat his former team.

The Chargers could not find a way to close out the game. They instead created turnovers and found ways to give Jacksonville chances to score in the fourth quarter.

After a Bortles interception by Tre Boston, the Jaguars forced what would have been a potential game-winning touchdown by the defense. San Diego tried to force the Jaguars to use all three remaining timeouts by running the football. But instead of giving it to Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles’s leading rusher), they gave it to rookie running back Austin Ekeler. Ekeler fumbled the ball and then Jacksonville’s Tashaun Gipson returned it for a touchdown that was called back because the player was touched while he was on the ground.

The Jaguars had a created what they thought was a pass interference call as Marquise Lee was touched in the end zone. Lee proceeded to celebrate the flag and was given his own flag for taunting. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, the flag was picked up for the interference, but Lee’s flag was not and it forced a 3rd and 25 for the Jaguars right outside of kicker Lambo’s range. On the next play, Bortles was then intercepted by Boston again and the fans started to head for the exits.

The Chargers were able to drain all of the Jaguar timeouts and gave Bortles one more shot with less than a minute to go. Blake redeemed himself as completed a pass to Jaydon Mickens with 50 seconds left and then Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa’s roughing the passer penalty gave Lambo the chance to send the game into overtime.

If you take away the two interceptions from Blake, he played a solid game all around. He went 28 for 51 for 271 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Lee and the two-point conversion on the next play. He also rushed for 34 yards on five carries as well.

Phillip Rivers completed 21 of his 37 pass attempts for 235 yards and two touchdown passes. Both of Rivers’s touchdown passes were to Ekeler. He caught five passes for 77 yards in the game. His opening touchdown catch was one of the prettier plays you will see all season. He caught a Rivers pass near the sidelines and tipped toed the sidelines, keeping his balance and feet inbounds to put the Chargers in the lead 7-6.

Jacksonville opened the scoring by converting on a fake punt at the end of the opening quarter. The direct snap when into the hands of reserve running back Chris Grant, who broke two tackles and crisscrossed the field 56 yards to give the Jags a 6-0 lead. The Chargers ended up blocking the extra point.

Jacksonville improves to 6-3 and they are tied with the Tennessee Titans for first place in the AFC South. The Jaguars will try to continue their winning ways when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns on Sunday. They return home to play the Indianapolis Colts on December 3rd.

 

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter:

  • JAX – C. Grant 56-yard touchdown run – Jaguars 6-0

2nd Quarter:

  • SD – P. Rivers 28-yard touchdown pass to A. Ekeler – Chargers 7-6

3rd Quarter:

  • SD – P. Rivers 22-yard touchdown pass to A. Ekeler – Chargers 14-6
  • JAX – B. Bortles 6-yard touchdown pass to M. Lee- (Bortles 2-point conversion pass to M. Lee) – game tied at 14

4th Quarter

  • SD – N. Novak 50-yard field goal – Chargers 17-14
  • JAX – J. Lambo 34-yard field goal – game tied at 17

Overtime:

  • JAX – J. Lambo 30-yard field goal – Jaguars 20-17

____________________________________________

Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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