JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – With a national TV audience watching, the Jacksonville Jaguars defended their home field and won their ninth game of the season as they defeated the Seattle Seahawks by the score of 30-24. The win puts the Jaguars in first place in the AFC South division with three games left to play.
After an opening half where both teams combined for three points, Blake Bortles went to work in the third quarter. He connected with rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook for an 18-yard touchdown pass to bring the sell-out crowd to its feet. After the Seahawks scored 10 consecutive points, including 26-yard touchdown catch from Doug Baldwin, Bortles went back to work on Jacksonville’s next possession. Bortles found another rookie wide receiver, Keenan Cole, for his longest touchdown pass of the season. The 75-yard touchdown not only put the Jaguars back in the lead, but it was the type of pass that Jaguars fans have been waiting for Bortles to make all season.
They added a third touchdown in the quarter as Leonard Fournette scored from one yard out to make the score 27-10 at the end of the third quarter. The touchdown was set up by an outstanding punt return by Jaydon Mickens. Mickens took the punt after letting it hit the ground and raced 72 yards after zig-zaging through Seahawk defenders.
Bortles finished the game 18 for 27 for 265 yards with the two touchdown passes and, most importantly, no interceptions. His counterpart, Seattle’s Russell Wilson, didn’t have his best game of the season. He threw a season-high three interceptions, including two on long passes in the game. Wilson did throw two long fourth quarter touchdown passes to bring the Seahawks to within six points.
Even with the win, the game was marred by two on-field skirmishes as the Jaguars was kneeling out the clock. Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, defensive end Michael Bennett and the Jaguars’ Fournette were involved in the opening incident. Richardson was ejected for throwing a punch at a Jaguars player. On the next play, Seahawks defensive tackle Quenton Jefferson was thrown out for shoving another Jaguars player and had to be restrained from attempting to go into the crowd on his way off the field. Jefferson had objects thrown at him and had to be calmed down by Jaguars security and Jacksonville Police.
Jacksonville now controls its own destiny in the division and can clinch by winning at home next week against Houston and final two games on the road against San Francisco and Tennessee.
Points of Interest:
- This is the latest the Jaguars have been in 1st place in their division since 2010
- In his last four games, Bortles has thrown five touchdown passes and one interception in 125 total thrown passes
- With his 101 yards rushing, Fournette has 923 yards for the season and the team is 4-1 when he has over 100 rushing yards in a game
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org