Ryan L. Fox
On January 21, the Jacksonville Jaguars rolled into Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots with a chance to face the winner of the NFC Championship game in Super Bowl LII. After 4 quarters of smash mouth, physical football, the Patriots emerged victorious 24-20.
Fast forward to Sunday as the Patriots travelled down to Jacksonville for a Week 2 rematch between the two teams. Would things be different this time? Would Jacksonville avenge their loss and show to everybody that they are ready to be a part of the elites of the AFC? Or would it just be business as usual for the Patriots? After 60 minutes, it was clear who wanted this game more.
Like last week, the Patriots got the ball to start the game. Starting from their own 25, QB Tom Brady drove the offense down the field. This also included a beautiful 23-yard pass from Brady to backup TE Jacob Hollister to the Jaguars 39. But after the big play, the Patriots could only move the ball to the Jaguars 36. Then on 4th and 7, K Stephen Gostkowski hooked his 54-yard field goal attempt wide right, giving the Jaguars excellent field position at their own 45.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles led the Jaguars down the field, dinking and dunking along the way while RB T.J. Yeldon pounded the Patriots defense. The Jaguars drove down the field all the way down to the Patriots 4. There, on 1st and goal, Bortles found WR Donte Moncrief for a 4-yard TD, beating out Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore in the right corner of the end zone. Jaguars K Josh Lambo made the PAT as the Jaguars lead 7-0.
After forcing a Patriots punt, the Jaguars got the ball back on their own 16. Bortles lead the Jaguars down the field against the Patriots, including a highlight 22-yard catch by WR Keelan Cole against Patriots CB Eric Rowe on 1st and 15 from their own 24. Three plays later, on 1st and 10 on the Patriots 24, Cole bested Rowe only this time it was a 24-yard touchdown from Bortles. Lambo added the PAT afterwards as the Jaguars lead extended to 14-0.
After the two teams exchanged punts with one another, the Patriots got the ball deep in their own territory to start the drive. Brady methodically led the team down the field, mixing in both small runs and medium passes. They also were the beneficiary of a questionable penalty on LB Telvin Smith on WR Chris Hogan on 2nd and 5, moving the ball to the Jaguars 11. However the Jaguars defense held tight as the Patriots had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Gostkowski for their first points of the game, 14-3.
With a little under 3 minutes left in the half, the Jaguars got the ball back on their own 25. Bortles led the two-minute drill Jaguars offense down the field, keeping the Patriots defense on their toes. The Jaguars got down to the Patriots 4 with 14 seconds left in the half. On 3rd and goal on the Patriots 4, Bortles found TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the left corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Another Lambo PAT made it 21-3 as that was the score going into halftime.
The Jaguars got the ball to start the 2nd half as their first drive began on their own 19. Bortles picked apart the Patriots defense as the Jaguars offense went 7-for-8 on 3rd down conversions during the drive. The Jaguars got all the way down to the Patriots 10 but on 3rd and goal on the Patriots 10, Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore knocked away Bortles pass intended for. Lambo came on to kick the 28-yard field goal to give the Jaguars the 24-3 lead.
After forcing a Patriots punt, the Jaguars got the ball on their 30. On 2nd and 4 from their 36 Bortles found WR D.J. Chark over the middle at the Jaguars 49. However Gilmore punched the ball out from Chark as S Duron Harmon recovered the ball and returned the ball to the Jaguars 48.
Trying to get his team in the game, Brady led the offense down the field. However it was the running game that carried the way, including a 10-yard scramble by Brady on 3rd and 6 for the first down. On 3rd and goal from the Jaguars 10, Brady found WR Chris Hogan over the middle for the touchdown pass. Gostkowski made the PAT as the Patriots found themselves back in the game, 24-10.
After a forcing a Jaguars punt, the Patriots got the ball back on their 41. Brady then opened the drive up with a quick dump pass to RB James White, who took it all the way down to the Jaguars 32. White added a 6-yard catch to end the quarter as it looked like momentum was going in the Patriots’ way like it did in the AFC Championship game.
The Patriots opened up the 4th quarter with 2nd and 4 at the Jaguars 28. However an incompletion to TE Rob Gronkowski and then a blunder by WR Cordarrelle Patterson on 3rd down forced the Patriots to settle for a 46-yard Gostkowski field goal to make it 24-13.
Then on the following Jaguars possession, Seferian-Jenkins bobbled a pass from Bortles as Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy intercepted the ball at the Jaguars 25.
But just as Jaguars gave up the ball, the Patriots proceeded to the same. On 3rd and 9 on the Jaguars 24, Jaguars DE Dante Fowler beat Patriots RT LaAdrian Waddle and knocked the ball out of Brady’s hand. Fowler recovered the ball at the Jaguars 32. However the offense could not convert the chance into points and were forced to punt.
The Patriots got the ball back at their own 9. On 3rd and 5, Brady found White for a short pass to the left for the first down. However Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone challenged the first down ruling and upon further review, White appeared to be short of the first down mark. The Patriots were forced to punt.
On the first play of the Jaguars possession from their own 39, Bortles found WR. Westbrook along the side line. Westbrook got blockers in front of him as he proceeded to take the ball 61-yards for the score. A Lambo PAT then made it 31-13 with a little under 4 minutes left in the game.
With time running out, Brady did what Brady does best. Taking the ball on their 25, Brady led the offense down the field. The drive included big plays such as a 19-yard pass to WR Phillip Dorsett on 2nd and 8 from the Patriots 40 and then an 18-yard catch-and-run to Patterson on 2nd and 16 from the Jaguars 47. Two plays later, Hogan hauled in a Brady pass 29 yards for the score. Gostkowski added the PAT to make it 31-20.
With 3:37 left in the game, the Jaguars got the ball back on their own 16. Bortles yet again torched the Patriots defense. First finding TE Niles Paul for a 22-yard pass on 2nd and 16 at their own 10 and then scrambling 10 yards on 3rd and 8 at their own 34. Brady and Belichick could only watch as the Jaguars ran out the clock and got the 31-20 victory.
QB Tom Brady: 24-for-35 for 234 yards, 2TDs, 3 QB Rating of 106.1, 3 carries for 10 yards and 1 fumble lost
RB James White: 7 catches (on 8 targets) for 73 yards and 1 TD
WR Chris Hogan: 3 catches (on 5 targets) for 42 yards and 2 TDs
CB Stephon Gilmore: 5 tackles (5 solo), 2 passes defended, 1 forced fumble
LB Kyle Van Noy: 6 tackles (5 solo, 1 assist), 1 interception, 1 pass defended
Numbers! Numbers! Numbers!
2 – Number of penalties the Patriots had for the entire game
157 – Difference between the Patriots net yards passing (220) and the Jaguars net yards passing (377) totals
18 – Number of receiving yards WR Cordarelle Patterson had for the entire game (on 3 catches). Still waiting on him to become that ‘offensive weapon’ I was promised he was going to be
481 – The total net yards for the entire game for Jacksonville. The Patriots defense looking very, very…beatable
8:26 – The amount of time it took on New England’s first scoring drive. That was the longest amount of time for a Patriots drive since 2015
97 – That was the temperature at kickoff. This was the hottest game in Jaguars franchise history and in Tom Brady’s 19-year career
Although football is a physical game, you never want to see a player go down with injuries.
Going into this game, the Patriots were hit with the injury bug as starting RT Marcus Canon was out due to a knee injury.
Then in the 1st quarter, DE Tre Flowers got an accidental knee to his head by a teammate and had to leave the game and enter the NFL concussion protocol. Later in the 1st half, Patriots S Patrick Chung had to leave the game and enter the NFL concussion protocol. Both players were ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Although the saying up in Foxboro is ‘Next man up’, losing key players like Cannon, Chung, and Flowers to injury can have an impact on a game. Hopefully all 3 will be ready to go for next week as the team travels to Detroit for a Week 3 match up against the Lions.
Fox Fist Bump
Normally the Fox Fist bump is reserved for Patriots players who did well. This week, it’s time to go over to the aisle and give a Fox Fist bump to Jaguars QB Blake Bortles. Blake put on a show against the Patriots, going 29-for-45 with 377 yards for 4 TDs and 1 INT. He also ran the ball as well (6 carries for 35 yards), including picking up key first downs to extend Jaguars drives.
The Patriots secondary not named Stephon Gilmore were the biggest meatballs in the entire game. They made Blake Bortles, Keelan Cole, and Dede Westbrook look like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Dwight Clark in Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense. Outside of Gilmore, they could cover, couldn’t tackle, couldn’t make a play. Terrible, absolutely terrible.
Play of the Game
They're gonna be talkin' about this one for a while
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