Game balls for Jaguars


By TERESA M. WALKER

AP Sports Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It’s game balls all around for the Jacksonville Jaguars, winless no more.

They can thank the Tennessee Titans for helping them finally get that first victory this season.

Owner Shad Khan gave first-year coach Gus Bradley a game ball, and the coach made sure both his boss and general manager David Caldwell each got one, too, after the Jaguars held off the Titans 29-27 Sunday. All the Jaguars will be receiving a game ball to remember this very big win.

“What I’m excited about is that we improved in many areas,” Bradley said. “On my call sheet I was writing down things that were really good that were happening during the game. They just kept piling up. I thought, ‘this is how it feels.’”

Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman each ran for a touchdown as the Jaguars left Tampa Bay at 0-8 as the only winless team left. The Buccaneers host Miami on Monday night.

The Jaguars (1-8) scored the most points in a game this season. They never trailed and forced four turnovers they turned into 17 points.

“It’s definitely a great feeling,” Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne. “Hopefully we can build on this. We can’t become complacent and say we got our first win … we’ve still got to improve on what we’ve done today and get better individually.”

The Titans scored twice in the final 4:15, the last on a 14-yard TD pass by Ryan Fitzpatrick to Delanie Walker with 40 seconds left. But Johnathan Cyprien recovered the onside kick to seal the victory.

On a day the Titans (4-5) held a moment of silence for late owner Bud Adams, they got caught looking ahead to Thursday night’s AFC South game with division leader Indianapolis. The Titans also lost Jake Locker to an injured right foot that had him on crutches and in a walking boot in the second half.

The Titans were coming off an emotional win over former coach Jeff Fisher in St. Louis, and they looked flat from the start — when even Adams’ family was late to the stadium and a news conference introducing the owners was scratched before kickoff.

“We had a lot of things happen today that should never happen to us in any game,” coach Mike Munchak said.

The Jaguars took advantage despite being outgained 362-214 in total offense. Henne threw for 180 yards.

Outscored 70-15 in the first quarter of the first eight games combined, the Jaguars jumped to a 13-0 lead with Paul Posluszny stripping Chris Johnson of his first fumble this season on Tennessee’s first offensive play, and Dwayne Gratz intercepting a Locker pass.

The first turnover set up Jones-Drew for three straight carries capped by a 6-yard TD run. Josh Scobee kicked his second field goal, a 44-yarder, after the interception, giving the Jaguars’ their biggest lead in any game this season, 13-0 early in the second quarter. The Jaguars could have had a bigger lead if not for a shotgun snap bouncing off receiver Ace Sanders as he ran in motion.

Not even Munchak seemed ready. The Titans coach wanted to challenge a 22-yard sideline catch by Cecil Shorts III, but threw the flag as the Jaguars snapped the ball. Munchak said later he was waiting for a better replay before deciding to challenge.

Locker hurt his right foot in the second quarter at the end of an option keeper. He was so hobbled he couldn’t connect with Johnson on a handoff on the next play, and the Jaguars recovered with 6:22 left. Locker was on crutches after the game and said he will have more tests today.

“I was tired of having to come off the field because I was hurt,” Locker said.

Fitzpatrick replaced Locker, and he threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a 4-yard TD with 4:15 left trying to rally the Titans. But after the Titans forced the Jaguars to go three and out, Fitzpatrick was sacked by cornerback Will Blackmon, who stripped him of the ball and ran it back 21 yards for a 29-20 lead.

The Jaguars also held the Titans to a pair of field goals by Rob Bironas in the second half. Bryan Anger pinned the Titans at their 1 with a 42-yard punt, and the Jaguars got a safety when rookie right guard Chance Warmack was called for holding Sen’Derrick Marks in the end zone. That safety with 7:44 left was the winning margin.

“It’s something we can build off of,” Marks said.

RAVENS 20, BENGALS 17, OT

BALTIMORE — Justin Tucker kicked a 46-yard field goal with 5:27 left in overtime, and the Ravens won after blowing a 17-point halftime lead and giving up a touchdown on the final play of regulation.

The tense victory ended a three-game skid for the Ravens (4-5) and thrust them into a second-place tie in the division, just one game behind Cincinnati (6-4) in the loss column. It was the defending Super Bowl champions’ first victory since Oct. 6.

The Bengals have lost two straight in overtime.

PANTHERS 10, 49ERS 9

SAN FRANCISCO — Drayton Florence’s interception in the final minute sealed victory for Carolina to snap the San Francisco 49ers’ five-game winning streak and give the Panthers their fifth straight win.

Graham Gano kicked a 53-yard field goal with 10:05 remaining that held up as the Panthers (6-3) twice shut down Colin Kaepernick on last-ditch drives with swarming defense.

DeAngelo Williams broke two tackles for a 27-yard touchdown run late in the first half that pulled Carolina within 9-7. Gano missed wide left on a 48-yard field goal in the third period, but came through later.

San Francisco (6-3) got the ball back with 5:25 left at its 1, then again with 1:02 to go.

Phil Dawson kicked a season-best 53-yard field goal among his three for the 49ers, who lost tight end Vernon Davis and rookie safety Eric Reid to concussions.

BRONCOS 28, CHARGERS 20

SAN DIEGO — Peyton Manning threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, three to Demaryius Thomas, as he efficiently led the Broncos in their first game since coach John Fox had heart surgery.

Fox, who was released from the hospital Friday, planned to watch the game on TV at his offseason home in Charlotte, N.C., a team spokesman said.

With interim coach Jack Del Rio in charge, Manning kept the Broncos (8-1) rolling. He threw touchdown passes of 11, 7 and 34 yards to Thomas on consecutive drives spanning the second and third quarters.

Julius Thomas had a 74-yard catch-and-run on Denver’s first drive.

The Broncos’ scoring drives lasted 57 seconds; 2 minutes, 27 seconds; 1:25; and 3:26.

Manning has thrown for 3,249 yards and 33 touchdowns in nine games. San Diego fell to 4-5.

CARDS 27, TEXANS 24

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes and the Cardinals sent the Texans to their franchise-record seventh consecutive loss.

The Texans (2-7) were without coach Gary Kubiak, who collapsed on the sidelines against Indianapolis last Sunday night with what was diagnosed as a mini-stroke. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is filling in as interim coach.

Arizona (5-4) scored on the game’s first play when John Abraham knocked the ball out of Case Keenum’s arm and Matt Shaughnessy returned it 6 yards for a touchdown.

Keenum threw three touchdown passes, two on remarkable catches by Andre Johnson.

LIONS 21, BEARS 19

CHICAGO — Calvin Johnson had two second-half touchdown receptions, Reggie Bush rushed for 105 yards and Lions took over first place in the NFC North.

Johnson broke Herman Moore’s franchise record with his 63rd career touchdown reception with 2:22 to go, giving the Lions a 21-13 lead with a 14-yard grab. He also had a tiebreaking 4-yard TD reception on the first drive in the third quarter.

Bush had 89 yards on the ground in the second half as Detroit (6-3) swept the season series against Chicago (5-4).

SEAHAWKS 33, FALCONS 10

ATLANTA — Russell Wilson threw a pair of touchdowns passes and Marshawn Lynch ran for 145 yards in a one-sided follow-up to last season’s NFC divisional playoffs.

After struggling for victories the last two weeks, the first-place Seahawks (9-1) blew out a team that not so long ago was talking Super Bowl, but now is just two defeats away from its first losing season since 2007.

The Falcons (2-7) trailed 23-3 at the half after the Seahawks scored a touchdown with 1 second remaining — a complete reversal of their postseason game last January.

RAMS 38, COLTS 8

INDIANAPOLIS — Tavon Austin returned one punt 98 yards for a touchdown, caught TD passes of 57 and 81 yards and almost single-handedly ended the Rams’ three-game losing streak.

The touchdown catches were the only receptions Austin had on his biggest day of the season, and St. Louis (4-6) won for the first time since Kellen Clemens replaced the injured Sam Bradford.

It was the Colts’ worst loss since a 55-point thrashing at New Orleans in 2011. Indy (6-3) fell for the second time at home this season and only the third time in coach Chuck Pagano’s career.

EAGLES 27, PACKERS 13

GREEN BAY, Wis. — A week after tying the NFL record by passing for seven TDs, Nick Foles connected for three long touchdowns against the injury-ravaged Packers.

Foles connected with DeSean Jackson for a 55-yard score in the first half. Touchdown passes to Riley Cooper from 45 and 32 yards highlighted a 17-point second half for the up-tempo Eagles.

The Eagles, the NFL’s road warriors, improved to 5-5, with all their victories coming away from Philly.

Philadelphia handed Green Bay its first back-to-back home losses since 2008, Rodgers’ first season as the starter. It was the worst home loss for the Packers since falling 38-10 to the New York Jets on Dec. 3, 2006.

GIANTS 24, RAIDERS 20

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Terrell Thomas returned an interception 65 yards to set up a go-ahead 1-yard touchdown run by fellow comebacker Andre Brown, and the Giants won their third straight game.

The error-prone Giants (3-6) handed the Raiders (3-6) their first 17 points on first-half turnovers. But they got 115 yards rushing by Brown in his first game this season — he’s had two broken left legs the last two years — and another big defensive game to keep their season alive.

STEELERS 23, BILLS 10

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh shut down rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel in his return.

A week after giving up 610 yards and 55 points in a loss to New England, Pittsburgh held the Bills (3-7) to 227 total yards, more than one-third coming on a meaningless drive in the final minutes.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 204 yards and a touchdown, Le’Veon Bell added 52 yards rushing and a score as the Steelers (3-6) snapped a two-game losing streak.

 

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