Trevor Lawrence leapt in for the only touchdown of the game as the Jacksonville Jaguars continued their push toward the playoffs with their third-straight victory, a 19-3 road victory over the New York Jets on Thursday night.
Story of the Game
In a matchup between the first two picks taken in last year’s NFL Draft, it wasn’t even a contest as Lawrence finished 20 of 31 passing, for 229 yards, while also rushing for 51 and the score on seven carries. Wilson’s sophomore struggles continued, meanwhile, as he went 9 of 18 for just 82 yards, with an interception, before being benched late in the third quarter.
With the victory, the Jaguars (7-8) move closer still to the AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans (7-7). They will clinch the division over their rivals with wins in their final two games, including the season finale against the Titans. As for the Jets (7-8), their own playoff ambitions have suffered a sizable blow with their fourth-straight defeat.
As a further consequence of Jacksonville’s win, the Cincinnati Bengals (10-4) clinched a postseason berth without even playing. Last year’s Super Bowl runners up face the New England Patriots (7-7) on Christmas Eve, live on Sky Sports NFL from 6pm.
Wilson, who returned at quarterback for the Jets last Sunday – after a three-game benching – in place of an injured Mike White, couldn’t make any plays and was booed frequently by the home crowd at MetLife Stadium before ultimately being replaced by journeyman backup Chris Streveler in the second half.
The game had actually got off to a promising start for the Jets when Quinnen Williams strip-sacked Lawrence – his NFL-leading eighth fumble of the season – on the Jaguars’ third play from scrimmage. Carl Lawson recovered to place New York at Jacksonville’s 16-yard line and a 37-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein would give them the lead.
|Jaguars 0-3 Jets||Greg Zuerlein 37-yard field goal|
|Jaguars 3-3 Jets||Riley Patterson 32-yard field goal|
|Jaguars 10-3 Jets||Trevor Lawrence one-yard TD run (extra point)|
|Jaguars 13-3 Jets||Riley Patterson 45-yard field goal|
|Jaguars 16-3 Jets||Riley Patterson 41-yard field goal|
|Jaguars 19-3 Jets||Riley Patterson 37-yard field goal|
But that was as good as it got for the hosts. Riley Patterson kicked a 32-yarder to tie things up on Jacksonville’s second possession, while Lawrence leapt into the end zone from the one-yard line for the go-ahead score in the second quarter to cap an impressive 16-play, 96-yard drive. The Jets, meanwhile, had just 66 yards of total offense in the first half and only three first downs.
A further Patterson kick, this one from 45 yards, would extend Jacksonville’s lead to 13-3 by half-time, while he’d add two more field goals, one in each quarter, in the second half as the visitors wrapped up a comfortable win.
The New York offense, and the home crowd, briefly sparked into life with the insertion of Streveler at quarterback. He led the team all the way down to the Jacksonville 13-yard line on one drive, but sailed a throw to Garrett Wilson on fourth down to see the ball turned over on downs.
Streveler, who went 10 of 15 for 90 yards, became a fan favourite during the summer when he led the Jets to three fourth-quarter comeback victories in the preseason.
- Passing: Trevor Lawrence, 20/31, 229 yards
- Rushing: Travis Etienne Jr., 22 carries, 83 yards
- Trevor Lawrence, seven carries, 51 yards, 1 TD
- Receiving: Evan Engram, seven catches, 113 yards
- Passing: Zach Wilson, 9/18, 92 yards, 1 INT
- Chris Streveler, 10/15, 90 yards (& 54 yards rushing)
- Receiving: Michael Carter, five catches, 55 yards
Wilson: I don’t blame fans for booing | Saleh: We haven’t seen last of Wilson
Jets quarterback, Zach Wilson: “I don’t blame them [for booing], we have a passionate fanbase, and they’re here to watch us score touchdowns. We’re not getting first downs, we’re not moving the ball, and we obviously can’t throw the ball, so of course they’re going to be frustrated.
“Right now the feeling is I just have to put my head down and just try and get better for these guys. And that was kind of my message to them out there, was that I’m trying to give them everything I’ve got, and it’s not good enough. I’ve got to put them in a better position.”
“It’s tough and I’m working my way through it. But I have to be optimistic… I believe in myself, regardless if anyone else does.”
Jets head coach, Robert Saleh: “We haven’t seen the last of him [Wilson]. But right now he’s just got to focus on finding ways to get better, and we’ve got to find ways to help him.
“You’d be remiss if you didn’t try to acknowledge the fact that there’s a confidence thing there because when people are confident they can conquer the world. We have to help him and it starts with coaching.”
Jaguars quarterback, Trevor Lawrence: “It’s just a big win. It shows this team is growing.
“We don’t have to have 40 points to win. We don’t have to have all these yards. Whatever it takes to win, we’re able to do. To be able to adjust was really good for us.
“We understand the task in front of us. Every game is a must win for us. That’s how were treating it. We understand it and we love it.”
Celebrate your Christmas with Sky Sports this year as we bring you SIX live NFL games over the holiday weekend, including an NFC East grudge match between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve.
For Week 16, the usual Sunday night slate moves to Saturday, December 24, with the clash between the NFL’s-best Eagles (13-1) and Cowboys (10-4) the second game up in the weekend’s first triple-bill of live action on Sky Sports NFL (407).
The evening’s festivities get under way with the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals (10-4) taking their six-straight wins on the road to the New England Patriots (7-7), who will be desperate to put their shocking late loss to the Las Vegas Raiders behind them and stay in the AFC playoff hunt. Kick-off is at 6pm.
After the huge divisional clash in Dallas, the night rounds off with a meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8) and Raiders (6-8) – kick-off at 1.15am, Sunday morning – as the two famous old franchises celebrate the 50th anniversary of ‘The Immaculate Reception’ in the classic 1972 AFC divisional playoff between the pair.
On Christmas Day, we bring you yet another triple-header, this one also kicking off at 6pm with the Green Bay Packers (6-8) at the Miami Dolphins (8-6), followed by the Denver Broncos (4-10) at the Los Angeles Rams (4-10) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) at the Arizona Cardinals (4-10).
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