Jaguars pull off incredible upset over Cowboys in overtime
The Jacksonville Jaguars (6-8) went into the game against the Dallas Cowboys (10-4) with everything on the line. After battling back from a 27-10 deficit during the second half of the contest, the Jaguars kicked a 48-yard field goal to send the game into overtime, tied at 34-34.
In stunning fashion, the Jaguars defeated the Cowboys in overtime after safety Rayshawn Jenkins picked off Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, returning the ball 52 yards for a touchdown. Jenkins ran right into the north end zone as the crowd went wild. The Jaguars punted the ball to the Cowboys in their opening drive of OT.
The win snaps an NFL-record 20-straight losses to NFC opponents, dating back to 2018.
It was the first overtime the Jaguars have been a part of since Dec. 5, 2020, against the Minnesota Vikings when Jacksonville lost 27-24. It was the team’s first home overtime game since Dec. 26, 2010. They lost to Washington 20-17.
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Though Jacksonville entered Sunday with an extensive injury report, which included quarterback Trevor Lawrence (toe) along with five other starters, they only missed one player, rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker.
He was inactive for the first time this season after suffering an ankle injury in last week’s win over the Titans.
With a huge matchup and the Cowboys in town, the Jaguars announced that 69,050 tickets were distributed for the game, just short of a record number of 69,442 set during the team’s playoff game against the Buffalo Bills during the 2017-18 season.
It was the largest number of tickets distributed during the regular season for Jacksonville since their matchup against the New England Patriots in 2018 when 68,527 tickets were distributed.
Trevor Lawrence follows career-best game with another stellar performance
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence hadn’t thrown an interception in 204 straight passing attempts, just four short of the franchise record 208 attempts set in 2007 by former Jaguars QB David Garrard. Against the Cowboys, Lawrence tossed a pick to Cowboys nickel cornerback DaRon Bland, which set up a field goal for the Cowboys late in the third quarter.
Lawrence more than made up for it on the Jaguars’ next drive, though. Trailing 27-17, Lawrence found a wide-open Zay Jones streaking down the right side of the field for a career-long 52-yard touchdown toss. It was the longest touchdown pass of Lawrence’s career and the longest pass this season.
Prior to that, Lawrence’s longest TD toss was a 42-yard pass to former Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. in Week 1 of the 2021 regular season against the Houston Texans.
At one point, Lawrence had completed 18-of-29 passes for 241 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Receiver Zay Jones caught three touchdowns in regulation. His final score in regulation gave Jacksonville a 31-27 lead. Jones caught six passes for 109 yards and three total touchdowns.
Lawrence finished the game by completing 27-of-42 passes for 318 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Lawrence fumbled the football one time, which gave Dallas an opportunity to take a late-game lead. Still, the QB remained poised, driving the team down the field to convert a game-tying 48-yard FG by Riley Patterson to tie the game 34-34.
Ceedee Lamb tears into Jaguars secondary
The Jaguars have tried to find an answer for their secondary issues since cornerback Shaq Griffin went down with a back injury following the team’s loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 23. In recent weeks, Jacksonville deployed veteran CB Tre Herndon as the team’s nickel cornerback. That meant Darious Williams and Tyson Campbell manned the outside positions for the Jaguars.
With that, the Cowboys took advantage of what they likely perceived as a weak link, putting their top receiver CeeDee Lamb in the slot for the majority of the contest. Lamb finished the game with seven catches for 126 yards during the day.
Doug Pederson continues creativity against aggressive Cowboys defense
The Jaguars have been one of the more creative teams this season as far as utilizing motions and other heady plays that require some thought from the opposing defense. That didn’t change Sunday when the Jaguars did that to drive down the field multiple times against the Cowboys.
On multiple occasions, Pederson called receiver screens and end-around plays to players, particularly to receiver Jamal Agnew, who carried the ball thrice for 52 yards while catching two passes for 12 yards. One of the better plays of the game came during the fourth quarter of the contest. Facing a third-and-4 with just over
Jaguars can’t let win/loss overshadow short week
Regardless of today’s outcome, the Jaguars will have to remain focused on what’s ahead of them. The team will have to turn around and face off against the New York Jets in a road contest on Thursday Night Football in Week 16.
The team entered Week 15 down two games to the Tennessee Titans in the playoff race and a win against the Jets will go a long way in allowing the team to get back in the hunt.
The game will take place at Metlife Stadium next week, aired on Amazon Prime, the team’s first contest on the live-streaming network.
Demetrius Harvey is the Jacksonville Jaguars reporter for the Florida Times-Union. You can follow him on Twitter at @Demetrius82.